In this article, the authors honor Catherine D. Ennis’s legacy by highlighting her unique and significant contributions to physical education research on curriculum and instruction. First, they discuss Ennis’s curricular philosophy and her empirical work along her career path. Then they review the major school-based curricular interventions she implemented, including the Movement Education; Sport for Peace; Science, PE and Me!; and The Science of Healthful Living curricula to demonstrate Ennis’s commitment to curricular development in physical education. In this process, they share with the reader Ennis’s contributions to curriculum development theories, curriculum intervention research, and physical education practices.
Ang Chen, Bo Shen and Xihe Zhu
A major portion of Catherine Ennis’s scholarship and career was devoted to developing culturally relevant physical education curricula for K–12 students. She held a strong conviction that the efficacy of a curriculum lies in its ability to enhance students’ knowledge and skills of most worth for their lives. The approach she adopted for curriculum development is an evidence-supported curriculum-design process through which a curriculum is put to the rigorous process of intervention research to determine its efficacy. In this article the authors reflect on the experiences they had with her in these curriculum interventions, share the ideas and practices in the research as Ennis envisioned, and discuss challenges and solutions in conducting large-scale, school-based curriculum intervention studies.
Melinda A. Solmon and Stephen Silverman
This paper introduces the special issue of Kinesiology Review addressing the legacy of Catherine D. Ennis. The introduction first provides a brief chronology of her life and discusses her career, focusing on her many professional activities and honors. It then provides a short review of her early scholarship as a basis for understanding how her scholarly career began. This is followed by an overview of this issue, which reviews the various phases of Ennis’s career with papers by scholars who have helped produce and use her research and ends with an epilogue of personal reflections by Ennis’s colleagues and friends.
Darla M. Castelli and Ang Chen
A large body of Catherine Ennis’s work is focused on physical education curriculum development. Her approach to curriculum development is unique in that it is completely based on research evidence. The curricula she developed have been field-tested and the completed curriculum is supported with solid research evidence to demonstrate its efficacy in student learning and teacher ease of use. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview and explore opportunities to continue large-scale physical education curriculum intervention studies. The authors first provide a brief review of previous intervention studies by summarizing the findings and discussing implications. They then discuss potential future intervention studies by presenting several topics that are being explored by researchers in current interventions. Finally, they focus on methodology issues involved in designing effective curriculum intervention studies with the idea of adaptive designs as variations of the randomized clinical trial design.
Matthew D. Curtner-Smith, Deborah. S. Baxter and Leah K. May
In this article, the authors examine work conducted on 6 value orientations in physical education pioneered by Dr. Catherine D. Ennis and her colleagues. After providing an overview they focus on areas and methods of VOI research, specifically descriptions and comparisons (gender, teachers’ experience, school level, nationality, location, level of training, race, and physical activity background), the influence of value orientations on pedagogy (content and instructional models), and interventions (curricula and physical education teacher education). They conclude with suggestions for further research.
Melinda A. Solmon
The traditional sport-based multiactivity approach that continues to dominate secondary physical education curricula is problematic on a number of levels. It is often not perceived as making a valuable contribution to the educational process by school administrators or as culturally relevant and interesting to many students. This paper highlights Catherine Ennis’s work related to the shortcomings of this model and the need to move toward a more educational focus. Initially, Ennis described the curricular strife that developed as teachers clung to this approach in the face of a changing educational landscape. Her work evolved to include students’ perspectives, and her writings gave voice to their disengagement and discontent. She continued her extensive writings related to this topic across her career, exploring alternatives and offering solutions to reconceptualize physical education programs to maximize their contribution to the school curriculum and to meet the needs of all students.
Senlin Chen and Alex Garn
For decades, scholars in physical education pedagogy have done tremendous work to enlighten the research on student learning. Dr. Catherine D. Ennis was one of the leading experts in the past 3 decades (active contributor 1984–2017), who had a monumental impact on learning-related research in physical education. In this article, the authors synthesize Dr. Ennis’s scholarship on student learning in physical education, honoring her contributions to the field. They first define learning as a concept and learning in physical education and present how Ennis as a “curriculum specialist” viewed learning. They then cover Ennis’s insights and findings that originated from her series of impactful curriculum studies related to student engagement and learning and conclude by sharing lessons learned from Ennis’s scholarly wisdom for guiding future research in physical education pedagogy.
K. Andrew R. Richards, Kim C. Graber and Amelia Mays Woods
Catherine Ennis was an educator, researcher, mentor, and innovator in the field of physical education. As mentor for doctoral students and early-career researchers, she advocated the importance of developing a research agenda to guide and connect one’s scholarship. The central feature of a research plan, she argued, was a guiding theoretical framework that helps scholars interpret their findings and make connections to larger bodies of literature. In this article, the authors discuss Ennis’s position that theory should guide and connect research in physical education and provide examples of how she developed complementary research agendas throughout her career that were connected to constructivist and social justice theories. The goal of both these research agendas was to improve the experiences of children and teachers in physical education programs. In concluding, the authors connect Ennis’s use of constructivist and social justice theories to the ethic of care and make recommendations for teacher education programs.