This book is intended as a kinesiology text both for the teacher and for the student. It is believed that there is enough material to use it as a text for a full year's course yet, at the same time, by judicious selection of the subject matter, by omission of the supplementary material, and by the substitution of classroom demonstrations for some of the laboratory exercises, the book should serve equally well as a text for a one-semester course in kinesiology. It is left to the discretion of the instructor to select the material that meets his particular needs.
In its original form this textbook was an unpublished handbook–laboratory manual. It was used by the author in her kinesiology classes for three years before it was expanded to its present form. The original manual did not serve as an independent textbook. It was intended to be used as a companion book to a kinesiology or anatomy text. Since this limited its usefulness, however, it was decided to expand it to what is intended as a complete and independent textbook. For those who like to use a single textbook for a course it should suffice. To help the student (and the instructor) in collateral reading, most chapters in this text contain a comprehensive bibliography. In many cases there is also a list of readings which are particularly recommended. These bibliographies and reading lists provide a rich source of information for the inquiring student.
In regard to the value of laboratory exercises and projects as a means of learning, James B. Stroud, in his book Psychology in Education, points out that “Effectiveness of instruction is not determined so much by what the teacher does, as by what he leads the pupils to do….” Again, “Perhaps one of the most successful procedures for infusing learning with significance has been the [educational method known as] constructive activities…. The activity is thus a means of making learning meaningful and of giving it a purpose.” In accord with this point of view numerous laboratory exercises are suggested. In conformity to the same principle, only a few complete analyses of skills are presented, for it is the writer's contention that the students will gain far more from making one complete analysis himself or herself than from reading a dozen or more ready-made analyses.
As a further means of enriching the kinesiology course a number of the chapters include supplementary material in the form of brief descriptions of research projects in the field of anatomy and kinesiology. A few of these were carried out by the author, but the majority were conducted by other investigators and reported in professional journals. The purpose of including this material is to broaden the instructor's background and to provide supplementary reading assignments for advanced students.
It has been the intention of the author to write simply and to use nontechnical terminology whenever this conveyed the meaning as clearly and specifically as technical terms. The latter have been used, however, whenever they served to avoid ambiguity. While it is desirable for the kinesiology students to enlarge their scientific vocabulary, a text which confronts him with a stagering list of new and strange words defeats its purpose. Textbooks should stimulate the curiosity of their readers, not frighten them with a forbidding vocabulary.
The author acknowledges her indebtedness to many individuals without whose help it is doubtful if this book could have been written. She wishes to express her grateful appreciation particularly to Professor C. H. McCloy of the State University of Iowa for his continued guidance, encouragement, and criticism, also for his generous permission to use material from his course in The Mechanical Analysis of Motor Skills, and to the students in her kinesiology classes of the last three years who served patiently as “guinea pigs” and who made many constructive suggestions concerning the laboratory exercises.
For the illustrations, which add immeasurably to the usefulness of the text, grateful acknowledgment is made to Miss Mildred Codding, who made the anatomic drawings.
The author is under obligation to a number of individuals for the use of photographs and to several publishers for permission to reproduce copyrighted materials. To all writers and teachers from whom the author, either wittingly or unwittingly, has derived ideas which have provided the necessary background for the writing of this book she humbly acknowledges her indebtedness.
We continue to dedicate this text to the memory of Katharine F. Wells, pioneer author and originator of the original version of this book. This twelfth edition carries on a proud contribution to the professional literature of human motion study started by Dr. Wells in 1950, and continued with her active participation through the seventh edition. Although much of the content of the current text has changed since that first edition, there remains a significant heritage that can be traced back to her original work. Through her influence, she helped define and structure the teaching and study of kinesiology for many generations of students. The authors of this twelfth edition are honored to be the current stewards for this classic text.