ERIC Number: EJ1144613
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 52
Why Is There so Little Critical Physical Education Scholarship in the United States? The Case of "Fitnessgram"
Gard, Michael; Pluim, Carolyn
Sport, Education and Society, v22 n5 p602-617 2017
In posing the question in our title, we have set ourselves the task of trying to understand why so little scholarly scrutiny and questioning of "Fitnessgram"--a product designed to assist in the school-based physical fitness testing of young people--exists in the country of its origin and then consider the implications of this silence. We begin our interrogation by offering a broad definition of "critical scholarship". We then briefly describe the contemporary landscape of physical education research and its preoccupation with an instrumental and applied approach to scholarship that seems limited to questions about "what works" in schools. Following this overview we discuss the scholarship of "Fitnessgram". Our analysis focuses on the increasing influence of various webs of connection between academics, professional organizations, corporations, funding agencies and publishing outlets. To substantiate the claims we make, we offer some examples from the recent history of abstracts accepted for presentation at prominent national conferences and discuss the contents of leading United States health and physical education journals. The overwhelming apparent message emanating from these scholarly outlets is that school and university personnel should simply fall into line with the mandates of government and public health advocates when it comes to the implementation of "Fitnessgram". Our review reveals that the "Fitnessgram" literature suffers from a lack of counter-balancing scepticism particularly when it comes to the interpretation of research findings. As we will argue, virtually no critical scholarship of any kind exists on the use of "Fitnessgram", a remarkable situation given recent public policy developments that call for its expanded adoption in United States schools.
Descriptors: Physical Education, Physical Fitness, Periodicals, Testing, Educational Research, College Faculty, Professional Associations, Corporations, Educational Finance, Publishing Industry, Conference Papers, Health Education, Content Analysis, Public Policy, Educational Policy, Intervention, Body Composition, Muscular Strength, Measurement, Electronic Equipment, Educational Technology, Elementary Secondary Education, Test Use
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A