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Kim C. Graber and Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko

The purpose of this article is to provide background information related to the development of the 2014 American Kinesiology Association (AKA) Leadership Workshop titled “The Future of Teaching and Learning in an Online World”. A brief description of online education is provided, along with a synopsis of the advantages and challenges confronting instructors and administrators in institutions of higher education who are increasingly implementing this form of instruction. An overview of the articles included in this special issue is also provided.

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Thomas J. Templin, Jason R. Carter, and Kim C. Graber

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K. Andrew R. Richards, Thomas J. Templin, and Kim Graber

Occupational socialization theory describes the acculturation, professional preparation, and organizational socialization of physical education teachers and addresses factors that contribute to their decisions and behaviors. Utilizing occupational socialization theory as a grounding framework, this paper summarizes research conducted on teacher socialization in physical education and provides recommendations for future research. Each of the three phases of socialization is reviewed as are related constructs. The paper concludes with a discussion of socialization into physical education more generally and addresses the limitations of the current body of literature. Future researchers are encouraged to continue using occupational socialization theory as a framework though which to understand the careers and pedagogical decisions of physical education teachers.

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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.

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Gabriella McLoughlin, Courtney Weisman Fecske, Yvette Castaneda, Candace Gwin, and Kim Graber

There are many reasons why individuals are motivated to participate in sports. Less attention, however, is given for studying motivation and athlete development in adapted sport. The purpose of this study was to identify the motivations, facilitators, and barriers to sports participation of elite athletes with a physical disability. Participants (N = 23, 17 males, six females, mean age: 24.3 years) were recruited through online listservs, e-mails, and snowball sampling. A semistructured interview guide was employed. Analysis was conducted and grounded in self-determination theory and literature surrounding barriers and facilitators of sports participation. Through coding by multiple researchers, six themes emerged. Themes indicated that athletes attributed participation to constructs of self-determination theory as well as overcoming specific barriers such as cost, time constraints, and lack of opportunity. Among facilitators to their athletic development, there were empowerment and advocacy, increased health, college scholarships, and achieving performance-related goals.

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Kim C. Graber, Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko, Jamie A. O’Connor, and Jenny M. Linker

Civic engagement and service learning opportunities provide students with unique real-world experiences they are unable to acquire in a traditional in-class setting. Students develop a commitment to the community in which they live, exposure to other populations, leadership abilities, skills to work successfully within a team, and a chance to learn from failure. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has recognized the importance of such opportunities and has added the Community Engagement Classification to the restructured Carnegie Classifications of Institutions of Higher Education. The purpose of this paper is to provide a synthesis of the literature that addresses civic engagement and service learning opportunities and to describe a university class that was designed to provide undergraduate students with a capstone service learning experience promoting wellness for older adults in the community. Data that were collected to evaluate the success of the class are also described.

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Melinda A. Solmon, Kim C. Graber, Amelia Mays Woods, Nancy I. Williams, Thomas J. Templin, Sarah L. Price, and Alison Weimer

This paper evolved from a panel discussion presented at the 2020 American Kinesiology Association Leadership Workshop focused on promoting physical activity through Kinesiology teaching and outreach. The authors consider the role of Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) in promoting physical activity by examining the historical role that PETE has played in what are now Departments of Kinesiology, the status of PETE programs today, and how the future of PETE programs can impact the future of the discipline of Kinesiology. The challenges and barriers that PETE programs face are presented. The role of PETE programs in research institutions is examined, and case studies are presented that demonstrate the complexities the academic units face regarding allocating resources to PETE programs. The consequences of program termination are considered, and the authors then make a case that PETE programs are important to the broader discipline of Kinesiology. The authors conclude by encouraging innovative solutions that can be developed to help PETE programs thrive.