Philosophical and methodological assumptions often made by researchers working at the behavioral level of analysis in adapted physical activity are reviewed. Particular attention is given to movement skill acquisition research guided by a cognitive science or information processing approach and an ecological task analysis approach. In the final section of this paper, emerging views are used to illustrate other assumptions often tacitly made by movement skill researchers. Alternative possibilities offered by recent perspectives are also presented.
Marcel Bouffard, William B. Strean, and Walter E. Davis
Donna L. Goodwin and Janice Causgrove Dunn
Robert Kerr and Christine Blais
In this article, I explore the concept of axiology in the context of adapted physical activity research and analyze its connection to the more commonly discussed paradigmatic assumptions of epistemology and ontology. Following methodological scholars, I argue for an acknowledgment of the pivotal role that axiology already plays in adapted physical activity research and for the potential interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary opportunities that could be enabled by engaging with axiology in more explicit ways. I discuss a number of potential axiological gaps between the field of adapted physical activity and disability communities, arguing that such differences may undermine attempts at doing meaningful transdisciplinary research with such communities. I offer strategies for bridging these axiological gaps, encouraging us to work together in axiologically reflexive ways in order to increase meaningful opportunities for more people with disabilities to be engaged in the movement-based activities and communities of their choice.
William B. Strean
The theme of this special issue, following from the 1996 NAFAPA meeting, is “Questioning Our Research Assumptions.” Before assessing the validity of assumptions, they must first be identified. This paper describes how researchers can go about locating what they take for granted in their work. Attention is given to three types of assumptions: paradigmatic, prescriptive, and causal. The specific strategies discussed are examining the gap between conclusion and reasons, analyzing the ideas that support reasons, identifying with the researcher’s point of view, identifying with opposing viewpoints, learning more about relevant issues, and considering barriers in current thinking.
Kerr and Blais’ (2000) paper is frequently ambiguous, incoherent, and severely misrepresents the work of Bouffard, Strean and Davis (1998). Kerr and Blais have committed the logical fallacy of attacking a straw man, which is to misrepresent an opponent’s argument presumably for the purpose of making its attack easier. Although they indicate their desire to proceed without reference to ontological and epistemological assumptions, they implicitly submit the contentious statement that eclecticism is a philosophy that has been accepted by movement skill acquisition researchers. They also endorse eclecticism as a philosophy. In this reaction, I question the validity of numerous statements made by Kerr and Blais and elaborate on some points we made in 1998. I conclude that Kerr and Blais’ paper is a parody of Bouffard, Strean and Davis’ work, which is unlikely to advance our understanding, and submit that the study of research assumptions is an essential part of genuine inquiry.
This paper is a reaction to Shephard’s (1999) criticism of the July 1998 special issue of the Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly on research assumptions. Shephard’s paper is essentially a defense of the use of the scientific method in adapted physical activity and a critique of his own understanding of the postmodern alternative. He argues that the scientific method is the method adapted physical activity researchers must privilege to know the truth. In this paper, it is argued that Shephard’s description of the scientific method is too general to be useful. In addition, he often confounds traditional modernist issues with postmodernist issues. His depiction of the postmodern alternative is too sketchy to be an adequate critique of the postmodern alternative. This paper highlights key issues unaddressed by Shephard and, as well, outlines some major postmodernist themes so that some of Shephard’s distortions can be corrected.
Samantha M. Ross, Kathleen McCarty, Bridgette M. Schram, and Layne Case
combat inequities within HPE and sport scholarship, curricula, and community practice. APAQ scholars can model their own self-reflective processes from the narratives shared in this work to explore how our research assumptions, the development of research questions, and the broader impacts of
Jessica J. Ferguson and Nancy L.I. Spencer
the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport and Recreation at the University of Alberta. Her research focuses on questioning inclusion, research assumptions and disability models. References Acosta , R.V. , & Carpenter , L.J. ( 2014 ). Women in intercollegiate sport: A longitudinal, national study thirty