An examination of the kinds of questions we ask ourselves provides a window through which to interpret our history and imagine our future. I suggest that there are three kinds of questions—large ones, small ones, and leaky ones. Those that are identified as large and small map onto the value structures we have created for ourselves in higher education. I call these structures caste systems in which some subdisciplines are valued over others, and theoreticians stand above both practitioners and skill teachers. Leaky questions are those that cross boundaries because they cannot be effectively answered by those residing in any one area or at any one level. I argue that leaky questions generate humility, mutual respect, and incentives for collaboration. I trace my own attempts to address all three kinds of questions as a sport philosopher and conclude that our brighter future in kinesiology, including our attempts to address the harms created by the caste system, requires us to see that most of the questions we find interesting are, in fact, leaky in nature.
Jane E. Clark
The past is prologue, writes Shakespeare in The Tempest. And there seems no better expression to capture the theme of my essay on searching the future of kinesiology in its recent past through my lens as a motor development scholar. Using the developmental metaphor of climbing a mountain amidst a range of mountains, the progressing stages of my development and that of kinesiology are recounted. Over the five-plus decades of my growth as an academic and that of kinesiology, I look for the antecedents and the constraints that shape our change and may shape the future of the field of motor development and kinesiology.
Barbara E. Ainsworth
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.
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.