This lab focuses on conducting research projects, offering graduate-level courses, and having research team meetings related to pedagogical kinesiology.

The purpose of the PK Lab is to provide space and resources for the faculty and graduate students to conduct research studies related to physical education curriculum, physical activity programming, and program evaluation.

The Lab is characterized by ample space that houses a graduate student office/conference room, a data work room, and secured data storage rooms.

It is equipped with state-of-the-art research equipment for studying physical activity programs in schools and communities. There are video/audio recording devices, accelerometers and heart rate monitors to measure physiological intensity and physical activity, digital devices to make instructional materials, quite a few laptops for data collection and processing in the field, a centralized data computer that holds research data, and digital cameras and many kinds of supplies to make graduate students’ life easier. The Lab also holds a small collection of textbooks and journals for easy access.

The Lab is the central location for conducting research projects, offering graduate-level courses, and having research team meetings. Each graduate student has a desk in the Lab. The Lab is also home for visiting scholars, most of whom come from foreign countries across the world: Brazil, China, Finland, France, Greece, Japan, Korea, Norway, etc. In this environment, faculty members and graduate students all enjoy having unique opportunities to collaborate with international scholars around the world!

Our Research

In the past 30 years, the Lab has been conducting several influential longitudinal research studies supported by research grants from National Institutes of Health or Department of Education. Our studies have impacted the field of physical education. The most significant of our studies include:

  • The Curriculum Value Orientation Study (1989-ongoing)
  • Sport for Peace (1995-98), Science, PE, and Me! (2003-08)
  • Science of Healthful Living (2011-16), and Learn for Life (2005-08)

Current studies include:

  • A five year physical education curriculum study
    • Science of Essential Balance (funded by the NIH, PI: Chen, 2018-2023)
  • A one year study
    • Conflict Transformation through Health & Physical Education (funded by UNCG School of Health & Human Sciences, PI: Hemphill, 2019-2020)

Major constructs of our studies have been:

  • Knowledge acquisition
  • Skill development
  • Social-emotional development
  • Children motivation for physical activity
  • Physical activity behavior change

The findings of these studies have been published in more than 150 research articles in kinesiology and education.


Equipment device name or image Purpose(s)
Accelerometers Objectively measuring physical intensity in field settings
Digital video recorders Recording physical activity episodes in field settings
Online and paper-based inventories, scales,… Measuring a variety of socio-psycho attributes from after-school PA to value orientations
Laptop computers Collecting a variety of data from the fields
Data computer Storing and analyzing quantitative and qualitative data/evidence
LED Projector Lab presentations/conference presentations
Laminating machine Creating program documents/PA activity cards


The graduate students are supported by the Department of Kinesiology and research grants to work as teaching/research assistants. They are working on various research projects including cognitive load and physical activity, student social-emotional perspectives in relation to health-related physical activity, and adolescents’ motivation for physical activity. The graduate students work together as a team, but each leads one or more projects as the primary researcher with the support of other students and guidance of their academic advisor. The current projects include:

Lead Researcher: Deng, A.

  • The impact of continuing professional development on student learning
  • Learning science-based physical education and health lifestyles
  • Cognitive load in physical education and learning fitness concepts
  • The impact of a concept-based physical education curriculum on in-class physical activity

Lead Researcher: Lee, Y.S

  • Understanding student’s perception of conflicts in physical education
  • Examining potential factors for promoting social emotional learning in physical education
  • Exploring students’ experience in life skills development through physical education


(G notates graduate students at time or work; notates visiting scholar to the Lab)

  • Chen, A. (2017). Motivation research in physical education: Learn to become motivated. In C. D. Ennis (Ed.). The Routledge handbook of physical education pedagogies (pp. 567-580). London: Routledge.
  • Chen, A., & WangG, Y. (2017). The role of interest in physical education: A review of research evidence. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 36, 313-322.
  • Chen, A., ZhangG, T., WellsG, S., SchweighardtG, R., & Ennis, C. D. (2017). Impact of teacher value orientations on student learning in physical education. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 36, 152-161. doi: 10.1123/jtpe.2016-0027
  • Ennis, C. D. (2017). Educating students for lifetime of physical activity: Enhancing mindfulness, motivation, and meaning. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 88, 241-250. doi: 10.1080/02701367.2017.1342495
  • Ennis, C. D., & Chen, A. (2017). Learning motor skills in physical education. In R. Mayer & P. Alexander (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Learning and Instruction (2nd ed) (pp. 154-174). New York: Routledge.
  • Ennis, C.D. (2017). Curriculum theory and development. In C. D. Ennis (Ed.). The Routledge handbook of physical education pedagogies (pp. 35-37). London: Routledge.
  • Hemphill, M. A. & Martinek, T. J. (2017). Community engagement through sport: University partnerships to promote youth development. Kinesiology Review, 6(4), 311-316. doi: 10.1123/kr.2017-0027
  • ZhangG, T., & Chen, A. (2017). Developing a psychometric instrument to measure physical education teachers’ job demands and resources. Measurement in Physical Education and Exercise Science, 21, 142-153.
  • Chen, A., Shen, B., & Zhu, X. (2018). Curriculum intervention research as a source of knowledge of most worth. Kinesiology Review, 7, 240-250.
  • Hemphill, M. A., Janke, E. M., Gordon, B., & Farrar, H. (2018). Restorative youth sports: An appliedmodel for resolving conflicts and building positive relationships. Journal of Youth Development, 13(3),76-96. doi: 10.5195/jyd.2018.063.
  • Zhu, W., & Chen, A. (2018). Value Orientation Inventory: Development, application, and contributions. Kinesiology Review, 7, 206-210.
  • DingV, H., & Chen, A. (2019). Instructional and learning outcomes between China and the U.S. as policy implications. European Physical Education Review, 25, 21-34.
  • Hemphill, M. A., Gordon, B. A., Wright, P. M. (2019). Sports as a passport to success: Life skill integration in a positive youth development program. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 24(4),390-401.
  • WangG, Y., Chen A., SchweighardtG, R., ZhangG, T., WellsG, S., & Ennis, C. D. (2019). The nature of learning tasks and knowledge achievement: The role of cognitive engagement in physical education. European Physical Education Review, 25(2), 293-310
  • ZhangG, T., Chen, A., & Ennis, C. D. (2019). Elementary School Students’ Naïve Conceptions and Misconceptions about Energy in Physical Education Context. Sport, Education and Society, 24, 25-37.
  • Chen, A. (2020). A Clash of Fundamental Assumptions: Can/Should We Measure the Physical Literacy? Journal of Health and Sport Sciences, 9(2), 149-151. DOI: 10.1016/j.jshs.2019.11.002
  • Hemphill, M. A. & Martinek, T. J. (2020). Using simple interactions to improve pedagogy in a cross-aged leadership program. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 39(1), 126–130.
  • Martinek, T. J. & Hemphill, M. A. (2020). The evolution of Hellison’s TPSR model in out-of-school contexts. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education39(3), 331-336.
  • Parkes, C. & Hemphill, M. A. (2020). What occupational socialization factors influence preservice teachers to possess fitness orientations. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education(aop), 1-8. doi: 10.1123/jtpe.2019-0178.
  • Richards, K. A. R., Hemphill, M. A., Shiver, V. N., Gaudreault, K. L., Ramsey, V. (2020). Teaching physical education in an urban intensive environment. Urban Education, (aop), 1-27. doi: 10.1177/0042085920923019.
  • Shiver, V. N., R. Richards, K. A. R., & Hemphill, M. A. (2020). Preservice teachers’ learning to implement culturally relevant physical education with the teaching personal and social responsibility model. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy25(3), 303-315.
  • WangG & Chen, A. (2020). Two Pathways Underlying the Effects of Physical Education on Out-of-School Physical Activity. Research Quarterly for Exercise and sport91:2, 197-208. DOI: 10.1080/02701367.2019.1656325
  • Chen, S., Sun, H., Zhu, X., Chen, A., & Ennis, C. D. (posthumous) (in press). Learners’ Motivational Response to the Science, PE, & Me Curriculum: A Situational Interest Perspective. Journal of Sport and Health Science
  • WangG & Chen, A. (in press, accepted 7/23/2019). Effects of a concept-based physical education on middle-school students’ knowledge, motivation, and out-of-school physical activity. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
  • WangG, Y., ZhangG, T., & Chen, A. (in press). Does cardiorespiratory fitness knowledge carry over in middle school students? Learning and Individual Differences
  • Zhang, T., DengG, A., & Chen, A. (in press, accepted 7/9/2020). A Missing Link? Middle School Students’ Procedural Knowledge on Fitness. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education.
  • Zhang, T., WangG, Y., Yii-Piipari, S. & Chen, A. (in press, accepted 12/30/2019). Power of the Curriculum: Content, Context and Learning in Physical Education. Research Quarterly in Exercise and Sport
  • ZhuV, Q., & Chen, A. (accepted, 4/29/2020). Can Act of Teaching Change Pre-Service Teacher Value Orientations? Journal of Teaching in Physical Education.
  • ZhuV, Q., Shen, H., & Chen, A. (accepted, 2/8/2020). Learning to teach physical education for health: Breaking the curriculum safety zone. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport.
Student Sarah Ragab working with faculty member Michael Hemphill. SarahÕs work deals with developing youth leadership and conflict resolution in high schools.


Student Recreation Center, Room 403 and Room 411