Thomas L. McKenzie
Thomas L. McKenzie
This essay describes how environmental conditions affected my unexpected evolution from farm life in a rural Canadian community to becoming a physical education specialist and multisport coach and eventually a U.S. kinesiology scholar with a public health focus. I first recount my life on the farm and initial education and then identify the importance of full- and part-time jobs relative to how they helped prepare me for a life in academia. Later, I summarize two main areas of academic work that extended beyond university campuses—the design and implementation of evidence-based physical activity programs and the development of systematic observation tools to assess physical activity and its associated contexts in diverse settings, including schools, parks, and playgrounds. I conclude with a section on people and locations to illustrate the importance of collaborations—essential components for doing field-based work. Without those connections, I would not have had such an extensive and diverse career.
Thomas L. McKenzie
Schools are salient locations for promoting and providing physical activity, but they fail to meet the public health recommendation of providing at least half the 60 min of physical activity that children need daily. To help solve this school deficit, the author proposes that the “biggest bang” would result from developing and implementing school physical activity policies. However, this remains a theory because school policy studies are in their infancy and rarely include direct measures of physical activity. Physical activity does not just happen generally in schools but occurs within specific contexts such as physical education and leisure-time programs. Alternative methods to self-reports are needed to study physical activity policies, and direct observation tools are available to assess physical activity within specific contexts. Private and charter schools are understudied, and they should be included in future investigations.
David Kahan and Thomas L. McKenzie
Physical education (PE) is mandated in most states, but few studies of PE in private schools exist.
We assessed selected PE policies and practices in private secondary schools (grades 6 to 12) in California using a 15-item questionnaire related to school characteristics and their PE programs.
Responding schools (n = 450; response rate, 33.8%) were from 37 counties. Most were coeducational (91.3%) and had a religious affiliation (83%). Secular schools had more PE lessons, weekly PE min, and smaller class sizes. Most schools met guidelines for class size, but few met national recommendations for weekly PE minutes (13.7%), not permitting substitutions for PE (35.6%), and programs being taught entirely by PE specialists (29.3%).
Private schools, which serve about 5 million US children and adolescents, may be falling short in providing quality PE. School stakeholders should encourage adoption and implementation of policies and practices that abide by professional guidelines and state statutes.
Thomas L. McKenzie and David Kahan
Thomas L. McKenzie, Elizabeth K. Clark, and Randi McKenzie
Thomas L. McKenzie and B. Robert Carlson
Monica A.F. Lounsbery and Thomas L. McKenzie
This paper reviews the authors’ evolution as kinesiology scholars to a public health focus via their research on school physical activity (PA) and policy. The authors present key findings from their work, including their recent focus group discussion with 20 school leaders, to substantiate their perspectives about the role that the American Kinesiology Association could play in supporting public health goals and promoting school PA policy. The authors conclude the paper by appealing to American Kinesiology Association to clearly identify PA and its promotion as a central area of study in kinesiology, strengthen its ties to public health, and advocate for putting the “physical” back in the National Physical Education Standards.
B. Robert Carlson and Thomas L. McKenzie
Data gathering for research on teaching in physical education appears to be heading into a new era, an era in which electronic data collection tools will merge with older measurement techniques to make the processes of storing, analyzing, and transporting data more efficient. The rapid development of microcomputing technology has reached the stage in which portable computers are now practical as state-of-the-art tools for on-site research projects. This article addresses one of the most critical problems for doing research on teaching using time based variables. In the past, when duration recording was the observational technique, there were two ways to collect data: either through multiple stop watches or through interval recording. Both methods have their limitations—one in the manipulation of the several watches and the other in converting interval data to accurate units of time. Outlined in this article is a microcomputer program for on-site duration coding, data analysis, permanent storage, and mainframe support for research on teaching physical education. The system is complex by design but practical to use. It produces total observation time, total time by category, frequency by category, mean length of occurrence, and the percent of total time each category was observed.