Advice, Stories, and Myths - National Academy of Kinesiology

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Advice, Stories, and Myths - National Academy of Kinesiology
QUEST, 1998,50,238-248
O 1998 American Academy of Kinesiology and Physical Education
Advice, Stories, and Myths:
The Reactions of a Cliff Jumper1
Lawrence F. Locke
Once again, here we are at the rump end of the annual conference, when the
program committee has requested some closing words of summary and integration. Toward that end, most of the papers were made available to me prior to the
conference, either in draft or outline format. Reading these documents in advance,
listening to their delivery, and then formulating a response is a remarkable experience and a special privilege. The attention of one's colleagues is among the most
precious of gifts, and opportunities like this have marked the highest points of my
fellowship with Academy members. In return, I can offer only my thanks and
these comments on the substance of our 69th meeting.
My reactions are divided into three parts. They run parallel to the first portion of my paper title, "Advice, Stories, and Myths." Whether made explicit or
delivered in more tacit form, advice was one of the most obvious components in
the papers collected here. Certainly, our colleagues' good counsel will constitute a
major part of what is remembered, taken home, and put to use. The 17 speakers'
presentations contained considerablecommon sense, thoughtful analysis, and careful speculation.
However, each listener (and reader), with a different set of experiences, concerns, and dispositions, will accumulate a distinctly individual list of ideas that
seem valuable. Furthermore, whatever lessons these varied personal collections
contain, they must be used with a degree of caution, since several papers were
highly contextualized. The offered advice is derived not only from each author's
singular vantage point but also from unique places, conditions, and times. The
speakers made this point repeatedly: "What was true for us at our institution may
not hold true for you at your own."
Certainly, almost all of the discussion in this collection reflect the particular
contexts of Research I and I1 universities. Whether lessons about prospering in
those environments can safely be generalized to institutions in the other eight
Carnegie categories is still unclear. The majority of kinesiology and physical education programs in North America are not in colleges or universities with research
as a primary mission. Thus, in contemplating our professional and academic
Lawrence F. Locke is with the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Totman Building, Arnherst, MA 01375.
'These remarks, delivered at the end of the final general session of the 69th Annual
Meeting, were designed to serve as integrative summary and critical commentary for the
preceeding papers.
ADVICE, STORIES, AND MYTHS
239
colleagues' good counsel, we should remember just how narrow and really peculiar the experiences behind these analyses and consequent advice have been.
However exotic, the research university is the venue for many Academy
members, and thereby we can appropriately consider what they might have learned
about "Meeting the Challenges of the 21st Century in Higher Education." As a
review of those insights, I offer three compartments in a Whitman's Sampler of
advice:
1. The common-sensical and too easily forgotten
2. The esoteric and too easily unrecognized
3. The cautionary and too easily ignored
The speaker who did not commend the positive virtues of initiating and sustaining interdisciplinaryprojects was the exception here. Courses, study programs,
research teams, service projects, and even degrees-the very ubiquity of enterprises that cut across discipline boundaries--often obscure their powers as sound
strategies in the modem university. Increasingly, interdisciplinary effort is essential to research, and training for collaborative inquiry has become standard regimen for graduate students. Such integrative undertakings are also good politics,
offering visibility on campus and the opportunity to knit your own people and
resources into the wider web of institutional commitments and personal relationships.
While it might seem faintly mundane, keeping good records concerning
whatever you do (e.g., a running database about programs and people) is also
wise. Professor Singer's Florida story (Singer, 1998) underscored the utility of
knowing what your unit has accomplished. The time to think about that, of course,
is not during a crisis (when it already may be too late), but when you have the time
required to establish a system that will work continuously and efficiently to
store information against future need. Singer was polite enough not to point
out how characteristically careless and unimaginative many of us have been
about that function, especially with regard to our students' futures once they
have degrees.
Finally, while seemingly commonplace, maintaining activities that constitute important parts of campus life-what might be called a school, college, or
department's "campus anchorsy'-is equally important. Undergraduate physical
education service programs, intramural activities, fitness centers, general education
courses related to our subject matter, physical-testing services, and health and wellness
counseling are among those mentioned. The advice concerning campus anchors is
simple and direct: think long and hard before you divest!
In addition to providing a clear identity on campus, such services can yield
other, more concrete benefits. Creatively operating programs based on Scott
Kretchmar's (1998) "knowledge how, rather than knowledge that" can sustain a
prospering unit in terms of fiscal resources as well as other kinds of campus capital. Whether the enterprises are impressive because of sheer mass (e.g., professor
Armstrong's 30,000 student credit hours in the Texas A&M activity program) or
more modest but meticulous in design (e.g., the service efforts at Oregon State,
which professor Maksud characterized as reaching into every nook and cranny on
the Corvallis campus), carefully maintaining campus anchors is anything but an
anachronism.
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LOCKE
Turning now to advice about matters that seem more esoteric than convel
tional, professor Dunn noted that unit position can be strengthened by building tic
with other entities within a higher education system (Dunn, 1998). We often thin
of our sister state institutions only when ominous legislative threats (or real man
dates) are directed at reducing the degree of duplication among programs and de
grees. Dunn's point is that, although distinctly uncommon, proactive effort to cre
ate programmatic complementarity within a system makes more sense than wait
ing for yet another call to economize through amputation.
Because they often must compete for budget allocations, state system ad
ministrators have rather testy relationships. Typically, faculty across the full range
of institutions do not even know each other, much less meet regularly to share and
plan together. However, they might collaborate and in doing so build a larger en
tity that is stronger and more resilient in hard times than the individual parts could
ever be.
Dean Zauner's note about the practical utility of creating international ties
(Zauner, 1998) was equally rare advice. Study abroad, faculty exchanges, and cross
national research collaborations can yield valuable student enrichment and faculty
stimulation. Such arrangements also provides visibility, making us appear less
parochial and more cosmopolitan in outlook, a positive image in most academic
environments.
Finally, offering unfamiliar but valuable advice, dean Krahenbuhl floated
the construct of "the campus experience" by us as though it might signal some sor
of special opportunity (Krahenbuhl, 1998). Most academics associate that phrase
with the archaic distinction between resident and commuting students (with the
former thought to partake in the true campus experience). That, however, was no
what he was talking about. Krahenbuhl was contrasting the physical and virtua
campus and suggesting that the inevitable competition for students may create
openings for new initiatives.
Reshaping resident study in ways that present a richer and more distinctive
opportunity is one kind of response. However, we can also consider locating more
service and educational functions off the physical campus in the ethereal world of
distance learning. Long the stepchild of higher education (and one often not wel
regarded), correspondence study is experiencing a growth spurt, though more in
the virtual, internet classrooms than through "snail mail." If, for example, we are
to soon lose our old monopoly over all forms of professional credentialing through
attendance on the physical campus, where is the step ahead that will keep kinesiol
ogy and physical education departments at the center of that vital process?
The last compartment of advice contains samples of cautions sounded, ei
ther about the often daunting difficulties of strategic play on the shifting fields of
higher education or about the harsh consequences of misunderstanding the game
rules. Clearly, from the keynote speaker to the last paper, the human cost of acquir
ing our collective wisdom about survival has been substantial, and for some, genu
inely tragic.
Reflecting on his experiences at Arizona State, Thomas (1998) asserted the
wisdom of giving first priority to establishing prominence within your institution
rather than polishing your national reputation. Doing the former may lead to the
latter, but doing the latter does not necessarily deliver the former! Just as all poli
tics ultimately are local, so too is the prosperity of an academic unit finally deter
mined by local reputation.
ADVICE, STORIES, AND MYTHS
24 1
I count myself as an illustration of that maxim. When I came to UMass in
1970, the School of Physical Education had a giant, sprawling, and generally undistinguished undergraduate program preparing teachers for the public schools.At
least, 500 students seemed excessive to me in a state absorbing only a handful of
new school appointments each year, many to be filled by graduates from the other
state and private institutions with similar programs.
At the time, the provost was promoting a model of excellence wherein units
would be rewarded for finding an academic niche involving work that state and
private institutions could not undertake. In other words, we were to build programs that used the specialized, university resources, human and material, to perform tasks unique to our flagship status within the state system of hlgher education, particularly tasks that would forward the provost's personal agenda for the
university: achieving Research I status. The faculty and I bought that entire proposition, whole and unexamined.
The professional preparation program was downsized to 25 students and our
resources shifted to a doctoral program designed to study how those 25 learned
their craft. Thus, we created both a training ground for future teacher educators
and a rich research venue. For 7 years, our students and faculty were among the
most intensely examined in the nation. In the process, we quickly acquired a national reputation for leadership in both pedagogical inquiry and innovative teacher
development, a reputation greatly disproportionate to our actual size and resource
base. All of that was made possible because we could focus a small faculty's considerable talents and energy on a single specialized task.
During that halcyon period, I paid no attention to spreading the good word
around campus or finding ways to represent our subject field through service within
the university and local community. Despite repeated warnings from my dean, I
thought, "Why waste the resources?' We were doing exceedingly well, executing
precisely what the provost had challenged us to do.
When the university entered a period of fiscal exigency, however, we learned
the value of national reputation as a currency in local affairs. Vice-president John
Nance Garner's legendary "bucket of warm spit" comes to mind. A new provost
began using the constructs of "centrality" and "critical mass" as criteria for culling
programs, and we quickly discovered that there was not a local network of supporters who would insist that excellence in our niche justified continued support.
The people next door--campus colleagues, community neighbors, and state practitioners-knew little about our work and certainly nothing about our success,
because I had not made it my first priority to see to it that they did. The lesson, for
this or any other century? Within the university, at crunch time, the strategic position of an academic unit is always first a matter of local perceptions-unfortunately,
quod erat demonstrandurn.
Professor Siedentop (1998) offered a different and more subtle caution. To
paraphrase the core of his warning, if you hope to strengthen your position by
organizing professors to directly participate in solving difficult economic, social,
and educational problems in surrounding communities, proceed with caution. The
fact that generations of professoriate in kinesiology and physical education have
been socialized very effectively into roles as "professional academics" will make
that difficult to achieve.
To illustrate, Siedentop cited the academic turf wars that have spilled over
into the ambitious OSU Campus Partners Project in Columbus. The values and
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ADVICE, STORIES, AND MYTHS
243
In a like sense, you can imagine me within that truly perfect little program at
UMass, doing a daily Ghost Dance in my small office and thinking that we must be
bulletproof! We had done the academic ceremonies truly well, and when the shooting
began I was astonished to see blood, and more so upon discovering it was mine!
That is the painful lesson of the Native American experience as applied to
survival in higher education. Like another human function, history oftenjust happens to people. It is not a matter of what you did wrong, because there really was
nothing right that could have offered protection. The Indian nations tried every
alternative strategy from assimilation to war, but with hindsight, we now know
that whatever response they chose could never have made any real difference in
the final outcome. Dying with dignity, looking after each other in the final moments, and trying to provide for an honorable end were the only available options.
We must understand that for some fine programs no longer with us, that kind
of outcome was equally certain. Dean Ellis did not recount that part of the story at
Oregon nor should we have expected him to do so. I can tell you, however, that
dignity, honor, and caring for each other was the final and only choice for the
people at Eugene, just as it had been for Native Americans.
We turn briefly now to "stories," the second part of this retrospective. Admittedly, this also involves some advice, but now it is mine. Here I particularly
want to address the 1997 class of new recruits. You will do well, I advise you, to
remember that what you have witnessed, whether directly at the conference or
indirectly in the subsequent Quest Academy Papers, has been storytelling by tribal
elders. Squatting in the circle of light around a campfire, everywhere and at all times
the elders of the world's cultures tell each other, and particularly new initiates, stories.
These are tales that make meaning out of the ineffable aspects of life, tales
that give names to the formless, tales that give reassurance about the fearsome
things lurking outside the circle of light, tales that warn and caution, tales that
describe the right way of living, and tales that tell about how the tribe survives.
The purpose of such storytelling is not absolute verisimilitude. These tales are not
historical photographs nor are they transcripts of past conversations. The stories
told by elders are designed and intended as lessons, each with a point and a purpose.
If you happen to know that some aspect of the tales told here does not square
exactly with some bit of information you have in hand, don't worry about it. Just
open your mind for what you can learn about your tribe and, sometimes, your
elders. Ask yourself, What lessons are here? Why are they telling us this particular
story right now? The elders have an endless supply of stories, because they are
obliged to give guidance to new members like you.
How many times did the papers reference how our endlessly variegated names
cause confusion in the provost's office? How many times did a speaker claim that
the number of professors elected to the Academy grew once the vision of kinesiology was pursued? Noticing repetition is important, because special meaning always exists in tales retold. Attend closely my new colleagues. Sooner than you
have ever imagined, you will be squatting by this same metaphorical fire and telling your own stories.
In the third and final part of my comments the frame for reaction shifts from
general stories to those special tales called myths. Here, I am not using the common sense of that word, as in "Oh, that's just a myth," which is what we say when
the fictive element of a story is showing too obviously. I intend, instead, to use the
word in the more formal ethological sense of the Greek "mythos," which is familiar
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to many of you from Bill Moyer's public television interview series with ethologist Joseph Campbell.
Myths are stories that everyone within a given tribe (culture) accepts as portraying something that is obviously true. They are considered accurate representations, because myths express a world view, provide a shared perception of identity,
designate importance, and explain how the world works.
For complex reasons, the story component in myths often takes symbolic
form. However, members of a culture recognize both the symbol and representation in myths from Daedalus, Ulysses, Arthur and Lancelot, Spider Woman, and
Trickster Coyote to doctors Faustus and Frankenstein, the Hobbit Frodo, and yes,
of course, Luke Skywalker. They are all fantastic inventions, but their meaning is
perfectly clear to the cultural members who own them. Invested with a mystical
element, such tales are transmuted from mere ideological entertainmentinto myths.
In that sense, then, I believe it was myths that president-elect Wilmore and
program committee members wanted us to find. Examined closely, this collection
of papers contains crosscutting conceptions of kinesiology, physical education,
the university, and this academy. Whether disguised in symbolic forms, these tales
provide a window for observing a distinguished group of speakers' shared vision
of our culture--our mythos. What, then, have they told us about understanding the
world if our culture is to survive into the 21st century?
Each of you must judge the important messages, but let me share three representations of our world that I detected, representations that disturbed me, because I think they give false instructions about how to live and prosper as physical
educators. In short, I think some misleading and even dangerous material is being
offered here as genuine myth.
Some of what we have told each other has been couched in the language of
business or competitive sport. Several symbolic metaphors that were used to explain our struggle to prosper in higher education were adopted from those domains. This should surprise no one. We live in a capitalist economic system, and
most of us have close ties to sport. How you name things, however, relates to how
you understand them, and the line between language and belief, as between belief
and behavior, is drawn only in dust. Myths must be told with respect for the telling. The membrane between names and reality is thin, permeable, and easily crossed
without notice.
If you portray professors and their work in terms of business concepts and
values, the consequences are not solely rhetorical. Talking about the university as
though it were a business is easy. Program marketing, the need to sell the discipline, our graduates as products, academic unit takeovers, sensitivity to customer
demands, the bottom line as a warrant for action, and the zero-sum game of budget
competition-all of these are convenient terms. What harm is there in that? In fact,
are we not taking a perfectly valid view of the world inside a modem university?
Indeed, we must all respect sound business principles and political wisdom
alike. Anyone who thinks we can ignore hard economic facts in favor of what we
might wish were true is a fool! However, any professor who thinks that the university
is a business like any other, with a reason and value to society that are circumscribed and truthfully portrayed by the business model, is a lost soul.
You truly should fear the day when you rise up in the morning like a business person and ask yourself, What will I do today to make myself indispensable
to this organization? I fear that, because I do not think that is what professing is
about, and I trust neither do you. Our work is teaching, inquiring, thinking, and
ADVICE, STORIES, AND MYTHS
245
evaluating. That means getting up every morning and asking, What can I do today
to get my work right?
The university is not just another business. Like it or not, it is a special place.
Our graduates are not products, our work is not selling, and our actions are not
always governed by calculating a bottom line. We should choose with the greatest
care the language we use to communicate what is true about our world. The awful
treadmill of tooth and claw in the mercilessjungles of commerce does not describe
the reality I know or the place where I wish to work.
Likewise, equating program development and academic work with competitive sport suffers upon close examination. If we want to preserve our mythological image of the university as a community of scholars, a community that
demands our loyalty, then portraying campus life as a competition is destructive. If
you wish, for example, to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration and resource
sharing to promote the ends of the institution, the game is a poor metaphor for
appropriate behavior. In particular, the zero-sum competition model of survival
strategy not only fails to portray a community but also by assumption discourages
searching for solutions that allow mutual benefit to several academic units.
Finally, we might ask whether speakers have made new attempts at mythologizing in these papers. Some cultures do evolve over time as new myths come
to be accepted, sometimes not as additions but as substitutes for older elements of
a world view. Did you detect any new visions of who we are, what is important,
and how the world works? I suspect that I will not be the only person who answers
yes. Several papers clearly share a vision of physical education that differs substantially from that of our tribal ancestors. I may be alone, however, in finding that
alteration distressing.
Clearly, a new vision that is widely if not uniformly accepted by our speakers is the proposition that it is wise to distance ourselves from concerns for teachers, children, and the work of program development in the public schools-and
the farther the better! The logic is clear enough. Because those entities are not
regarded as respectable or important in research university culture, they can no
longer hold a central place in our profession, at least not without making our academic units vulnerable. We now tell stories with the heroic figure beginning the
quest for survival by observing that "just preparing gym teachers gives us a weak
image in the university." This collection of papers clearly shows that kinesiology
and physical education are now about many other important things, components
we would prefer to display as our primary mission.
None of that is new as the opinion of individuals, but it indeed is new if it
truly becomes a generally shared vision within the Academy. This year we have
come closer to adopting as natural, correct, and prudent the view that a central
concern with school physical education programs is undesirable. Aside from the
personal insult some of us might feel (whether intended as such), that view of o w
world is simply wrong. Worse, it is truly dangerous. It would be irresponsible to let
it pass unchallenged.
Public schools may represent the only point in the cultures of North America
at which programs of kinesiology in research universities might contribute
something of truly great significance. Because I know full well that many of you
do not want to hear me explain why that may be, we come now to the last segment
of my paper title, "The Reactions of a Cliff Jumper."
In Montana on the Kootenai reservation by the Flathead Lake shores, a certain land rise ends at a great rocky bluff overlooking the water. The spot has long
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been called Chief Cliff. A legend, still recalled within the local mythos, tells of a
tribe that lived near there. They were led by an old chief who gave his people wise
counsel and taught them how to live right and prosper by keeping the ancient
ways, as described in the elders' stories.
There came a time, however, when the young people began to ignore the chief,
abandoning the paths of their grandfathers and disrespecting the old people. Troubled
by this, the chief thought long about how to regain his people's attention and respect. Finally, one day when they all were up on the grassy slope above the cliff,
dancing and playing games in the summer sun, he put on his buckskins and great
ceremonial headdress, selected his finest war pony, and rode out among them.
He addressed his people, saying, "You have forgotten who you are, where
you came from, and the teachings of the elders. That will bring only misery and ill
luck. Knowing that to be true, I must somehow remind you of the bravery and
generosity of your grandfathers, and of all the true stories that must guide our
tribe." So speaking, he wheeled his pony, urged it to a full gallop, and rode out
over the cliff into the sun . . . and the rocks below.
Fortunately, I can use a virtual rather than physical cliff to get your attention! I am neither a brave warrior nor even a chief among you, but I do want your
attention. So, in terms of the blood sport rules of this Academy, what follows is the
moral equivalent of cliff jumping. It is devoid of data, ignores fairness to all important exceptions, contains not one "I think" or "in my opinion," and is couched
in absolute terms that apparently leave little room for discussion.
Supporting and improving the transmission of sport, games, dance, and vigorous physical activity to the next generation must remain a primary focus for
kinesiology and physical education programs in higher education. Helping teachers build school programs that accomplish that goal and preparing new recruits to
do that work are our two, most urgent callings. These tasks, not the diffuse construct of human movement or the esoteric detail of kinesiology as an academic
discipline, make us unique in the university.
Professors in our field can and must do many things with their time and
talents. Distancing themselves from the distinctive and vital tasks of supporting
and improving school physical education, however, will both fail to achieve strengthening the unit position and bring terrible risks. First, if we forget who we really
are, if we imitate too perfectly the academics who appear to have power and security, we just might succeed, but only in appearance, not in status acquisition. You
cannot become somebody else, but you certainly can lose track of your own identity. In Tolkien's trilogy, The Lord of the Rings,ringwraiths are presented as monstrosities who had once been humans but had lusted after the power and protection
of the dark magicians. They learned to imitate them so well that they lost their own
souls. They became enormously powerful and utterly lost-forever. If we lose
track of our core identity, we risk becoming academic ringwraiths, and nobody in
the university will be sure of our identity or purpose.
Second, and finally, we risk hiding and being found. This involves problems
that come with wanting to be "a little bit involved" with physical education but not
enough to be contaminated (and not enough to really know anything about it).
That is playing with fire!
The following scenario describes one of the many ways that such dabbling
is dangerous. Suppose we were to lead a movement that successfullypreserved all
state and local requirements for secondary physical education (in the typical form
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ADVICE, STORIES, AND MYTHS
247
that now exists in schools). Imagine further that we devised a strategy to insure the
survival of physical education teacher preparation programs (as they commonly
function) in our Research I universities. On the surface, these sound like admirable undertakings. However, evidence suggests that those two outcomes would
constitute the most calamitous achievements one could possibly imagine. Secondary physical education has failed to prepare youth for physically active lives, and
teacher education has taken (or been forced to take) so many wrong turns that it is
utterly ineffective as an influence on the quality of school programs.
The evidence for that assessment concerning school programs can be found
in the Surgeon General's recent report as well as in reports of what students learn
in physical education classes. Those classes, at best, are irrelevant to adopting an
active lifestyle and, at worst, serve as an impediment to that outcome. Too often
adults have to recover from experiences as adolescents in physical education.
Paradoxically, the public school is the only social institution that can reach
across barriers of gender, race, social class, and economic conditions to touch the
nation's young people. Other agencies (e.g., home, church, youth sport, and professional organizations and commercial sources for recreation, fitness, and health
care) either lack the needed competence or reach only narrow segments of the
adolescent population. We have no choice but to attack the problem of healthy
living generally and exercise adoption in particular through the public schools and
associated, professional education and teacher development programs.
Unhappily, the lesson I have taken from decades of encouraging and observing attempts to reform school physical education and collegiate teacher training is
simple. In most cases, it cannot be done and certainly not from within. Only rarely
can either of these educational processes be substantially and permanently improved by incremental means. Both kinds of programs must be redesigned and
reconstructed from the ground up, processes Lawson describes as "transformation
through reconstitution," driven here by a crisis of responsibility in our profession
(Lawson, 1998).
Because we must transform both physical and teacher education, which are
likely no more than twin aspects of the same task, people will inevitably look for
leadership. I can assure you that practitioners, teacher educators, and professional
organizations will not be entrusted with that mission. We, I am saddened to say,
are associated with, if not completely responsible for, the current mess. No one is
going to ask me to lead a quest for physical education that really works.
When concern and dissatisfaction with existing inadequacies reach critical
mass-and they will-educators,
health professionals, state and federal
policymakers, legislators, community leaders, and parent groups will demand genuine change. Those stakeholders will look to the most logical places-the research
universities-for expert leadership from people who do not have a track record of
failure. Who might they find? Will there be only professors who claim some natural
kinship with physical education or who have held it at such arm's length such that
they don't know what it looks like-particularly in its present, troubled state?
It will be then, my prospering friends in the great research engines of higher
education, that you may wish to run, but you will be unable to hide. You may
choose to say, "I am too busy doing these other, more important things," or, "Schools
and teachers are not my business." In either case, your real commitments will be
exposed. When asked, of course, you might elect to do the heroic and undertake a
long and very hazardous quest: the search for a formula of actions that would
248
LOCKE
transform physical education. Success is in no way certain in such efforts. Knowing something of the problems to be encountered, I suspect that you would have
only the slimmest of chances.
However, if you decline to lead and refuse the appeal for help, you will face
a consequence. The myths of every culture, extant or recorded, tell the same fate
for such a choice. The hero-quest refused is an act that invariably destroys the
persons who were called and everything associated with them. You don't decline
the call of the gods when they decide you are "it," not even in a Research I university.
I urge you to remember who you are and keep yourself ready for the hero's
call. To be distanced is not the way to be prepared. You can neither be a little
pregnant nor a little associated with physical education. At the least, being ready
means being concerned and current in your understanding of the problems as well
as attentive and receptive to opportunities for engagement.
No, I do not really suppose that Academy members such as Waneen Spirduso,
Michael Wade, Robert Singer, and Karl Newel1 are going to be tagged "it" by a
mob of supplicants for help with teacher and program development. I honestly do
believe, however, that the opportunity to be directly and deeply engaged in the
work of transforming physical education will be offered (perhaps for the last time)
to professors in our subject field.
Schools, colleges, and departments where a strong professional orientation remains central will be positioned to respond with vigor and expertise. The rest, those
where professors have distanced themselves, will let that chance slip away or, worse,
bungle the opportunity by not understanding the problem. If the majority of you choose
to be one of the distanced latter, that surely will end with finality the vision of the
elders who built this Academy. Perhaps that course of action will allow you to survive
and prosper in the 21st century, but something precious will have been lost.
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