This paper provides reflections on my academic career in kinesiology and public health from an autobiographical perspective. Themes include the importance of movement and physical activity in my development and career choices, a recognition of the importance of physical activity for health outcomes, experiences in studying physical activity in a public health framework, and observations on kinesiology in higher education. I also reflect on the importance of the physical education and physical activity environment that brought me a sense of belonging, enjoyment, and accomplishment that has lasted throughout my career. As in sports and professional activities, I have tried my best and never given up until I felt the task was done.
Barbara E. Ainsworth
In this essay, I drew upon the perspectives of Walter Benjamin’s “angel of history” in reflecting upon the history of kinesiology and the influences that led to my own academic career in kinesiology. I have outlined how my disciplinary training as a physical educator and educational historian provided the resources to propel my continuing inquiry into the inter- and cross-disciplinary (and intrinsically entangled) nature of kinesiology. Gender, nationality, training, location, and timing all had their influences on my education and job opportunities and upon building toward a career in a research university where physical education and kinesiology, by design and accident, increasingly separated from one another. From the perspective of a sport historian, I suggest that the language and pursuit of balance might be applied productively to thinking about the future of kinesiology. Sport historians can help in this mission by training a critical lens upon the ongoing traffic between nature and culture and the deep sociocultural situatedness of the science and technology practices used in kinesiology teaching and research in the 21st century. In essence, they can illuminate the historical context of the tools that now frame kinesiology’s questions and the political context in which their answers emerge.
Deborah L. Feltz
In this brief autobiography, I reflect on how my childhood and adolescent experiences influenced my decision to study the psychology of sport and physical activity. I describe how my research evolved over time, my contributions to the field, and the people who were influential in my career. Finally, I offer some suggestions for how the field of kinesiology, as a whole, might engage in the future.
Christa Spicer and Daniel B. Robinson
Feelings of isolation have long been found to be experienced by many teachers, particularly by those within some specialist disciplines, including physical education (PE). The potential effects of teacher isolation are undesirable and plentiful. They include a lessening of interest in one’s work, burnout, and/or an absence of community connection. Given the uniqueness of their discipline, PE teachers may especially be impacted by the following: Their discipline is “low status” and marginalized, they are frequently both physically and psychologically isolated from their peers, and they often are one of very few PE specialists in a school. Given these sorts of unique challenges for PE teachers, the authors undertook a scoping review of literature in order to gather and provide a comprehensive and up-to-date account of peer-reviewed literature related to PE teachers and isolation, as well as offer implications for PE research and practice.
John H. Challis
The results of the 2020 review and ranking of U.S. doctoral programs in kinesiology conducted by the National Academy of Kinesiology (NAK) are presented. These results represent data collected for the 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 calendar years for 43 programs. The rankings reflect data collected on program faculty (productivity, funding, and visibility) and program students (admissions, support, publications, and employment). The data for each assessment index were first transformed into z scores, and then the z scores converted into T-scores. Weights were applied to the T-scores of the indices and then summed to obtain a total T-score. Programs were ranked in two ways: one based on the total T-scores from the data not normalized (unadjusted) and the other with total T-scores from the data normalized with respect to the number of faculty members in each program (adjusted). In addition to program rankings, descriptive data are presented on faculty and student data.
Scott W.T. McNamara, Matthew Shaw, Kylie Wilson, and Angela Cox
Educational podcasts are developed specifically for learning purposes. Preliminary research suggests that many college courses and practitioners regularly use educational podcasts and that this medium is a beneficial tool to use to supplement the learning process. However, there is limited scholarly work examining the use of educational podcasts within kinesiology fields. Thus, the purpose of this study was to conduct a scoping review of the literature on the use of educational podcasts in the field of kinesiology. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews extension for Scoping Reviews Checklist guided this investigation. Six databases were searched. Fourteen articles met the full inclusion criteria. Of these, 11 were data-driven research articles, and three were practitioner articles. Much of the research identified lacked critical information related to research design, instrument development, and findings. Thus, the authors recommend that more rigorous research in this area be conducted to discern the impact of educational podcasts within the field of kinesiology.
L. Jayne Beselt, Michelle C. Patterson, Meghan H. McDonough, Jennifer Hewson, and Scott MacKay
Physical activity (PA) and social support have known benefits for the well-being and health of older adults, and social support is associated with PA behavior and positive affective experiences in PA contexts. The aim of this study was to synthesize qualitative research conducted on the experiences of social support related to PA among older adults (age ≥55 years). Following meta-study methodology, the authors searched nine databases and extracted information from 31 studies. Results were synthesized in terms of common themes and in light of theoretical and methodological perspectives used. The qualitative literature identifies supportive behaviors and social network outcomes which may be useful for informing how best to support older adults to be physically active. This literature rarely reflected the experiences of vulnerable populations, and future research should aim to further understand supportive behaviors which enable older adults to overcome barriers and challenges to being physically active.
Katherine Holland and Justin A. Haegele
The purpose of this article is to review qualitative inquiries examining the perspectives of students with disabilities toward physical education (PE) published from 2014 to 2019, as an update to the 2015 review by Haegele and Sutherland. Keyword searches were used to identify articles from nine electronic databases, and seven articles met all inclusion criteria. The seven selected articles were subjected to a narrative analysis, and three thematic clusters emerged: (a) an “inconvenience”: the PE teacher’s influence on quality of experience, (b) “we play together and I like it”: friendships central to the quality of PE experience, and (c) “no lift access to the gym”: barriers to successful participation. Findings from this review support the notion that students with disabilities may have positive experiences in PE if they are offered appropriate modifications and accommodations and are provided with increased kind and supportive interactions with staff and peers.
The purpose of this study was to understand students’ experiences through digital YouTube clips focusing on middle school competitive activities in physical education class. This study was guided by the transactional framework, which states that individuals and institutions, in this case students and competitive activities in physical education class, create certain transactions, and these transactions are shared. Twenty-six YouTube posts were examined. The data were analyzed using the constant comparative method to find patterns in the posting of students’ experiences of participating in these activities. Three major themes of the digital clips clearly emerged. These themes included (a) perceived skill level—the low-skilled student, the athlete, and the Olympian; (b) student demonstration of skills; and (c) teacher-directed experience. These findings suggest that students share transactions in both images and the spoken experiences they are having during competitive activities.