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Kinesiology 345 “Sport, Ethics, and Movement”

by Rob Peeler Jun 06, 2016

This course (Kinesiology 345: Sport, Ethics, and Movement) focuses on the development of philosophic reasoning skills to better understand the values and ethics of physical activity in a variety of professional settings, especially those of the potential future professions of kinesiology students. The course shows how philosophic commitments are unavoidable and why it is better to formally consider these commitments and evaluate their worth than adopt professional standards and behaviors without critical reflection. Although philosophic reflection on physical exercise cannot be reduced to that of sport, issues related to competitive elite sport are taken as a point of departure in class to take advantage of the students’ familiarity with elite sports. Thus, ethical issues related to doping, sports’ commercialization, the pedagogical potential of practicing sports, and sports fandom are addressed. 

Eleven students registered for the 2016 Summer Session of Kines 345. The students were divided into four groups and given the assignment of analyzing a sports-related ethical issue that concerns them. A second requirement for them was to pick a topic that had some implications for their life as students and members of the Penn State community. The topics chosen by the students were:

  1. The ethics of weigh cutting;
  2. The motivations for working out;
  3. The ethics of performance enhancing drugs (PED) in the military;
  4. The issue of whether student athletes should be paid.

The students will be working on this issue in and outside class to make one of the three following pieces: a podcast, a video, or a slideshow. The result of the group project(s) will be featured on the Rock Ethics website at the conclusion of the course.