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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Moray House School of Education and Sport : Education

Undergraduate Course: Understanding Physical Culture: Philosophical and Sociological Perspectives (EDUA08103)

Course Outline
SchoolMoray House School of Education and Sport CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course drawing on the debates in contemporary research; focuses on students developing an understanding of physical culture, so that their professional practice is informed and underpinned by philosophical and sociological perspectives. Physical culture is a term with historical origins which is now being used in contemporary analyses focused on understanding institutionalised forms of physical activity. Understanding the historical and contemporary relationship between, physical activity, physical exercise, physical recreation, leisure, dance and sport is necessary for informed professional practice in physical education and sports science. A relational analysis of institutionalised forms of physical activity enables the identification of the complex and interconnected forms of engagement that take place. A key part of the course is the critical analysis of how physical culture is evaluated, appreciated and engaged with within contemporary society. Students through critical analysis of relevant and recent research consider how their experience of physical culture influences the formation of their identity and the implications that this may have for professional practice in physical education and sports science.
Course description * Key philosophical perspectives and the aesthetic dimension of physical culture.
* Definitional issues, distinctions and demarcations within different terms such as physical activity, physical exercise and sport.
* Historical and contemporary usage of 'physical culture' including an exploration of the interrelated nature of institutionalised forms of physical activity and their roots within different cultures.
* The socially and politically mediated nature of 'physical culture' by examining the commercialisation, commoditization and representation in the media.
* Key literature and concepts such as 'relational analysis' to consider the different experience and experiences of individuals and groups within society in relation to the concepts of the legitimate body and the legitimate use of the body.
* Student's practical participation and engagement with practical activities consider the classification of physical activities.
* Review and consideration of how perceptions of physical culture influence the formation of identities.

The course will be delivered as a series of blocks, which focus on specific aspects of course content. Key lecture presentations from University staff and on-online learning materials on the VLE, will provide important syntheses of core concepts central to students understanding of the courses aims and learning outcomes. Students will be required to study independently before and after key presentations and activities, so that they are able to engage in the sessions that follow. Workshops will focus on the critical evaluation and analysis of relevant research literature that forms the core of the required reading for the course. The workshops and supporting online material will aid students in developing their ability to critique academic literature and develop an enquiring analysis of the concept of physical culture. As part of practical-related learning tasks on the course, students will engage in the consideration of movement pieces that will interweave with theoretical material.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesThis course welcomes visiting students but students should be aware that this is a core course for students on the MA (Hons) Physical Education programme. Students should have experience of regular engagement in physical activity, physical exercise and sport as either a participant or a coaching role as this would help you to use these experiences to inform your engagement with the course.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 154 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Assessment will be by two parts:

1. A written assignment will primarily assess the aesthetic perspective (1500 words) 50%.
2. A multimedia assignment will focus on the identity and individual's sense of self (2000 words equivalent) 50%.
Feedback Feedback is an integral part of the course and takes many forms. We encourage you to see learning and teaching as a partnership: we will do our best to give you helpful feedback on your work, and it is up to you to make the best use of the feedback you receive. If you find yourself unsure of how to make good use of feedback, please speak to your workshop tutor(s). You will also find a wealth of information on feedback, including information about what to expect and how to make use of it, on the University's Enhancing Feedback website, available at:

There are formative assessment opportunities provided in workshops and seminars. There will be a formative presentation and a tutor will provide oral feedback and feedforward advice after the presentation. After the presentations and within 15 working days written feedback will be provided to the cohort which provides feedback and feedforward.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the historical and contemporary conceptions of physical culture informed by relevant sociological concepts and theories.
  2. Identify critical issues in institutionalised forms of physical activity by drawing on relevant literature.
  3. Evaluate the contribution that an aesthetic perspective on physical culture and institutionalised forms of physical activity makes to professional practice.
  4. Analyse research literature to identify and discuss how experiences and perceptions of 'physical culture' influence the formation of identity and individuals sense of self.
  5. Articulate a developing awareness of how physical culture and the interconnected nature of bodily experiences can inform professional practice.
Reading List
Bucher, C.A. and Wuest, D.A. (2006) Foundations of Physical Education, exercise science, and sport (Boston: McGraw-Hill).
Freeman, W.H. (2001) Physical Education and Sport in a Changing Society (Boston: Allyn
& Bacon)
Gray, S., McIsaac, S. and Mitchell, F. (under review). The 'truth' about health: critical inquiry and a health and wellbeing curriculum. Sport, Education and Society.
Gray, S., Mitchell, F. and McIsaac, S. (under review). Promoting health and wellbeing in the Scottish physical education context. Quest.
Gumbrecht, H. U. (2006) In praise of athletic beauty (London: Belknap Press )
Hargreaves, J. and Vertinsky, P. A. (Eds) (20006) Physical culture, power, and the body. London : Routledge, 2006.
Jir√°sek, I., (2003). Philosophy of sport, or philosophy of physical culture? An experience from the Czech Republic: Philosophical kinanthropology. Sport, Education and Society, 8(1), pp.105-117.
Johnson, S., Gray, S. and Horrell, A (2013). I want to look like that: healthism, the ideal body and physical education in a Scottish secondary school. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education.
Kirk, D., (1999) Physical culture, physical education and relational analysis. Sport, Education
and Society, 4(1), pp.63-73.
Kirk, D., (1998) Educational reform, physical culture and the crisis of legitimation in physical education. Discourse: studies in the cultural politics of education, 19(1), pp.101-112.
Kretchmar, R. S. (1994) Practical Philosophy of Sport (Leeds: Human Kinetics)
Saito, Y. (2007) Everyday aesthetics. Oxford: Oxford University Press
* Townsend, D. (1997). An Introduction to Aesthetics (Oxford: Blackwell). *

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Skills and abilities in Research and Enquiry

Graduates completing this course will:

1) search for, access, critically analyse, evaluate and synthesise relevant literature and information in order to develop their knowledge and understanding relating to education, physical education, physical activity, sport and wellbeing
Skills and abilities in Personal Effectiveness

Graduates completing this course will:

1) be able to transfer knowledge, skills and abilities to a professional context (e.g., schools, health promotion organisations)

Technical/practical skills

Graduates of this course will be able to:

1) gather and analyse variety of data

2) develop the technical and practical skills to enable them to undertake practitioner enquiry

3) manage and organize time, resources, records and information to support decision-­making

4) read purposefully and record what is relevant from a range of academic and professional literature and resource material

5) write accurately and clearly for academic purposes

6) use ICT to enhance their own learning
Additional Class Delivery Information 20 Lectures
24 Seminar/Tutorial/Workshop/Studio
2-4 practical-related learning tasks
KeywordsPhysical culture,aesthetics,sociology
Course organiserDr Nicola Carse
Tel: (0131 6)51 6614
Course secretaryMiss Lorraine Nolan
Tel: (0131 6)51 6571
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