This article is based on a keynote address at the 2021 American Kinesiology Association’s Annual Leadership Workshop, for which I was asked to talk about the future of work in connection to higher education. I am familiar with the kinesiology field in my role as Dean of the School of Professional Advancement at Tulane University. This article touches on issues important to the field of kinesiology that may also be applied across other academic disciplines. Technology is changing the nature of work; the global pandemic has sped up the pace of that change. Beyond this, the potential for future pandemics and other transformational events and trends mean that work is in a state of permanent flux. Preparing students for future success in this environment requires educators to think more broadly and holistically about their roles. Higher education institutions also, arguably, have a responsibility not just to educate, but to model workplace culture.
Matthew T. Mahar, Harsimran Baweja, Matthew Atencio, Harald Barkhoff, Helen Yolisa Duley, Gail Makuakāne-Lundin, ZáNean D. McClain, Misty Pacheco, E. Missy Wright, and Jared A. Russell
The aim of this paper is to emphasize the value of developing cultural awareness in kinesiology students to prepare them to enter the workforce in a world where the principles of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion are evolving. The authors provide examples of sustained and impactful practices from three kinesiology units in higher education that have been recognized with the American Kinesiology Association Inclusive Excellence Award. The case studies demonstrate that institutional support for inclusive excellence is instrumental in development of sustainable experiences. Kinesiology leaders can demonstrate commitment to inclusive excellence by supporting faculty who conduct teaching, research, and service activities that meet their institution’s inclusive excellence goals. Other areas where kinesiology units can influence student development include curriculum, student engagement activities, university and community partnerships, and leadership for inclusive excellence.
Pamela Beach, Melanie Perreault, and Leapetswe Malete
As the importance of intercultural competence increases for future professionals, kinesiology faculty should consider internationalizing their curriculum. Faculty can promote intercultural competence through a variety of experiences, including studying abroad, attending international conferences, or adding a virtual exchange component to their classes. Global engagement in the classroom allows students to examine problem solving by scholars globally and enhances soft skills and career readiness skills. Because international travel through study abroad programs poses many challenges, this paper will focus upon an alternative, virtual exchange that can be implemented in any kinesiology or related course. Faculty can implement virtual exchanges with either an international class or a nonprofit organization on a large (e.g., complete course) or small scale (e.g., collaborative project). A sample design and tips for developing a collaborative project in a kinesiology course will be discussed to provide kinesiology faculty with a framework to begin a partnership around international course collaboration.
Duane Knudson and Melissa Bopp
The COVID-19 pandemic shifted kinesiology courses into more hybrid and online delivery, creating new challenges and opportunities for evaluating learning and online testing. Research using the Biomechanics Concept Inventory indicates that both high-tech and low-tech active learning experiences implemented in hybrid and online formats in biomechanics courses improve student learning above levels for lecture alone. However, online pre- and posttesting using concept inventories or major exams are vulnerable to cheating. Experience and research on proctoring online testing indicate only partial success in detecting cheating absent substantial faculty commitment to investigate suspicious behavior. These difficulties with online testing provide an opportunity for kinesiology faculty to implement more authentic, holistic assessments that are less vulnerable to violations of academic integrity. The importance of well-designed, rigorous assessment methods that uphold academic integrity standards will continue to evolve as kinesiology departments expand online learning.
Paul Carpenter, Karen Stylianides, Rebecca Weiler-Timmins, Andrea Randolph-Krisova, Kelly Sprinkle, and Rosa Angulo-Barrosso
The onset and spread of COVID-19 forced an accelerated shift to remote communication and online teaching, generating new challenges and opportunities for kinesiology. As a result of the pandemic situation, redefined collaborative models independently emerged among kinesiology departments in two systems, California State University and the Pennsylvania State University. These models built community; addressed geographic and size challenges associated with meeting in-person; empowered sharing of ideas, resources, best practices, and emotional support; and guided our campus communities to success. We suggest that these collaborative models can be used in the future as platforms to improve kinesiology student’s success by facilitating professional development, integration, sharing, problem solving, and social support.
David K. Wiggins
This essay reflects on the status of kinesiology amidst the current pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement. Utilizing the metaphor coined by mathematician and physicist Freeman Dyson, I contend that the continued success of kinesiology is more plausible if we prepare more visionary birds, those with broader range and a variety of interests, to supplement the more narrowly focused frogs who currently dominate the field. Implicit in the essay is the contention that the field would benefit if it took a more interdisciplinary approach to the study of physical activity, sport, exercise, and other human movement forms as advocated by the American Kinesiology Association and individual scholars in the field. More specifically, I argue that the social sciences and humanities should be provided a more prominent place in kinesiology curriculums and serve as an academic core for all students in the field, irrespective of career aspirations and goals.
Christoph Breuer, Svenja Feiler, and Lea Rossi
Coaches play a vital role in providing sports programs. Investing in formal coach education can serve to increase coaches’ human capital, which in turn, has a positive effect on their coaching practice. The present study investigates factors influencing coaches’ intention to get training for their coaching activity on an individual and organizational level. Nationwide online surveys were conducted in Germany on both nonprofit sports clubs and coaches being active within these clubs. Data were analyzed using multilevel regression analysis on a sample of n = 2,384 coaches in n = 1,274 clubs. Results show that especially the expiring validity of the coaching license, aspects of personal development, and low transaction costs are crucial factors for the intention to obtain a qualification. The results lead to several implications for theory and practice. Clubs could enhance the qualification intention and, thereby, the quality of sports programs by appointing a contact person who informs about qualification possibilities.
Nicole Farnsworth, Bryan Holtzman, Lauren McCall, Kristin E. Whitney, Meghan Keating, Laura Moretti, Bridget Quinn, Donna Duffy, and Kathryn E. Ackerman
Gavin Thomas, Jaime Guinan, and Győző Molnár
Strength and conditioning (S&C) has become a chief part of athletes’ physiological preparation. Despite S&C’s growing presence across sports, women coaches have been generally marginalized and underrepresented. This study explores female S&C coaches’ experiences and coping mechanisms in a male-dominated industry. Semi-structured interviews with 15 female S&C coaches were conducted. The main themes identified from interview data are organizational politics, impression management, and humor. The findings suggest that women S&C coaches are often in subservient positions and have to adopt some traditional, male-generated subcultural practices to fit in. They carefully manage their coaching front stage to generate an impression that is expected and accepted in the given milieu. In their efforts to fit in, women often find themselves in a multiplicity of power matrices that involve a continuous negotiation of gender identity, internal politics, and sexist banter.