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Fostering Motivation in Physical Education to Promote Learning and Achievement

Senlin Chen and Melinda Solmon

Research exploring motivation has yielded a robust body of evidence to guide efforts to improve teaching and learning in physical education (PE). We begin by defining motivation and achievement within the context of PE. Given the extensive and diverse motivational perspectives, we purposely selected three widely studied theories in PE, achievement goal theory, self-determination theory, and interest theory, as the focus of our review. These theories have guided many investigations and the development of pedagogical practice over the past 3 decades. We elaborate on these theories and then synthesize recently published intervention studies to provide an interpretive analysis of the literature. This analysis has enabled us to identify gaps that need to be addressed in future research and efforts to improve practice. We conclude with the proposition calling for innovative, theory-driven, evidence-based research and practice to foster adaptive student motivation for optimal educational, behavioral, and health outcomes in K–12 PE.

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Application of Natural Language Processing to the Development of Sports Biomechanics in China: A Literature Review of Journal Abstracts in Chinese Between 1980 and 2022

Guoying Zhang and Yifang Fan

This paper aims to explore the field of sports biomechanics in China between 1980 and 2022 in terms of key developments, hot research topics, integration with other disciplines in kinesiology, and future trends by using text mining and natural language processing to analyze abstracts published in Chinese journals. Over 1,400 research paper abstracts were selected and processed, focusing on specific terms, significance, word-cloud analysis, co-occurrence, and network analysis. Results showed that sports biomechanics research focused on sports technical analysis, application of sports biomechanical principles to athletic training, and sport-injury prevention and rehabilitation. The research areas are multidimensional but well balanced with other disciplines such as physical education, sports training, and motor skill acquisition. Integration with fields like biomedical engineering, computer software and applications, and medical aspects of specific environments suggesting sports biomechanics has a promising future as it continues to develop as a discipline interwoven with other disciplines.

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Volume 13 (2024): Issue 1 (Feb 2024): Proceedings of the National Academy of Kinesiology’s 2023 Meeting: Honoring the Past, Celebrating the Present, and Embracing the Future

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Unpacking Pedagogical Content Knowledge in Physical Education: What We Know and Do Not Know

Phillip Ward and Insook Kim

Pedagogical content knowledge is an incredibly useful construct to examine teaching and to design teacher education for preservice and continuing education settings. Although it has been central to discussions of teaching effectiveness since Shulman first proposed it in 1986, pedagogical content knowledge has been subject to considerable criticism and elaboration since then. In this paper, we discuss the research on pedagogical content knowledge in physical education, criticisms, and how it has been shaped by those criticisms. We examine pedagogical content knowledge beyond the traditional focus of pedagogy and content, discussing the role of knowledge of students, context, and curriculum as influences on pedagogical content knowledge. In doing so, we identify the strengths and weaknesses of the literature and propose directions for future research.

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Transformative Social and Emotional Learning in Physical Education

Michael A. Hemphill and Paul M. Wright

In this article, the authors examine the idea of social and emotional learning (SEL) and discuss ways it can contribute to a favorable future for physical education. While physical education has a long history and best practices aligned with this initiative, there is certainly room to improve. Not only can practitioners be more intentional and explicit in the ways SEL is promoted, a favorable future for physical education would involve a transformative approach that helps students develop SEL skills while also addressing institutional and systemic barriers that limit opportunities for social and emotional development. As the authors explain, transformative SEL in physical education would be characterized by student empowerment, culturally responsive teaching, and students applying these lessons in other settings for the betterment of themselves and society. The article concludes with a discussion of what it would take to move in this direction with regard to theory, policy, research, and practice.

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The Dropout From Youth Sport Crisis: Not as Simple as It Appears

Anthony Battaglia, Gretchen Kerr, and Katherine Tamminen

Given the documented benefits associated with organized sport and thus the assumption that youth who leave sport are losing out on developmental benefits, dropout has been predominantly framed as a crisis to be solved. Throughout this paper we aimed to challenge the overarching narrative of youth dropout from organized sport as a negative outcome only by highlighting the complexity of youth sport experiences and participation patterns. First, we highlight the lack of conceptual clarity regarding the term “dropout” and question its relevance for describing youth’s sport experiences. Next, we discuss how declines in organized sport participation may reflect developmentally appropriate transitions in sport and broader physical activity for youth and across the life span. Finally, we suggest that, at times, disengagement may be a positive and protective outcome for youth when the sport environment is harmful. Recommendations for future research and practice are provided to advance the understanding of youth sport experiences and participation patterns.

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Competencies Relevant to Physical Activity Specialists in Navigating Mental Health Contexts: A Scoping Review

Ashley McCurdy, Yeong-Bae Kim, Carminda Lamboglia, Cliff Lindeman, Amie Mangan, Guy Faulkner, Wendy Rodgers, and John C. Spence

To inform future learning opportunities, we performed a scoping review to identify competencies relevant to physical activity (PA) specialists in supporting the PA and mental health of people experiencing mental health concerns. CINAHL, PsycINFO, and SPORTDiscus databases were searched up to June 22, 2022, for research studies and commentaries. Pertinent text was extracted and subject to content analysis using an inductive approach. Sixty-two competencies from 62 publications were organized into four domains: (a) interacting with mental health care services/systems, (b) responding to mental health concerns, (c) employing PA counseling/coaching to promote mental health among people with diverse mental health needs, and (d) building relationships that are responsive to diverse mental health needs. These findings may serve as a road map for stakeholders interested in developing PA specialists’ confidence to meet the challenges of navigating mental health contexts. Despite consistency across sources, points of divergence warrant consideration from learning institutions and professional bodies.

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A Golden Perspective: The Evolution of an Exercise Is Medicine On Campus Program

Patricia W. Bauer and Traci Mays

This narrative review will explore the evolution of the Exercise is Medicine on Campus (EIM-OC) initiative, in general, while focusing specifically on the EIM-OC program at a gold-level recognized university through three main research questions. Established in 2016, this referral-based program offers a physical activity assessment and promotion element that incorporates yearly EIM-OC-supported events aimed at positively affecting academics, retention, and other related markers of individual participants. Interdisciplinary and cross-campus partnerships support this program with referral pathways, wellness event collaborations, participant interventions, and financial support. This EIM-OC program seeks to expand beyond student health services and other entry areas toward a self-referral model supported by trained mentors. The EIM-OC program supports the educational and professional development of individuals training to be health professionals while inspiring participants to consider a positive view of aging through movement as a healthy, normal part of life.

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The National Academy of Kinesiology 2023 Evaluation of Doctoral Programs in Kinesiology

Duane Knudson, Matthew Mahar, and Nicholas D. Myers

This report documents the fifth National Academy of Kinesiology Doctoral Program Evaluation (DPE) for U.S. doctoral programs in kinesiology. Three years (2020–2022) of data were collected and analyzed from doctoral programs at 35 institutions. Eleven faculty indices and six student indices were used to rank doctoral programs. Total T-scores (unadjusted and adjusted for both faculty size and outlying scores) were calculated to create two rankings. Correlations of indices’ T-scores with total T-score were calculated to inform potential refinement of the National Academy of Kinesiology DPE. Participating programs varied widely in title, disciplinary emphasis/Classification of Instructional Program code, and number (5–37) of faculty. The mean number of doctoral faculty and students increased from the fourth DPE cycle. The correlations of most indices with total program T-score had values similar to those reported in the previous DPE cycles. Demographic data are reported and discussed for ranked and some unranked indices for program benchmarking and consideration for refinement of future DPE cycles.

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NAK: Honoring the Past, Celebrating the Present, Embracing the Future

Melinda A. Solmon