Kinesiology and adapted physical activity (APA) share a common history rooted in the medical model approach to physical activity, movement, and the human body. The evolution of APA was influenced by these early roots and later by special-education legislation, sensory-motor perspectives, inclusion movement, and the disability-rights movement. Originally identified as adapted physical education, APA emerged as a professional field and an academic discipline. Since the 1950s, the research and scholarship has increased and cuts across the specialization areas (subdisciplines) of kinesiology. The multidisciplinary nature of APA scholarship has also reached beyond the discipline of kinesiology informed by disability studies and sociology. Reflection about APA and kinesiology reveals the ableist nature of the medical model, which informed early professional practice and scholarship. Thus, it is critical that APA and kinesiology engage in anti-ableist scholarship to better understand human physical activity and movement inclusive of individuals with disabilities.
Adapted Physical Activity Scholarship: Evolving From Corrective to Inclusion and Anti-Ableist
Karen P. DePauw
The Evolution of Scholarship of Biomechanics and Motor Control Within the Academy: The Past, the Present, and the Future
Kolby J. Brink, Aaron Likens, and Nick Stergiou
This essay delves into the intricate relationship between biomechanics and motor control, exploring their historical evolution and close interdependence. From the foundational works of Aristotle to the contemporary advancements achieved by esteemed members of the National Academy of Kinesiology, we describe the impactful contributions of both past and present National Academy of Kinesiology figures in the realms of motor control and biomechanics. A key theme throughout the essay is the recognition of the fundamental influence of natural laws on movement and the fundamental role of variability in unifying the realms of biomechanics and motor control. Looking ahead, we emphasize the transformative potential of strong inference as a guiding principle for substantive research in both fields, illustrating its application through our investigative endeavors. By uniting biomechanics and motor control through interdisciplinary collaboration, this pursuit of knowledge holds the promise of reshaping our comprehension of human movement and performance.
Whither (or Wither) the Humanities in Kinesiology?
This article assesses the state of the humanities in kinesiology. Programs variously referred to as sport history, sport philosophy, physical culture studies, and physical cultural studies have become endangered species within the field. In response, I highlight several scholars who are, in their own ways, stewards of a humanities-centered, interdisciplinary approach to understanding human movement. In learning from their work, humanists must do more to save themselves from extinction.
Curriculum Alignment: Doing Kinesiology as We Mean It
Based on the lessons learned from history and articulation of paradigm change in science, this article clarifies the concept of curriculum alignment and describes the risk of curriculum disalignment between school physical education and kinesiology. Through contextualizing kinesiology as an integrated science, it explains the difference between a discipline and a field (subdiscipline) and argues that K–12 physical education is an integral and indispensable component of kinesiology. The article provides detailed discussions about the historical reasons/events that might have led to the curriculum disalignment and the ways the disalignment can be understood and addressed. Based on the analysis, a four-pillar framework (science, health, culture, and education) is proposed as a platform for “doing kinesiology” and a way to address the curriculum disalignment crisis.
Kinesiology’s Passport to Success: Transcending Parallel Trenches, Nurturing Active Open-Mindedness, and Learning From the Octopus
David K. Wiggins
This essay is based on the premise that kinesiology has evolved into a field made up of disparate subdisciplinary areas contributing to fragmentation and lack of common goals and objectives since the publication of Franklin M. Henry’s famous 1964 essay “Physical Education: An Academic Discipline.” As it now stands, there is much evidence of significant disparity between kinesiology’s creed and its practice, with the field failing to fulfill its promise of an integrationist approach to the study of human movement. In order to rectify this situation, steps should be taken to encourage individuals in the field to cross subdisciplinary boundaries, practice what psychologist Jonathan Baron has referred to as “active open-mindedness,” and take seriously the cues provided in the books by Rafe Sagarin, Learning from the Octopus: How Secrets from Nature Can Help Us Fight Terrorist Attacks, Natural Disasters, and Diseases, and Sy Montgomery, The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonders of Consciousness. One specific recommendation is for academicians in kinesiology to prepare students to become polymaths, a term describing individuals with a thorough knowledge of one subject and broad understanding of many others.
Mastering Motor Skills: The Contributions of Motor Learning and Motor Development to the Growth and Maturation of Kinesiology
David I. Anderson
This paper traces the evolution of scholarship in motor learning and development over the last ∼100 years, with a focus on contributions by Fellows from the National Academy of Kinesiology (NAK). It begins with a brief discussion of the centrality of motor skillfulness in kinesiology, followed by a discussion of the appropriate label for the study of motor learning and development. The bulk of the paper focuses on the important events and milestones in the field and an examination of the most influential frameworks and models that NAK Fellows have put forward to guide research. The final section looks at future prospects and challenges for the field. Two key findings emerge: (a) Considerable overlap exists in the theoretical frameworks, conceptual models, empirical questions, research methodologies, and practical applications that dominate scholarship in motor learning and development, and (b) NAK Fellows have made enormous contributions to the field.
Graduate Education From Physical Education to Kinesiology: Preparing the Next Generation
Diane L. Gill
In line with the 2023 conference theme, I first honor the past, then move to the present, and offer my views on embracing the future. In doing so, my theme is connection. That is, we need to hang together and connect with our professionals, our communities, and the public, as well as with each other. From our beginning in the late 1800s through much of our history, we were connected through physical education, but since the 1960s we have shifted away from physical education to disciplinary specializations and lost connections. Graduate programs, especially PhD programs, focus on preparing researchers in specialized areas. Although we no longer focus on physical education, we do have strong professional connections to the allied health areas. By strengthening our connections with our professionals and the public, we can make important contributions to the health and well-being of our communities and larger society and embrace the future.
Sport Management: Lessons From Yesterday, Applications for Today, Thoughts on Tomorrow
Donna L. Pastore
Sport management programs continue to expand and be a popular major in institutions of higher education. The aim of this article is to share the contributions made by National Academy of Kinesiology fellows to the growth of sport management. A brief background of sport management is presented followed by an overview of each fellow’s unique contributions. More specifically, lessons learned from our first three fellows in sport management and contributions made by current members are highlighted. Next, a discussion of the current status and critical issues facing sport management is presented. The concluding section includes scholars’ thoughts and directions for future scholarship in sport management.