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Policy and Advocacy in Physical Education: Looking Back, Looking Forward

Risto Marttinen and Aaron Beighle

In this paper, we provide an overview of physical education (PE) policy and advocacy research in the United States. We examine the past policy and advocacy work that has been completed in the field and make connections to international policy work. We examine the potential changes the future holds for developing scholarship in the area. We define policy and advocacy and explain how teachers as policy actors are key figures in any policy enacted. The paper also examines the relationship between PE and the public health arena, which completes a lot of PE-focused policy research. The paper concludes with a focus on PE teacher education and the work that higher education must do to help educate future professionals to be advocates for policy change.

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Erratum. “Teaching to Transgress”: Race and a Pedagogy of Empowerment in Kinesiology

Kinesiology Review

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Physical Education Teacher Education: The Past, Present, and Future Questions

Matthew D. Curtner-Smith and Tim Fletcher

The purpose of this article is to overview the history of research in physical education teacher education (PETE), discuss contemporary trends, and identify future directions for scholarship and teacher education practice. Teacher education is defined as formal and informal experiences that contribute to teachers’ education across their careers. Using the phases of occupational socialization and Kosnik and Beck’s “seven priorities of teacher education” to frame an analysis of literature from the 1980s through to the present, a brief summary of research on PETE is provided, using the chronological categories of past and present. The analysis takes into account implications for PETE that were left by the global pandemic, where traditional PETE practices were significantly disrupted by a shift to online learning. The chapter is concluded by listing questions regarding PETE that researchers and teacher educators might tackle in the future.

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Teacher Socialization Research: Leveraging Lessons Learned Toward a Favorable Future for Physical Education

Kevin Andrew Richards, Christopher J. Kinder, and Thomas J. Templin

Occupational socialization theory has been used to guide research related to the lives and careers of teachers and, more recently, teacher educators for around 50 years. Across this time, much has been learned about the factors that attract or deter prospective recruits from seeking occupations in the field, the effectiveness of professional development programming, and individuals’ experiences working in educational systems or scholarly contributions toward larger institutional missions. In this paper, we provide an overview of research stemming from occupational socialization theory before presenting and discussing vignettes that provide illustrative examples of the socialization of physical education teachers and faculty members in action. Building from the discussion across these vignettes, we describe lessons learned related to applying the findings of socialization research in practice before closing with research recommendations. We emphasize topical and methodological diversity in socialization research and provide example studies linked to the current literature.

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Fostering Motivation in Physical Education to Promote Learning and Achievement

Senlin Chen and Melinda Solmon

Research exploring motivation has yielded a robust body of evidence to guide efforts to improve teaching and learning in physical education (PE). We begin by defining motivation and achievement within the context of PE. Given the extensive and diverse motivational perspectives, we purposely selected three widely studied theories in PE, achievement goal theory, self-determination theory, and interest theory, as the focus of our review. These theories have guided many investigations and the development of pedagogical practice over the past 3 decades. We elaborate on these theories and then synthesize recently published intervention studies to provide an interpretive analysis of the literature. This analysis has enabled us to identify gaps that need to be addressed in future research and efforts to improve practice. We conclude with the proposition calling for innovative, theory-driven, evidence-based research and practice to foster adaptive student motivation for optimal educational, behavioral, and health outcomes in K–12 PE.

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Application of Natural Language Processing to the Development of Sports Biomechanics in China: A Literature Review of Journal Abstracts in Chinese Between 1980 and 2022

Guoying Zhang and Yifang Fan

This paper aims to explore the field of sports biomechanics in China between 1980 and 2022 in terms of key developments, hot research topics, integration with other disciplines in kinesiology, and future trends by using text mining and natural language processing to analyze abstracts published in Chinese journals. Over 1,400 research paper abstracts were selected and processed, focusing on specific terms, significance, word-cloud analysis, co-occurrence, and network analysis. Results showed that sports biomechanics research focused on sports technical analysis, application of sports biomechanical principles to athletic training, and sport-injury prevention and rehabilitation. The research areas are multidimensional but well balanced with other disciplines such as physical education, sports training, and motor skill acquisition. Integration with fields like biomedical engineering, computer software and applications, and medical aspects of specific environments suggesting sports biomechanics has a promising future as it continues to develop as a discipline interwoven with other disciplines.

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Volume 13 (2024): Issue 1 (Feb 2024): Proceedings of the National Academy of Kinesiology’s 2023 Meeting: Honoring the Past, Celebrating the Present, and Embracing the Future

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Unpacking Pedagogical Content Knowledge in Physical Education: What We Know and Do Not Know

Phillip Ward and Insook Kim

Pedagogical content knowledge is an incredibly useful construct to examine teaching and to design teacher education for preservice and continuing education settings. Although it has been central to discussions of teaching effectiveness since Shulman first proposed it in 1986, pedagogical content knowledge has been subject to considerable criticism and elaboration since then. In this paper, we discuss the research on pedagogical content knowledge in physical education, criticisms, and how it has been shaped by those criticisms. We examine pedagogical content knowledge beyond the traditional focus of pedagogy and content, discussing the role of knowledge of students, context, and curriculum as influences on pedagogical content knowledge. In doing so, we identify the strengths and weaknesses of the literature and propose directions for future research.

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Transformative Social and Emotional Learning in Physical Education

Michael A. Hemphill and Paul M. Wright

In this article, the authors examine the idea of social and emotional learning (SEL) and discuss ways it can contribute to a favorable future for physical education. While physical education has a long history and best practices aligned with this initiative, there is certainly room to improve. Not only can practitioners be more intentional and explicit in the ways SEL is promoted, a favorable future for physical education would involve a transformative approach that helps students develop SEL skills while also addressing institutional and systemic barriers that limit opportunities for social and emotional development. As the authors explain, transformative SEL in physical education would be characterized by student empowerment, culturally responsive teaching, and students applying these lessons in other settings for the betterment of themselves and society. The article concludes with a discussion of what it would take to move in this direction with regard to theory, policy, research, and practice.

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The Dropout From Youth Sport Crisis: Not as Simple as It Appears

Anthony Battaglia, Gretchen Kerr, and Katherine Tamminen

Given the documented benefits associated with organized sport and thus the assumption that youth who leave sport are losing out on developmental benefits, dropout has been predominantly framed as a crisis to be solved. Throughout this paper we aimed to challenge the overarching narrative of youth dropout from organized sport as a negative outcome only by highlighting the complexity of youth sport experiences and participation patterns. First, we highlight the lack of conceptual clarity regarding the term “dropout” and question its relevance for describing youth’s sport experiences. Next, we discuss how declines in organized sport participation may reflect developmentally appropriate transitions in sport and broader physical activity for youth and across the life span. Finally, we suggest that, at times, disengagement may be a positive and protective outcome for youth when the sport environment is harmful. Recommendations for future research and practice are provided to advance the understanding of youth sport experiences and participation patterns.