PHED 105: Professional Development in Physical and Health Education

Fall Term 2003



Queen's School of Physical and Health Education, Union Street, Kingston, Ontario, Canada


HORIZONS: Physical and Health Education Carerr Conference! November 7-8, 2003.

Reserve readings! The HIST 297 syllabus is available for reference purposes. Click here to download it in Microsoft Word format.

CALENDAR DESCRIPTION: An examination of philosophical and pedagogical principles as they apply to and across the profession. Attention will be accorded communication techniques, instructional strategies, leadership and group dynamics.

COURSE OBJECTIVES AND PHILOSOPHY: Your university years will prepare you for whatever you choose to do in life. The professor has "been there," and in looking back from a vantage point commensurate with the wisdom of age (or the aged), recognizes several things. First, and most important, many of you do not know what you will do after graduation. This is fine--the prof changed his mind five times as an undergrad at the University of California, and bets are that you will entertain several notions about your future as you progress through PHED at Queen's. Second, and related, this course will stress some of the items broadly defined as "skills" in the lexicon of higher education. The prof underlines that if course content is important, so are reading critically, writing vigorous prose, and listening so that you are able to restate others' positions to their satisfaction (even if you disagree). Indeed, these skills--and the ability to use a computer, work well with others, and hone your own entrepreneurial spirit--will serve you well in all future areas of endeavour. The main thing in life is being happy in your work, regardless of where you are and who you become or how much you make. So, rather than an approach that underlines "how to fit in" to existing structures, we shall do some of that, but--more important--we shall examine critically those existing sport structures as we encounter them across local, regional, national, and international venues. Yes, the course is "political," and like it or not, your lives and careers will be also. The professor hopes to arm you with weapons -- strategies, tactics, and understandings -- to enable you to succeed in a mercenary world.

SCOPE OF COURSE: Within the long history of physical and health education, never have larger cultural constructs (markets, media, celebrity, and money) impinged more powerfully than they do today. Indeed, no matter what field university students enter, an ethics focus is important. As former Canadian Auditor-General Denis Desautels recently observed of the business world, too many firms embrace ritualized notions of right and wrong, not a "genuine, sincere adherence to values and principles." The same problem applies in sport, where we often pay lip service to ethical structures, rather than understanding their nature and importance in society. In PHED 105, in addition to considering analyses and case studies in the course text, we shall drawn on our own experiences as athletes, spectators, and consumers of sporting media and commodities.

TALK AND ARGUMENT: I hope to see much informed discussion ("talk" and "argument") in this class. So please do assigned readings before class and be ready to ask questions and participate. Although the lecture remains a key part of university life, the art and skill of participating in discussion and debate is also important, perhaps even outlasting the content of the course. What generally passes for discussion within our basically lecture system of education is either pointed questions requiring specific answers, or general questions between instructors and specific students, with occasional flurries between students. For a definition one can say that a good discussion is an argument, or series of arguments, that is continuous and focused, conducted by informed and thoughtful people about interesting aspects of important issues.

Unfortunately there is widespread bias against argument. Argument is identified with conflict, which is undesirable or evil. We must get over this feeling. Argument is, in fact, the basic intellectual tool. One problem, especially for the shy individual is personal, ego identification with an argument s/he presents. One thing should be made clear: an argument is not possessed--it is public property--the class's property. An attack upon an argument is not an attack on the person who presents the argument or defends it.

A discussion simply cannot stand as a series of disjointed assertions. One statement should logically follow another. This demands the development of the dual skill of listening and thinking at the same time. This is not easy. Good talkers are often terrible at discussion because they have not learned to listen. Another problem for continuity is people who "argue" by beating each other over the head with opinions, while neither fully understands the other. In order to eliminate this problem, one should always be able to state to another person's satisfaction the latter's position in the discussion. If a discussion is continuous, any participant should be able at any time to summarize the development of the argument. If s/he cannot, it is because s/he is not paying attention or because the discussion is disjointed. Again, the only excuse for participating in the discussion is having done the reading/thinking. Many non-participants use the I-don't-know-enough approach. *In a discussion where s/he is prepared, this is irresponsible. A discussion is absolutely dependent upon as full participation as possible. Don't be bashful; work on your shyness (if you are shy); join right in!

Hence course objectives focus on you as much as upon the prof and the text. We seek to assess the growth of physical and health education, its theoretical and practical parameters, and its key ethical components. We hope to problematize some things that many of you have taken for granted through high school. We'll familiarize you with sociological, philosophical, historical, and other disciplinary approaches that will facilitate our work. And we shall work on critical reading, thinking, listening, and writing skills.

You will wish to consult the style guide that will inform your writing and paper organization. See Kate Turabian, Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996--Call # LB2369T8 1996) in Stauffer reference . Earlier editions are usually available in second-hand bookstores--let your fingers do the walking! For those of you who feel the need for more work on writing and essay organization, see William Strunk and E.B. White, The Elements of Style, and William Zinnser, On Writing Well. The professor swears by both. There is also a Writing Centre on campus where you may discuss your work and receive help.

MARKS: Karl, Groucho and Otherwise

Your grade for PHED 105 will be computed as follows:

(30%): Write a position paper (750-1000 words) on one of the following propositions:

  1. Resolved: private school physical and health education programs are superior to phys ed programs in public schools.
  2. Resolved: provincial and federal governments have a moral obligation to insist that physical and health education programs are mandatory in elementary and secondary schools.
  3. Resolved: government and sport bodies should cease policing athletic behaviour at all levels and legalize drugs. After all, everyone is "doing it".

  4. Resolved: "Winning Isn't everything; winning is the only thing."

Do you agree or disagree with the proposition? Why? What are the major reasons? Why is your argument better than the other side? Does the other side have merit? Use examples to illustrate your points, and do focus-focus-focus your argument. Think about your earlier phys ed experiences and mentors (whom you might interview for assignments with a couple of well-focused questions). Go to the library. Check up on the sport sociology journals. Use the Internet. (Although I expect more than Internet sources). Be creative. Four or five sources should suffice for these short papers. This short essay will fall due at the beginning of class on October 21. Chicago Style manual noted above.

(20%) Group presentation -- Groups of five, chosen by the instructor, will prepare poster presentations on one of the following (1) "The Optimum (Nothing is Perfect, but…) Phys Ed Curriculum" (2) "Greening Our Games" -- ways to bring PHED to the community and those who really need it (3) Rediscovering and Emphasizing Ethical Themes in Sport Programs. The focus of all poster presentations should be the potential of PHED/sport in teaching ethics in contemporary culture. This assignment also suggests a way to think about how where you might be in one, two, three decades. The dates are November 27 and 28. The presentations will take a good part of both days. We shall do them in conference format . We'll assess the logistics of group work in class--emphasizing the design and presentation of a study, and the importance of its research core. The mark will reflect my judgment on the poster itself, TA input, and upon your and your colleagues' assessments of your contribution to the group dynamic.

(30%) A term essay (eight-to-ten pages) on a topic to be chosen with the professor and/or TAs. Appropriate topics and formats will be discussed in class. Due in class November 11.

(20%) Final Exam--TBA. All is fair in love, war, and final exams--videos, speakers, lectures, readings, presentations, assignments. Multiple choice, short- answer, and essay (you will be prepared for the latter--your chance to shine as a thinker).

(5%) Surprise bonus-point possibilities during the year

OTHER IMPORTANT NOTES: Keep hard copy of your assignments, notes, rough drafts, disk copies. Things get lost. Hand assignments in on time. Do not slide assignments under office doors. And please familiarize yourself with the code of conduct on plagiarism and academic dishonesty in the Queen's University Calendar (see pp. vi-vii, and course template).

COURSE TEXT AND READINGS: There is only one assigned text for the class, David Cruise Malloy, Saul Ross, Dwight H. Zakus, Sport Ethics: Concepts and Cases in Sport and Recreation , Second Edition (Toronto: Thompson, 2003). Related readings will be announced at Tuesday lectures, or referenced in notes in Malloy, et al. , above, and/or noted on my website-- WWW.GEOFFSMITH.ORG --under Teacher and Scholar/PHED 105. Given Stauffer Reserve's reserve in putting texts on reserve, there will be one or two copies of Malloy available--hence the need to purchase the book either individually (or as groups of friends (a way to make friends?). The book is expensive, yes, but I note here that I often assign several books per course that amount to $250 or more. Note also that I am much interested in your ability to research and discover. Browse the 'net, serendipity in the stacks--link and connect--ingenuity, creativity, courage…

CLASS SCHEDULE: (roughly follows Malloy, and is, of course, subject to change. Nota Bene that case studies in Malloy (see chapters 8 & 9) will be assigned throughout the term. There will be a few other case studies as well).

Weeks of September 9&16: Thinking about and Theorizing PHED (Chapter 1)

Weeks of September 23&30: What's Happened to Sport? (Chapter 2)

Week of October 7: Focusing on Ethics (Chapter 3)

Weeks of October 14&21: Sources of Ethical Decision-making (Chapter 4)

Weeks of October 28 & November 4 (no class on November 7 -- work on essays!) : Influential Variables in Making Ethical Decisions (Chapter 5)

Weeks of November 11 & 18 (Chapters 6 & 7)

Week of November 25 (Prepare Poster Presentation)

FINAL EXAM -- TBA