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Sport Pedagogy Research and Its Contribution to the Rediscovery of Joyful Participation in Physical Education

Peter A. Hastie

This paper begins with the premise that the purpose of physical education is to help young people grow personal and durable playgrounds. That is, its goal is to allow students in schools to develop the skills and understandings about various movement topics to the extent that they can engage with these in deep and meaningful ways long after their lessons in the gymnasium have concluded. The paper presents a schematic that links how a physical education curriculum should be framed with the necessary ingredients of high-quality teaching to allow for successful forays into various movement cultures. The next section includes a justification of the schema using the very best of research in sport pedagogy that has been translated into school physical education settings. Two specific grand adventures that are the vehicles for creating enduring playgrounds are presented, these being sport education and student-designed games.

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American Tackle Football, Brain Trauma, and the Ethical Implications of Cultural Coercion

Adam Berg

In the past decade and a half, scientific discoveries brought to light the prospect that tackle football causes serious brain trauma. This raised questions about the sport’s ethical permissibility. By employing scientific, philosophical, sociological, and historical findings, I consider whether it is ethically defensible to permit adults to play the game. My approach works within the bounds of both the ethical theory of liberalism and incorporates several sociological theories focused on gender. I propose that external cultural influences deserve some credit for shaping decisions to participate in America’s most popular spectator sport and contend that societies must establish genuinely pluralistic and inclusive gender ideologies and structures to ensure football’s permissibility. In particular, I suggest that to ensure that tackle football is ethical for adults, the presence and prominence of gender pluralism and inclusivity in youth settings are necessary.

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Ableism in Kinesiology in Higher Education: A Conversation Starter

Fabián Arroyo-Rojas, A. Chloe Simpson, Paige Laxton, Marie Leake, Jamie Linker, and Justin A. Haegele

In this expository paper, we reflect upon our understanding of how disabled people are discussed and treated in kinesiology and adapted physical activity in higher education and explore potential areas of unintentional harm that may be present in our everyday practice. There are three particular aspects of kinesiology in higher education that we discuss: access, language, and assessment. We discuss the challenges of access of disabled people in positions in higher education, language in higher education which serves as centers for knowledge creation, and the problematic nature of assessments based on societal norms, and for us, it is important to shine a spotlight on the many systemic limitations and barriers that disabled persons experience, in hope to amplify the importance of these issues.

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The Meritocracy Trap and Kinesiology

Gregg Twietmeyer and Tyler G. Johnson

Meritocracy continues to dominate conventional thinking in the postmodern West. Yet, recently, an increasing number of critics have highlighted how meritocracy has gone wrong. One such critic is Daniel Markovits, author of The Meritocracy Trap. In this article, we highlight the major themes of Markovits’s book, identify how the ideology of meritocracy has infiltrated kinesiology and sport, and then propose how to reconceptualize and redirect kinesiology toward a more humane and morally sound discipline, which can avoid the pitfalls of the meritocracy trap. Most notably, we propose that kinesiology should (a) recognize the frailty and temporality of humans, (b) embrace the wide middle of human skill performance capabilities, (c) value mid-level jobs and occupations such as physical education teaching and YMCA and/or city recreation department positions, and (d) redefine what counts as success.

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Volume 11 (2022): Issue 4 (Nov 2022): 2022 American Kinesiology Association Leadership Workshop: Leadership for the Future—Vision, Values, and Practice

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Exemplifying Inclusive Excellence: How Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis Leads by Example in Kinesiology

Mark Urtel, NiCole Keith, and Rafael E. Bahamonde

This article documents the highlights achieved by the Department of Kinesiology at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis over the span of 25 years that culminated with their being awarded the Inclusive Excellence award as sponsored by the American Kinesiology Association. Furthermore, this journey was presented using the special issue focus on leadership. Presented experiences occurred within the typical faculty understanding of teaching, research, and service. Recognition was given to the university and campus that hosts this department as it related to the overall diversity and inclusion culture developed on the broader scale, as this is important to acknowledge. This journey could inform or inspire other similar units as they strive to enhance diversity and inclusive excellence in their respective institutions.

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Leadership for the Future—Vision, Values, and Practice

Jeffrey T. Fairbrother and Jared Russell

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A Tale of Two Communities: Improving Student Engagement Through Experiential Learning

Sarah P. Shultz, Julius Moss, Lisa L. Hicks, and Robert B. Brubeck

Community engagement creates evidence-based, experiential learning opportunities for kinesiology programs seeking to enhance student experiences through meaningful connections. We argue that increasing community engagement through hands-on experiential learning opportunities should serve as a model for effectively creating a stronger sense of belonging among kinesiology students. Two cases explore kinesiology program initiatives at private universities emphasizing activist learning models with established community-service pedagogy. Both cases conceptualize research activities, including the design and implementation phases, as well as relevant outcomes developed on the respective campuses. We discuss how experiential learning and community engagement enable students’ sense of belonging and improve student engagement outcomes for kinesiology programs.

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Leading at the Edge During COVID-19: Challenges, Opportunities, and Future Pandemic Preparedness

Steven J. Elmer and Kelly B. Kamm

In this paper, we describe how the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology at Michigan Technological University assembled a COVID-19 pandemic response team to help protect the health of the campus and rural community. Specifically, our team worked to (a) enhance public health messaging, (b) manage the university contact tracing program, (c) expand health science curricula, (d) promote and facilitate physical activity as a key mitigation strategy, and (e) provide professional development opportunities for students. We also consider strategies to prepare for subsequent COVID-19 surges and future health emergencies. Leveraging our broad-based training in health science and “leading at the edge” was a critical asset for the campus and community and may serve as a model for other kinesiology departments and rural colleges and universities.

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Mental Health and Perceived Stress in Kinesiology Graduate Students

Elizabeth M. Mullin, Anna Bottino, Danielle D. Wadsworth, Steven J. Petruzzello, and Tiffanye M. Vargas

While the negative psychological effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been noted in the general population and among undergraduate students, little is known about the impact on graduate students. We surveyed kinesiology graduate students (N = 272) enrolled in American Kinesiology Association member institutions regarding their well-being. Overall, graduate students reported poor mental health and high perceived stress. Cisgender women reported worse outcomes than their counterparts. No significant differences were found among sexual orientation or racial and ethnic identity. In open-ended responses, graduate students identified both increased and decreased well-being and delineated methods that helped or would have helped their well-being during the pandemic. Faculty and administrators must put intentional effort into recognizing mental health disparities, provide open and clear communication, and increase access and visibility of resources to support the mental health and well-being of graduate students.