Department of Kinesiology

School of Health and Human Sciences

Cathy Ennis wins AERA Award

Ennis-website-19-08-216x300UNCG EdD in Kinesiology Professor Cathy Ennis was recently honored as the recipient of The Exemplary Paper Award from the American Educational Research Association Special Interest Group of Research on Learning and Instruction in Physical Education.  This honor is given annually to a paper published in the previous year for its excellence and significant impact on physical education. Specific criteria for the paper state that it must:

  1. Be published in a refereed journal;
  2. Be specific to educational research in physical education (e.g., research, synthesis, theory, methodology);
  3. Show evidence of a high level of scholarship;
  4. Be clearly and effectively written;
  5. Hold the potential to significantly impact physical education.

Nominated papers are reviewed, evaluated, and selected by a committee of experienced scholars in physical education research appointed by the selection committee chair. Dr. Ennis’ paper was one of several nominated papers.

Regarding the quality of the paper, the nominating letter states:

“The article elaborates on the core curricular ideas for teaching physical education for physical literacy. It is a timely contribution to the field of physical education at a time when scholars and practitioners alike are seeking practical approaches to re-designing the physical education curriculum. In this article, Ennis reflects on the evolution of modern physical education curriculum by drawing on historical work in curriculum theory. Based on a review on curriculum literature, Ennis focuses on the importance of teaching students both for the present needs for knowledge and skill acquisition and for the future needs for applying the knowledge and skill to lead a healthy life. Based on this philosophical ground, Ennis draws upon historical development of knowledge-based physical education to make a case for the need to develop contemporary knowledge-based physical literacy curriculum. She then uses two specific examples of longitudinal curriculum intervention studies (one for elementary schools and one for middle schools) to support and substantiate the theoretical and philosophical basis for a knowledge-based, healthful living skill centered physical education curricular approach.

As most of her work, the article is extremely well written. The logic is clear. The text flows well and is easy to understand. The ideas expressed are thought-provoking. The approach of blending historical literature, modern theories, and ideas currently being tested in empirical research projects is innovative and effective. The article will have a long term impact on physical education curriculum theory in the 21st century. In my opinion, this can be one of the most important articles for curriculum theorists, researchers, and teachers in physical education.”

Congratulations Dr. Ennis! We are all excited to read this paper.