The Impact Participation in Recreational Sport in College Has on Student Development and Learning

The Impact Participation in Recreational Sport in College Has on Student Development and Learning

Artha L. Simpson Jr. (Lamar University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4108-1.ch015
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Abstract

The National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association's (NIRSA) collaboration in the publication of learning Reconsidered II with council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) in Higher Education places collegiate recreation professionals are at a crossroads: either continue down the path of simply providing recreational sport activities and services or join with other student service professionals in focusing their effort on student development and learning. The journey towards a learning focus in recreational sports begins in 1994 when NIRSA, the professional organization for recreational sports professionals, published a position statement regarding rationale for Independent Administration of Collegiate Recreational Sports Programs. This chapter explores this journey.
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Introduction

Learning is defined as “a comprehensive, holistic, transformative activity that integrates academic learning and student development… a complex, holistic, multicentric activity that occurs throughout and across the college experience” (Keeling, 2004). The division of Recreational Sports on a university campus is unique. The importance of this program is to be able to provide quality programming and facilities for the students of Lamar University. It is required under higher education accreditation review board and those regulations set through regulations standards that students development is evaluated to show student learning outcomes. The material presented in this review allows for great resource in administering such goal setting and evaluating.

The National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association’s (NIRSA) collaboration in the publication of learning Reconsidered II with council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) in Higher Education places collegiate recreation professionals are at a crossroads; either continue to down the path of simply providing recreational sport activities and services or join with other student service professionals in focusing their effort on student development and learning (Keeling, 2006). The journey towards a learning focus in recreational sports begins in 1994 when NIRSA, the professional organization for recreational; sports professionals, published a position statement regarding rationale for Independent Administration of Collegiate Recreational Sports Programs (Bryant, Anderson, & Dunn, 1994). The concept of student development and learning n recreational sports is supported by a variety of professional statements and collaborations with other higher education related professional associations. In 1996, NIRSA asserted seven primary goals for inclusion into the Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) Professional Standards for Higher Education. The statement: “to provide value to participants by helping individuals develop and maintain a positive self image, stronger social interactive skills, enhanced physical fitness and good mental health” as well as “to provide extracurricular education opportunities through participation in recreational sports and the provision of relevant leadership positions” .

Student Development refers to the body of theories related to how students gain knowledge in post secondary education environments. This Theory of student development could be credited to theorists such as B.F. Skinner and Carl Rogers who influenced the thinking about students and a new paradigm development: the student service paradigm as the name indicated stated that students should be provided with services they require in order to better gain knowledge. Arthur W. Chickering is an educational researcher in the field of student affairs who is also known for his contribution to student development theories as well.

This theory identified relevant and desirable student learning and development outcomes and provide programs and services that encourage the achievement of the outcome for student development. The theory’s main focus of student development outcomes are intellectual growth, effective communication, environmental influences, enhanced self esteem, leadership development, healthy behaviors, interpersonal relationships, career choices, social responsibility, appreciating diversity, and personal and educational goals. This theory is important to this topic because it examines the relationship between leisure and college student development and suggest ways in which leisure may be employed as a campus resource fostering student development.

Bloand, P.A. (1987), examined the relationship between leisure and student development and proposed that educators, particularly those concerned with organization of student activities, employed the broader conceptual framework provided by thinking of leisure, authorities believed that leisure would contribute to (a) happiness, risk-free social experimentation, and recognition (b) physical health and contrast and variety in one’s life (c) an increased sense of freedom, the experience of commitment to serious purpose, and identification with role models and mentors (d) companionship and relationship with others (e) entertainment and relaxation and (f) balance in life through meeting unmet needs. There were other benefits of leisure that may have had particular implications for the fostering of student development.

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