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.
Melinda A. Solmon
Melinda A. Solmon
Academic integrity is a fundamental value, and maintaining it is central to achieving the mission of providing high-quality instructional programs. Cheating in academic settings is a widespread problem, and the perception is that the proliferation of technology in recent years has compounded this concern. This paper provides an overview of the issues related to academic dishonesty and the problems associated with cheating on college campuses. Academic misconduct in online courses and programs is discussed, and a variety of ways that technology can be used by students to cheat are described. Strategies are offered that can be used to decrease cheating and promote ethical behavior. It is the responsibility of faculty and administrators to take steps to deter academic misconduct and to strive to create a culture of academic integrity.
Laura Azzarito and Melinda A. Solmon
Recently, national studies have reported on young people’s low level of participation in physical activity. Because the effect of gender and racial differences among youth participating in physical activity have not been sufficiently addressed, examining the social construction of the body in physical education can provide valuable insights. This study uses poststructuralism as a lens to investigate how students’ construction of meanings around the body varied by gender and race, and how bodily meanings related to students’ participation in physical education classes. The participants were 528 students from public high schools. An instrument was used to assess students’ racial and gendered construction of bodily meanings around specific discursive constructs. Results indicated that students’ meanings differ by race and gender, especially in regard to size, power, muscularity, and appearance. These findings suggest that bodily meanings were influential in students’ self-reported levels of participation in physical education classes.
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.
Laura Azzarito and Melinda A. Solmon
The study of the social construction of the body has become crucial to contemporary academic discourses in education and physical education. Employing feminist poststructuralist theory and a qualitative ethnographic design, this study investigated how high school students identified themselves with images of bodies drawn from fitness and sports magazines, and how their body narratives were linked to their participation in physical education. Students’ body narratives reflected notions of comfortable, bad, and borderland bodies that influenced students’ physical activity choices and engagement in physical education. Girls’ narratives of their physicality were found to be significantly less comfortable than boys’. Critical pedagogy to destabilize gendered dominant discourses of mass media body culture and to develop positive, meaningful, and empowering student physicality is discussed.
Melinda A. Solmon and Amelia M. Lee
This study explored the cognitive responses of adapted physical education teachers during lesson planning. The focus was to determine whether expert (n=4) and novice (n=4) teachers varying in experience and expertise differ in the information they need to plan a lesson and how they conceptualize a lesson. Subjects were given information about a fictional class of handicapped students and were asked to plan a lesson. After writing a lesson plan, they were asked to explain it to the experimenter. The results provided clear evidence of the experienced teachers’ superior knowledge base and repertoire of teaching strategies. Their responses were filled with contingency plans based on the actions and abilities exhibited by the students. In contrast, the novices generated plans that were unidirectional and failed to accommodate the range of ability levels in the class.
Tao Zhang, Melinda A. Solmon and Xiangli Gu
Examining how teachers’ beliefs and behaviors predict students’ motivation and achievement outcomes in physical education is an area of increasing research interest. Guided by the expectancy-value model and self-determination theory, the major purpose of this study was to examine the predictive strength of teachers’ autonomy, competence, and relatedness support toward students’ expectancy-related beliefs, subjective task values, concentration, and persistence/effort in physical education. Participants were 273 middle school students (143 girls, 130 boys) enrolled in a southeastern suburban public school. They completed previously validated questionnaires assessing their perceived teachers’ support for autonomy, competence, and relatedness, expectancy-related beliefs, subjective task values, concentration, and self-reported persistence/effort during their regular classes. The results highlight the importance of teachers’ competence support and autonomy support in fostering students’ motivational constructs and achievement outcomes in physical education. The findings demonstrate that a supportive environment and high levels of expectancy-related beliefs and subjective task values are positively associated with students’ achievement outcomes in physical education.
Xiangli Gu, Mei Chang and Melinda A. Solmon
This study examined the association between physical activity (PA), physical fitness, and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among school-aged children.
Participants were 201 children (91 boys, 110 girls; Mage = 9.82) enrolled in one school in the southern US. Students’ PA (self-reported PA, pedometer-based PA) and physical fitness (cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular fitness, flexibility, and body composition) were assessed in the fall. The PedsQL4.0 (Varni et al., 2001) was used to assess participants’ HRQOL (physical and mental function) in the spring.
PA and four components of physical fitness were positively associated with physical and mental function. Path analyses suggested physical fitness mediated the relationship between self-reported PA and HRQOL (95% CI: [.53, 1.48]), as well as between pedometer-based PA and HRQOL (95% CI: [.54, 1.53]).
Results support the conclusion that enhancing children’s physical fitness can facilitate positive outcomes including improved health related quality of life.
Melinda A. Solmon and Amelia M. Lee
In this study, relationships between entry characteristics, in-class behavior, self-report measures of student cognition, and achievement during motor skill instruction were examined. Fifty-six sixth-grade students participated in a 4-day instructional unit on the forearm pass in volleyball. All classes were videotaped to code in-class behavior. Data collection included skill pretest and posttest, Harter’s Perceived Competence Scale, forms about the errors made during practice, and a Cognitive Processes Questionnaire (CPQ). Correlates of achievement, as reflected by residual gain scores, were perceived competence, student reports of attention, and variables indicating the quality of practice. Relationships between entry characteristics, in-class behavior, and measures of cognition were evaluated using canonical correlational analyses, and these relationships suggest that entry characteristics are important factors in how students interact in achievement settings. The results of this study show that investigating the complex relationships between these sets of variables can yield results that clarify how students effectively mediate instruction.