I appreciate the critical review, the promotion of the article (which the blog provides), the perspectives offered to readers by Professor Casey, and the feedback it provides in support of my learning, improvement, and professional development. I especially appreciate that Ash’s critique, both implicit and explicit, is aimed at the ideas and claims, not yours truly (the article’s author). The field needs more of this orientation in substitution for analyses which can be perceived as ideological assaults on the author(s).
I have not held a physical education and sport pedagogy faculty position since 1997. At the time, I left Miami (Ohio) University (as part of a two-career marriage) for a tenured professorship in Social Work at the University of Utah. (It’s not that I wanted it this way, but that’s another story.) Our move to Albany in 2000 necessitated another change in my appointment status. Absent a physical education and sport pedagogy department and programs, I moved to Educational Policy and Leadership. This joint appointment (with Social Welfare) was facilitated by my work with innovative school designs and community configurations—with special interest in equity. It also provided colleagues, teaching assignments, dissertation memberships, and school consultations, which together expanded my repertoire in beneficial ways.
Since 1996 I have framed my role in Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy as a supportive outsider with insider knowledge and understanding. I never have lost my field identity and commitments. However, today they are in an interdisciplinary framework.
I proceed with an altruistic orientation, one that's holistic, inclusive, and evaluative. "Big picture" analyses have been a priority for me. I invest in them because I have come to understand how and why physical education colleagues worldwide develop and proceed almost exclusively with meso- and micro-level frames of reference. My aim is to contribute when I invite readers to expand their respective frames of reference to include "big picture views" of the formal systems we have constructed and institutionalized; and to ask and address evaluative questions in service of learning, continuous improvement, and redesign.
Inevitably some colleagues experience hurt feelings or even anger when presented with my work. These reactions and others I won't describe are themselves important components in the physical education systems we've constructed and maintained. And they should give us pause because they may be “anti-learning and improvement”. Ash’s critique does not fit this mold.
Finally: Ash’s paraphrasing reflects his interpretations. I winced twice as I read the blog: (1) the direct quote, which begs for the original context; and (2) the following claim, which he attributes to me. “ PE is currently based on an idea which has undergone reification to the point of obscurity.” I did not make this latter statement or imply it. I emphasized—or intended to emphasize--that physical education is a social institution, vulnerable to inter-generational reproduction. Insofar as colleagues seek innovations, reforms, or bolder redesign proposals systems frameworks offer useful, important “maps and compasses” for improvements and redesign.