SEHS/TOK ideas: Mechanical doping or just plain old cheating?

1178782360Let’s be honest; putting a small motor on a bike to make it easier to cycle does not take a creative mind.  Bikes with small motors attached aimed at us ‘riders of bikes’ (and I differentiate here from cyclists) have been available for years.  However, when Femke
Van den Driessche, a Belgian cyclo-cross rider, aged just 19, was found to have a small motor within the frame of the bike she was riding in the World Championships in January 2016, a whole new and fascinating debate around the nature of cheating, or as it has been described ‘mechanical doping’ or ‘technological fraud’ amongst other things has emerged from already scandal hit cycling.  The purpose of this short post is to review some of the material that you may could use to inform a TOK based discussions about the nature of mechanical doping in cycling, and more broadly the use of ergogenic aids in sports performance.  While it is not intended to be exhaustive, it will highlight some good internet based articles and resources that could be used to stimulate and drive a discussion around this very relevant and live debate in sport.  

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Treadmill vs Outdoors: Which is best? Opinion from BBC News.

_87928496_7040cbb2-c8b9-4ba9-a85b-efd1b11ab104For those of you teaching units of work on developing training and fitness programmes that haven’t seen this interesting article published recently on the BBC, it is certainly worth a quick look.  Michael Mosley considered the age old debate around running outdoors or on a treadmill.  Building around issues including energy levels, speed, safety and well being, the article is interesting and while in many respects anecdotal rather than concrete is a useful consideration of some of the key issues around this debate. For what it is worth, for me, as an occasional runner, this is a no brainer.  I hate running on a treadmill.  I even hate running on a track because it is repetitive, so for me a treadmill one of my worst exercise nightmares.  Also, I stress that as someone living with a spouse that runs daily in temperatures of sometimes as low as -20 during the winter months here in Sweden, the treadmill is never a ‘preferred’ option for her either!  As the Swedes say, (in Swedish of course), ‘there is no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes’.

To read the article in full follow the link:

(c) Ian Gavin 2016.

Disclaimer: Links in this post are the intellectual property of the respective authors and publishers.  Images taken from the articles used for illustrative purposes.


SEHS/TOK ideas: Can we ever justify using knowledge that we know has been created through questionable means?

When starting a new blog and trying to both set a standard and make a positive first impression it is always good to start with something nice and simple; IB Theory of Knowledge (TOK)!  However, I think it is fair to say that teaching SEHS, or any advanced Sports Studies courses offers educators many opportunities to address a range of ethical and moral questions as part of their course, whether it is directly on the syllabus on not.  While the more obvious examples, such as the use of performance enhancing drugs are well documented, there are many other interesting discussions and debates that emerge from our courses.

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Welcome to Teaching SEHS

This is it.  The awkward first post.  It is where, despite the big plans and commitment to starting and maintaining a blog on something that is really motivating, you are actually left feeling horribly exposed and with significantly less to say.  To make matters worse, you start to picture all those blogs that you have taken inspiration from; the ones with hundreds of posts over a period of a good few years.  To be frank, they leave your first post looking very alone and the whole page sparse.  So, how do you start a blog like this? Maybe with a bold statement of who you are or what you want to achieve?  Perhaps a more subtle thrust straight into the content and subject matter you are interested in sharing?  Possibly.  The alternative that I have gone for is obviously slightly different.  I have gone for a little self deprecating humour.  How British of me.

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