Dictionary of Physical Education and Sports Studies
Stothart, B., & Culpan, I. | Aries Publishing Ltd. 2016 | ISBN 978-0-473-35182-3
In a time when multiple electronic mediums make accessing information so easy it could be argued that producing a dictionary in hard copy book form is an obsolete idea. Sure, this is undeniable but nonetheless, for everyday use and being able to quickly check on a particular matter there is still a place for the Dictionary of Physical Education and Sports Studies. Of course, there is satisfaction of being able to flick through the pages whilst scanning over the more than 1650 entries. This invites you to browse, jump from one entry to another and in so doing refresh one’s memory or possibly discover a new word or term in the process. During my browsing, I was reminded that ghrelin is a peptide that regulates the hunger system, Come Alive was a nationwide ‘get active’ programme initiated in the mid 70’s by the NZ Council for Recreation and Sport, and salto is the gymnastic term for a somersault. These are not a ‘need to know’ but are of interest.
One of the challenges when compiling a dictionary is deciding what to include and leave out. Given the numerous terms, specialized words, acronyms and phrases associated with physical education and sport means choosing the content for this publication was not exempt from such a dilemma. As commented on in the introduction, the authors explained they “have attempted to provide a discerning rounded and generally accepted explanation of the more complex language that characterizes the disciplines of physical education and sport”. In so doing, they have produced a dictionary that offers a succinct and easy to digest explanation of a selection of the language pertinent to the subject area.
The content is presented in alphabetical order and the entries cover a wide range of topics and sub-disciplines. In addition to language that is immersed in the more prominent disciplines of this subject area (e.g. human development, exercise physiology, anatomy, sociology, biomechanics, psychology, motor development), there are a multitude of words and terms included that relate to history, outdoor education, dance, learning theory, health education, games, sports, pedagogy, community activities, education reports and government policies, Te Reo Kori, research, qualifications, ethics, equipment, organizations, fitness and skill tests. A list of the most frequently consulted references used when compiling the dictionary is included.
The prime purpose of this dictionary is “to provide immediate access to the understanding of a term” and it does this unequivocally. Although there is no information about pronunciation, diagrams and origin of the words, the value and limitation of this will ultimately determined by the reader’s prior knowledge and needs. This well presented 145-page dictionary is very affordable and will be a worthwhile resource, particularly for those studying physical education and sport in the senior secondary school and undergraduate level.
Reviewer: Bevan C Grant Emeritus Professor, University of Waikato
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