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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

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Embracing Kinesiology’s Evolving Role in Integrated Health and Human Sciences Units: Future Opportunities and Challenges

Brian C. Focht, Erik J. Porfeli, and Zachary L. Chaplow

A constellation of emerging trends in contemporary higher education has led to reorganizations, consolidations, and mergers of academic units that directly impact kinesiology. These changes increasingly locate kinesiology within colleges of health and human sciences (HHS). This article addresses the opportunities and challenges for the future of kinesiology within consolidated HHS units. Synthesizing recent trends in higher education, historical and contemporary perspectives from the field, and our experience in leading a merged HHS unit, we identify conceptual and pragmatic considerations facing kinesiology. The potential impact of merged college structures upon kinesiology warrants further inquiry given the limited attention these changes have received. Kinesiology will benefit from systematic evaluation and planning to enhance the impact of these organizational changes on kinesiology in their new integrated college structures. We propose that the National Academy of Kinesiology is well positioned to provide leadership to kinesiology units in navigating these changes and advancing the missions of integrated HHS units.

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The Evolution of Research in Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy: Changes Throughout Generations

Pamela Hodges Kulinna, Timothy A. Brusseau, and Stephen Silverman

This paper builds on previous reviews of physical education/sport pedagogy research over time in the areas of teaching, teacher education, and curriculum. Ideas are shared about the evolution of terminology, specializations, research, methodology, theoretical frameworks, journals and publishing outlets, parent disciplines, and where programs sit in universities. This paper also highlights contributions of the 52 National Academy of Kinesiology fellows in the area of physical education/sport pedagogy. These fellows have been productive with high H-indexes and citation numbers, suggesting high scholarly productivity, as well as impactful work. There have been recent closures of physical education/sport pedagogy doctoral programs, some of which have been offset by new and reemerging programs. Doctoral programs are critical to the future of research in physical education so that the current success can continue.

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Is There a Global Narrative for Kinesiology?

Doune Macdonald, Ira Jacobs, Ernest Tsung-Min, and Kari Fasting

At the National Academy of Kinesiology’s annual meeting in 2023, four International Fellows shared their insights into whether there is a global narrative for kinesiology. Panelists comprising Fasting (Norwegian, sport sociology), Jacobs (Canadian, exercise physiologist), Macdonald (Australian, pedagogy), and Tsung-Min Hung (Taiwanese, sport and exercise psychology) spanned both subdisciplines and continents. This paper represents a synthesis of their thinking, complemented with more incidental views from a range of scholars who accepted an invitation from Macdonald to contribute brief perspectives. Framing the paper are the concepts of globalization and its tethered process of neoliberalization, the latter argued to be a dominant ideology in many Western democracies that shapes the priorities of educational institutions. We conclude that the term “kinesiology” is not universally deployed to reference the discipline, although global narratives related to program priorities, knowledge status, metrics, and professionalization in the four continents represented exist.