ERIC Number: EJ1110573
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Professional Constraints: How Our Narrow Professional Alliance Has Stymied Leisure Studies
Samdahl, Diane M.
Schole: A Journal of Leisure Studies and Recreation Education, v31 n1 2016
Noting that our field is minimally relevant to the multitude of ways the American public is engaged in leisure and recreation, Samdahl delves into our history in attempt to understand how this came about. She notes that the recreation movement as canonized in our textbooks ignores parallel efforts that led to community theaters, libraries, and museums. In the 1960s, the narrow focus of our field was formalized through the birth of NRPA and sustained through accreditation standards designed to train public recreation professionals. Shortly thereafter, the 1970s brought a multitude of pressures for research-based scholarly inquiry, and undergraduate practitioner programs expanded by adding doctoral programs that promoted leisure scholarship. Samdahl examines and deconstructs the ensuing binary, arguing that recreation practitioners and leisure scholars are like water and oil--thrown together by circumstance but never able to mix. Stepping back, Samdahl deconstructs that binary to highlight the ways it overlooks other relevant aspects of our field. She concludes by saying that leisure studies never did belong in academic departments committed to practitioner preparation, and the well-intentioned experiment that placed these fields together ultimately stymied the growth of leisure scholarship within our field.
Descriptors: Leisure Time, Leisure Education, Recreation, Educational History, Professional Associations, Accreditation (Institutions), Training, Professional Personnel, Evidence Based Practice, Undergraduate Study, Graduate Study, Scholarship, Barriers, Educational Trends, Trend Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
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