By 1967, motor control and learning researchers had adopted an information processing (IP) approach. Central to that research was understanding how movement information was processed, coded, stored, and represented in memory. It also was centered on understanding motor control and learning in terms of Fitts’ law, closed-loop and schema theories, motor programs, contextual interference, modeling, mental practice, attentional focus, and how practice and augmented feedback could be organized to optimize learning. Our constraints-based research from the 1980s into the 2000s searched for principles of “self-organization”, and answers to the degrees-of-freedom problem, that is, how the human motor system with so many independent parts could be controlled without the need for an executive decision maker as proposed by the IP approach. By 2007 we were thinking about where the IP and constraints-based views were divergent and complementary, and whether neural-based models could bring together the behavior and biological mechanisms underlying the processes of motor control and learning.
Motor Control and Learning in the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA): The First 40 Years
Robert W. Christina
Observations on Action-Observation Research: An Autobiographical Retrospective Across the Past Two Decades
Nicola J. Hodges
When we watch other people perform actions, this involves many interacting processes comprising cognitive, motor, and visual system interactions. These processes change based on the context of our observations, particularly if the actions are novel and our intention is to learn those actions so we can later reproduce them, or respond to them in an effective way. Over the past 20 years or so I have been involved in research directed at understanding how we learn from watching others, what information guides this learning, and how our learning experiences, whether observational or physical, impact our subsequent observations of others, particularly when we are engaged in action prediction. In this review I take a historical look at action observation research, particularly in reference to motor skill learning, and situate my research, and those of collaborators and students, among the common theoretical and methodological frameworks of the time.
Pentimento: A 21st Century View on the Canvas of Motor Development
Jane E. Clark
How we understand the emergence and development of motor behavior and skillfulness has itself developed over the last 50 years. In reflecting on the history of motor development, it is important to recognize that these ‘reflections’ are much like the painter’s “pentimento.” That is, the ‘canvas’ we paint today of what our science was decades ago is actually a painting with many layers—each representing where our views have changed along the journey. I do not “repent” with these reflections, as suggested by the term, pentimento, but rather I seek to bring a developmental perspective to our scientific inquiries into motor development with an element of a revisionist’s approach. What were the key discoveries and the seminal papers that influenced our canvas of motor development that we view today? Almost three decades ago, we (Clark & Whitall, 1989) outlined an historical framework for the field of motor development. Today, we can look back at that framework and the ensuing science and consider where we have been and what we have learned and ask: What does the pentimento of our motor development canvas reveal?
Social Influence, Physical Activity, and Social Cognitions Among Adults With Physical Disability: A Meta-Analysis
Jessie N. Stapleton, Diane E. Mack, and Kathleen A. Martin Ginis
The aim of this meta-analysis was to examine the magnitude of the relationship between social influence and both PA behavior and PA-related social cognitions among samples of adults with physical disabilities, including those with chronic conditions that can lead to a physical disability. A comprehensive literature search was conducted to identify studies involving adults with physical disability, a measure of social influence, and a measure of PA behavior or PA-related social cognitions. A total of 27 studies with 4,768 participants yielded 47 effect sizes to be included for meta-analysis. Significant, small- to medium-sized relationships were identified between social influence and PA behavior, and social influence and PA-related social cognitions. These relationships suggest that social factors positively associate with physical-activity-related social cognitions and should be targeted when promoting physical activity behavior change among adults with a physical disability.
“Gendering the Gym”: A History of Women in Physical Education
The experiences of women in physical education history from the nineteenth century forward offer us valuable insights toward a better understanding of the discipline since its inception. The deeply gendered histories of women in the profession are contingent upon the ways in which they intersect with other identities, including class, race, and sexuality. Dominant gender ideologies were reinforced and resisted in women’s physical education, making it a significant location to understand how bodies were constructed and reconstructed within ever-changing societal definitions of gender and athletic femininity. The contradictions and complexities that emerge as a result of the many gender tensions in play over the course of this history produce a rich site to more completely understand the discipline’s past and future.
A Generative Synthesis for Kinesiology: Lessons from History and Visions for the Future
Hal A. Lawson and R. Scott Kretchmar
Debates-as-battles have characterized the histories of physical education and kinesiology. This colorful part of the field’s history was characterized by leaders’ narrow, rigid views, and it paved the way for divisiveness, excessive specialization, and fragmentation. Today’s challenge is to seek common purpose via stewardship-oriented dialogue, and it requires a return to first order questions regarding purposes, ethics, values, moral imperatives, and social responsibilities. These questions are especially timely insofar as kinesiology risks running on a kind of automatic pilot, seemingly driven by faculty self-interests and buffered from consequential changes in university environments and societal contexts. A revisionist history of kinesiology’s origins and development suggests that it can be refashioned as a helping discipline, one that combines rigor, relevance, and altruism. It gives rise to generative questions regarding what a 21st century discipline prioritizes and does, and it opens opportunity pathways for crossing boundaries and bridging divides. Three sets of conclusions illuminate unrealized possibilities for a vibrant, holistic kinesiology—a renewed discipline that is fit for purpose in 21st century contexts.
Is Today’s Physical Education the Legacy that Franklin Henry Had Hoped For?
Roberta J. Park
The 1964 article “Physical Education, An Academic Discipline” did much to foster more and better relevant research, which is what its author, Franklin Henry, who had earned a PhD in Physiological Psychology, had hoped would occur. However, a number of negative changes (which he certainly did not want) soon began to occur in the field of physical education, which now too rarely uses that name. (Few, if any, other departments in universities and colleges have made as many name changes.) The precipitous decline of efforts to put into practice the results of research (hence, the absence of pedagogy and other “applied” courses in too many curricula) is proving to be especially detrimental. American children and young people had become so inactive that the United States Department of Health and Human Services considered it imperative to state in Physical Activity and Health: A Report of the Surgeon General (published in 1996): “Community leaders need to reexamine whether enough resources have been devoted to the maintenance of parks, playgrounds, community centers, and physical education. Schools and universities need to reintroduce daily, quality physical activity as a key component of a comprehensive education.” This decline has continued in spite of the fact that the number of scientific and medical studies that verify the importance of physical activity continues to grow. The field once known almost exclusively as “physical education” has become divided and fractured. When will things change for the better?
Origin Stories: Reflections on the First Ten Members of the National Academy of Kinesiology
Alison M. Wrynn and Paulina A. Rodriguez Burciaga
The story of the origin of today’s National Academy of Kinesiology begins in 1904 when Luther Halsey Gulick made the first attempt at creating an Academy. Due to various factors, this effort waned. In 1926, Clark Hetherington called together four of his colleagues to initiate what we now recognize as the Academy. This article will describe and provide an analysis of the stories of the first 10 members of the Academy as well as provide the context within which the Academy emerged.
A Question of the Head and the Heart: From Physical Education to Kinesiology in the Gymnasium and the Laboratory
In this paper I view the history of kinesiology in America through the lens of a shifting academic landscape where physical culture and building acted upon each other to reflect emergent views concerning the nature of training in physical education and scientific developments around human movement. It is also an organizational history that has been largely lived in the gymnasium and the laboratory from its inception in the late nineteenth century to its current arrangements in the academy. Historians have referred to this in appropriately embodied terms as the head and the heart of physical education, and of course the impact of gender, class, and race was ever present. I conclude that the profession/discipline conundrum in kinesiology that has ebbed and flowed in the shifting spaces and carefully organized places of the academy has not gone away in the twenty-first century and that the complexities of today’s training require more fertile and flexible collaborative approaches in research, teaching, and professional training.