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Moral Development via Sport

KIN 247: A discussion as to whether sport builds character or characters...
by

Sean Mullen

on 17 October 2012

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Transcript of Moral Development via Sport

1. Define sportspersonship
don’t assume athletes know what it means to have a good character in the context of sport

2. Model, reinforce and encourage ‘good’ behavior
actively discourage ‘bad’ behavior

3. Convey rationales
always explain "Why its not ok"

5. Discuss moral dilemmas
build these into class/practice Strategies for Enhancing Character within Sport Contexts A 12 year old soccer player is tackled hard and retaliates. The player is removed from the game. What should the coach do?

You take over a team that has a reputation for bad behavior. How do you begin your first practice?

You take your team to watch a professional baseball game, and a brawl ensues. What do you say to them?

You notice that one of your tennis players is arguing “out” calls with his/her opponent – what should you say and when? What Should Coaches Do? 4 psychological components for determining moral behavior (Rest, 1984):
1. Moral judgment or sensitivity – interpretation of the event
2. Moral reasoning – what is the best course of action
3. Moral motivation or intention – what one intends to do
4. Moral character or behavior – what one actually does Example of a Structural Developmental Theory... 1. Social learning theorists
Passive learning via modeling, reinforcement, & social comparisons

2. Structural-developmental theorists
Active learning via thinking about values and behaviors Moral Behavior & Character Development in Sport Does sport build character? (Shields & Bredemeier, 1995)
Research indicates that:
negative relationship between sport participation & delinquency
positive relationship between sport participation & aggression
Bottom Line :
Sport does not automatically build character or characters & context matters! Moral Behavior & Character Development in Sport Moral reasoning
decision process where the rightness and/or wrongness of a course of action is determined
Moral development
process of experience & growth whereby an individual develops the capacity to morally reason
Moral behavior
carrying out an act deemed right or wrong Moral Behavior &
Character Development It has been suggested that sport acts as a catharsis for aggression... Aggression and Sport Instrumental vs. hostile aggression
When is aggression “ok”?
Dividing line very fuzzy in sport
Compare with assertive behavior
Theories of aggression:
Social learning
Acquired, elicited, maintained by watching others
Instinct or Drive
Innate characteristic; would expect everyone to have the same instinctual drives Aggression and Sport Aggression | “any form of behavior directed toward the goal of harming or injuring another living being who is motivated to avoid such treatment.”
Fair play | understanding and adhering to rules, being equitable
Sportspersonship | “adhering to fair play even when it means losing”
Character | positive characteristics developed through sport
Compassion, integrity, fair play & good sports Character/Moral Development & Aggression in Sport Dr. Sean Mullen Character Development & Aggression in Sport Evidence is lacking
Watching aggressive acts may actually increase aggression
Performing an aggressive act may reduce acute arousal, but doesn’t seem to have an effect on later behavior Two theoretical approaches...
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