SHAPE America Research Council

The SHAPE America Research Council is one of SHAPE America’s five program councils, which are all charged with the following responsibilities:

  • Advise and make recommendations about programs, products and services related to the respective focus areas, considering overall impact, member benefit and return on investment.
  • Provide recommendations on existing programs, products, services, and activities in relation to the organization’s strategic plan and recommend continuation, revision or elimination. Help guide new initiatives through the review process and recommend task forces and ad hoc committees needed for completion.
  • Build communication with related SHAPE America special interest groups (SIGs).
  • Provide reports/updates prior to each SHAPE America Board of Directors meeting and/or upon request.

Specifically, the Research Council addresses the areas of:

  • Curriculum and instruction;
  • Exercise science;
  • Motivation and psychology;
  • Motor behavior and measurement;
  • Physical activity and health;
  • Sociocultural and social justice; and
  • Sport and coaching.

Research Council Activities & Recent Projects

The Research Council conducts the following activities:

Curriculum Research and Practice: What Are We Teaching? November 15 4 to 5 30 p m zoom event

Upcoming Event

Join us on November 15 at 4 p.m. ET for a live Zoom event hosted by the SHAPE America Research Council and the Curriculum & Instruction Special Interest Group (SIG).

In this research lecture, Dr. Ang Chen will share his insights about reconceptualizing physical education as an extension of kinesiology/health science rather than continuing as an extension of sports/athletics. He will particularly focus on the role of concept-based physical education in this effort based in his research on PE curriculum design and student learning in concept-based curricula.

Dr. Chen will present specific curricula for elementary, middle, and high schools that are developed in his Pedagogical Kinesiology Laboratory to illustrate their features, impacts on student knowledge learning and physical activity behavior, and available resources and support that his lab could provide for attempts to change the curriculum in your school.

The session will be interactive with lectures and plenty of time for Q&A.

Register Now


In December 1991, the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) of AAHPERD (now SHAPE America) organized the Critical Crossroads Conference to bring attention to the curriculum crisis in secondary physical education. At the conference, Daryl Siedentop described that physical education would be an “endangered species” if no effort was made to fundamentally change the PE curriculum nationwide.

More than 200 expert teachers and scholars across the nation attended the conference with a goal to produce a curriculum framework for change, but they failed. In 2010, 20 years after the conference, Robert Pangrazi began to warn the field that physical education was “disappearing” (Pangrazi, 2010).

Today, 30 years after the conference, not only does PE continue to disappear, but physical education teacher education programs have been disappearing from higher education institutions.

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Research Council Members

  • Paul Wright (Chair)
    Northern Illinois University, IL
  • Paul Rukavina (Past Chair)
    Adelphi University, NY
  • Nancy Getchell
    University of Delaware, DE
  • Tao Zhang
    University of North Texas, TX
  • Kevin Andrew R. Richards
    University of Illinois, IL
  • Tan Leng Goh
    Central Connecticut State University, CT
  • Ana West (Student)
    University of North Texas, TX
  • Nicolette Smith (Student-Elect)
    University of Illinois, IL
  • Joe Deutsch (BOD Liaison)
    North Dakota State University

Special Interest Groups

The following special interest groups (SIGs) function under the Research Council:

To join a SIG, log in to your SHAPE America member account. Go into the My Profile section and select the Interest Areas tab to view/edit your Special Interest Groups.

Research Fellows of SHAPE America