Since the 1981 publication of Perspectives on the Academic Discipline of Physical Education, the history of physical activity has secured a prominent place in the field of kinesiology. Yet, despite encouraging signs of growth, the subdiscipline still remains an undervalued player in the “team scholarship” approach. Without the integration of historical sensibilities in kinesiology’s biggest questions, our understanding of human movement remains incomplete. Historians of physical activity share many “big questions” and “hot topics” with researchers in other domains of kinesiology. Intriguing possibilities for integrating research endeavors between historians and scholars from other domains beckon, particularly as scientists share the historical fascination with exploring the processes of change over time.
R. Scott Kretchmar and Cesar R. Torres
The philosophy of sport has flourished in some ways and struggled in others since the publication of George Brooks’s anthology Perspectives on the Academic Discipline of Physical Education: A Tribute to G. Lawrence Rarick in 1981. In this article, the authors trace challenges faced by the philosophy of sport, discuss trends and hot topics, analyze opportunities for integrations with other subdisciplines, and speculate on the current issues in and the future of the philosophy of sport. While they conclude that the philosophy of sport’s prospect within kinesiology is uncertain and that it has work to do, they also conclude that this subdiscipline is uniquely positioned to provide kinesiology with the clarity and unity of purpose it needs.
Jeffrey Martin and Drew Martin
In the current study, a 20-year span of 80 issues of articles (N = 196) in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly (APAQ) were examined. The authors sought to determine whether quantitative research published in APAQ, based on sample size, was underpowered, leading to the potential for false-positive results and findings that may not be reproducible. The median sample size, also known as the N-Pact Factor (NF), for all quantitative research published in APAQ was coded for correlational-type, quasi-experimental, and experimental research. The overall median sample size over the 20-year period examined was as follows: correlational type, NF = 112; quasi-experimental, NF = 40; and experimental, NF = 48. Four 5-year blocks were also analyzed to show historical trends. As the authors show, these results suggest that much of the quantitative research published in APAQ over the last 20 years was underpowered to detect small to moderate population effect sizes.
This article tells the story of the sociology of sport over the last 4 decades. In the process, it identifies key developments and trends in the field, the questions and topics that have shaped research and the production of knowledge about sports as social phenomena, the challenges currently facing the sociology of sport, and what may happen to the field over the next 40 years.
Timothy D. Lee and Heather Carnahan
The authors reflect on the dire state of motor learning at the time of Brooks’s book and consider reasons why research was resurrected in the 1980s and flourished in the ensuing years. In so doing, they provide an overview of the various research topics that have been studied, discuss the influence of motor learning on other fields of study, and consider the future of motor learning research both within and outside the academic study of kinesiology.
David H. Perrin
In this essay, I reflect on my life and academic career, detailing my childhood, family background, education, and those who influenced me to study physical education and athletic training. My higher education started with a small college experience that had a transformative impact on my intellectual curiosity, leading to graduate degrees and, ultimately, a career in higher education. I chronicle my academic career trajectory as a non-tenure-track faculty member and clinician, tenured faculty member, department chair, dean, and provost. My personal and professional lives have been undergirded by a commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion, with examples provided in this essay.
Thomas L. McKenzie
This essay describes how environmental conditions affected my unexpected evolution from farm life in a rural Canadian community to becoming a physical education specialist and multisport coach and eventually a U.S. kinesiology scholar with a public health focus. I first recount my life on the farm and initial education and then identify the importance of full- and part-time jobs relative to how they helped prepare me for a life in academia. Later, I summarize two main areas of academic work that extended beyond university campuses—the design and implementation of evidence-based physical activity programs and the development of systematic observation tools to assess physical activity and its associated contexts in diverse settings, including schools, parks, and playgrounds. I conclude with a section on people and locations to illustrate the importance of collaborations—essential components for doing field-based work. Without those connections, I would not have had such an extensive and diverse career.
Maureen R. Weiss
I adopt an autobiographical approach to chronicle the contexts, experiences, and individuals that shaped my academic and career choices, which resulted in finding kinesiology and, specifically, sport and exercise psychology. Consistent with the developmental perspective I employ in my research and practical applications, I trace my life’s work in youth development through sport using transitional career stages. My academic path has been strongly influenced by hardworking and caring mentors and a commitment to balancing theoretical knowledge, applied research, and professional practice. Based on my many years in higher education, I conclude with some reflections on the future of kinesiology given past and present trends in the field.