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The Unit of Analysis in Field Research: Issues and Approaches to Design and Data Analysis

Stephen Silverman and Melinda Solmon

This paper addresses the appropriate unit of analysis in field research. We first discuss the issues related to this topic: (a) unit of measurement versus unit of analysis, (b) treatments and random assignment, (c) independence of observations, (d) moderating and control variables, and (e) correlational versus experimental research. We then present a model for determining the correct unit of analysis. In many instances, researchers should use class means or subgroup means, and this has implications for research design. In the third section, we discuss the related issues of (a) the burden of proof, (b) asking the right questions and getting the right answers, and (c) completing statistical analyses. How data are analyzed can affect the results, and researchers should consider these issues when planning their research.

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An Investigation of Students’ Embodied Discourses in Physical Education: A Gender Project

Laura Azzarito and Melinda Solmon

Despite significant theoretical and practical progress over the past 20 years, the social construction of gender and its link to youths’ participation in physical activity in school contexts remain critical issues that call for further socioeducational scrutiny. In this study, researchers investigated the ways students’ embodiment of discursive constructs differed in terms of gender and race, and the relation between students’ embodied discursive constructs and students’ favorite or least favorite physical activities in physical education classes. The participants were 528 students from three public high schools. A survey was developed to assess students’ embodiment of discursive constructs. These results suggest that discursive constructs are influential in producing students’ choice of “gender-appropriate” physical activities. To destabilize the gender binary, therefore, the creation and promotion of a discourse of the “multiplicity of physicality” is proposed.

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Reconceptualizing Physical Education Curricula to Meet the Needs of All Students

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.

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Cathy Ennis—A Master Gardener of Plants and Scholarship

Melinda A. Solmon

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Promoting Academic Integrity in the Context of 21st Century Technology

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.

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Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy: The Application of the Academic Discipline of Kinesiology

Melinda A. Solmon

Scholarship related to physical education and sport pedagogy is rigorous and should be central to the academic discipline of kinesiology. The goal of this article is to situate physical education and sport pedagogy as an applied field in kinesiology, grounded in the assumption that physical education, as the professional or technical application of the broader academic discipline, is of critical importance to the success of kinesiology. A brief overview of the history of research on teaching physical education is followed by an overview of the streams of research that have evolved. Major tenets of research on effective teaching and curricular reform are discussed. The status of physical education teacher education and school physical education programs is considered, and a rationale for a broader view of pedagogy that has the potential not only to promote physical education and sport pedagogy but also to enrich the academic discipline is offered.

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Editors’ Note

Melinda Solmon and Ron McBride

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A Note from the Editors

Melinda Solmon and Ron McBride

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Editor’s Note

Melinda Solmon and Ron McBride

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Editors’ Note

Melinda Solmon and Ron McBride