RECR 3550 Principles of Leadership and Supervision


Principles of Leadership and Supervision

University of North Texas

Recreation 3550, Fall Semester 1998

Tuesdays and Thursdays - 2:00 p.m. to 3:20 p.m.

Room 220 - PEB

Instructor: John R. Collins, jr.

Office Hours: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday: 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.,
or by Appointment: 565-3422, PEB - Room 210-Q


Americans with Disabilities Compliance

The Department of Kinesiology, Health Promotion, and Recreation does not discriminate on the basis of disability in the recruitment and admission of students, the recruitment and employment of faculty and staff, and the operation of any of its programs and activities, as specified by federal laws and regulations. The designated liaison of the Department is Dr. Chwee Lye Chng, Physical Education building, Room 209, 565-2651. Copies of the Department of KHPR ADA Compliance Document are available in the Chair’s Office, Physical Education Building, Room 209. Copies of the College of Education ADA Compliance Document are available in the Dean’s Office, Matthews Hall, Room 214. The student has the responsibility of informing the course instructor of any disabling conditions that will require modifications and avoid discrimination.  

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

Students have the right to expect their grades will be kept confidential. During this class it may be necessary for you to pass your assignments forward to the instructor or it may be necessary for the instructor to call your name and then return graded material to you by passing it across the room. The instructor, under the reasonable assumption guidelines, assumes students are collecting only their own materials. Every attempt will be made to keep your information confidential. Your signature indicates that you understand and agree to pass materials to and from the instructor via other students. Should you choose not to sign, you will have to personally meet with the instructor to submit and receive assigned material. Neither your course grades nor grades for any assignment will be posted in a way that could result in your being identified by other students or faculty members.  

Academic Dishonesty

Cheating will not be tolerated in the class. You are not to receive information from another student or give information to another student during a test or quiz. You are to use only your memory during examinations. Students caught cheating during an examination will be charged under the University's Code of Student Conduct. Among other punishments, students found guilty run the risk of having their score changed to a zero, receiving a grade of "F" for the course, and/or dismissal from the University.


    The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the various theories of leadership and group dynamics concepts applicable to situations that exist in the leisure services profession. Students will critique their leadership style and performance capabilities through self assessment and awareness exercises; plus, integrate leadership and group development theory for assessing group characteristics in order to adapt activities that are congruent with participants.

Course Objectives

Upon satisfactory completion of this course, the students will be able to: 1. identify various leadership styles and techniques;

2. understand the nature and function of groups within a recreational setting;

3. identify the process through which groups form and develop;

4. understand the nature of the two-way communication process as it influences the leadership process;

5. understand the processes through which cooperative groups are formed;

6. develop and practice leadership skills using a variety of recreational activities.

Required Reading Jordan, D.J. 1996. Leadership in Leisure Services: Making a Difference. State College, PA: Venture Publishing, Inc.

Reserved Readings

Foster, E.S. 1994. More Energizers and Icebreakers. Minneapolis, MN: Educational Media Corporation

Foster, E.S. 1989. Energizers and Icebreakers. Minneapolis, MN: Educational Media Corporation

Heider, J. 1985. The Tao of Leadership. New York: Bantam Books.

Rohnke, K. 1984. Silver Bullets: A Guide to Initiative Problems, Adventure Games and Trust Activities. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company.

Rohnke, K. 1989. Cowstails and Cobras II: A Guide to Initiatives, Ropes Courses, & Adventure Curriculum. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company.

Russell, R.V. 1986. Leadership in Recreation. St. Louis: Times Mirror/Mosby College Publishing.

Performance Evaluation

1. Two examinations will be administered using a multiple-choice, true-false, definitional, and shot answer format. Each examination will cover approximately one-half of the text book material and class lectures.

2. Assignment 1 requires the student to select a leisure service agency where he/she can volunteer in the delivery of leisure programs for a period of 20 hours. During this experience, the student must prepare a journal log for each hour volunteered. The log will included describing the leadership style of the professionals observed, the age of the participants, the type of activities utilized, the type of problems observed with either the leisure professional and/or the participants, and the action taken to remedy the situation.

3. Assignment 2 requires the student to prepare three activities of approximately 5 minutes in length per activity that could be used in an impromptu situation. On separate 8.5 x 11 sheets of paper, each activity is to be described in terms of directions, age of audience, purpose, and variations. The student will provide copies of his/her three activities for all class members; thus producing an activity notebook with approximately 60 activities for each student.

4. Assignment 3 requires the students to work as a small team in the planning and leading of activities for the rest of the class for a period of approximately 30 minutes. The concepts of teamwork, cooperation, decision making, group leadership, and problem solving are experienced in this exercise.

5. Assignment 4 requires all students to attend the weekend-long recreation/sports activities workshop in Camp Redlands, Stillwater, Oklahoma from Friday, October 16 through Sunday, October 18. After this intensive two-day experience of leisure training, you will create and submit a description for each activity covered on a separate 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper.

6. Class participation credit is used to encourage and promote class discussion, attendance, and contribution of ideas and thoughts regarding the material.

Point Totals (percent)

30% Examination I
30% Examination II
5% Assignment 1 - Volunteer Leadership Experience Journal
10% Assignment 2 - Impromptu Leisure Activity Presentation
10% Assignment 3 - Group Activities Presentation
5% Assignment 4 - Camp Redlands Activity Notebook
10% Participation (contribution, attitude, preparedness)

Grading Assignments

A = 100-90 Excellent - Indicates exceptional achievement. Discussed relationships thoroughly, relates evidence supporting or refuting viewpoints of text.

B = 89-80 Good - Indicates extensive achievement. Discussed relationships and viewpoints requested. Use of course material is obvious.

C = 79-70 Satisfactory - Indicates acceptable achievement. Answered all questions, etc. Use of course material is apparent.

D = 69-60 Fair - Indicates minimal achievement. Responded inconsistently. Use of course material not obvious.

F = 59-00 Unsatisfactory - Indicates inadequate achievement. Did not, in general, meet the assignment criteria or did not complete the assignment.

 NOTE: The grading scale represents a preliminary cutoff between grades, with the final determination dependent upon the overall class performance.Class Policies The course will be governed by all policies described in the Faculty Handbook, the Student Guidebook, and the Undergraduate Catalog of the University of North Texas.

Make-up exams will not be given. Students with scheduling difficulties must make arrangements with the instructor prior to the exam. Valid proof of any accepted absence must be provided within 7 days after returning to class to be credited accordingly. Assignments turned in after the due date without prior approval will be subjected to a full grade reduction for each 24 hours beyond the due date. Assignments must be typed and follow a consistent style (a word processor software program is recommended). Professional "quality" for each of the assignments is the standard. A deduction in grading will occur for sloppiness, grammatical, spelling, and typographical errors. All examinations are to be returned to the instructor before leaving the classroom.

Course Calendar

The assigned readings will prepare you for the material to be presented in the lectures. It is expected that you will have read these before class. Please bring the syllabus to class each session to record any changes in topic or assignment. 

Tues, 9-1 Overview, Requirements, Structure, Policies, and Assignments 
Assignment I - Volunteer Leadership Experience Journal
Thur, 9-3 Recreation Leaders of the Past Lecture  
Tues, 9-8 Understanding Recreation Leadership Chapter 1
Thur, 9-10 Understanding Recreation Leadership (continued) Chapter 1
Tues, 9-15 Direct Leadership Techniques Chapter 12
Thur, 9-17 Direct Leadership Techniques (continued) Chapter 12
Tues, 9-22 NRPA Conference - NO CLASS  
Thur, 9-24 NRPA Conference - NO CLASS  
Tues, 9-29 Risk Management in Direct Leadership 
Assignment I - DUE
Chapter 11
Thur, 10-1 Risk Management in Direct Leadership (continued) Chapter 11
Tues, 10-6 Leadership Theories and Styles Chapter 2
Thur, 10-8 Leadership Theories and Styles (continued) Chapter 2
Tues, 10-13 Review for EXAMINATION I  
Thur, 10-15 EXAMINATION I  
Tues, 10-20 Assignment II - Impromptu Leisure Activity Presentations  
Thur, 10-22 Assignment II - Impromptu Leisure Activity Presentations  
Tues, 10-27 Managing and Motivating Participants  Chapter 8
Thur, 10-29 Managing and Motivating Participants (continued) Chapter 8 
Tues, 11-3 Group Dynamics Chapter 4
Thur, 11-5 Group Dynamics (continued) Chapter 4
Tues, 11-10 Managing Difficulties 
Assignment IV - DUE
Chapter 7 
Thur, 11-12 Managing Difficulties (continued) Chapter 7
Tues, 11-17 Diversity and Leadership Chapter 9
Thur, 11-19 Diversity and Leadership (continued)  Chapter 9
Tues, 11-24 Open date   
Thur, 11-26 Thanksgiving Holiday - NO CLASS  
Tues, 12-1 Assignment III - Group Leisure Activities Presentations  
Thur, 12-3 TRAPS Conference - NO CLASS   
Tues, 12-8 Assignment III - Group Leisure Activities Presentations   
Thur, 12-10 Assignment III - Group Leisure Activities Presentations  
Thur, 12-17 EXAMINATION II 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.  

      NOTE: The schedule on this page is tentative and could be subject to change.


After reading the Tao of Leadership, identify five of your strongest and five of your weakest leadership characteristics. Support your statements with specific examples from your past. There should be at least two supportive examples for each strength and weakness mentioned. The paper should include how you would like to continue your leadership development, how you would intend to overcome your weaknesses, and what processes you will use to accomplish your goals. Make exact reference to the leadership trait that you are referring to from the reading and provide your interpretation of the meaning and importance of the trait.


Leading each other in class is one means of learning leadership skills; unfortunately, most college students are very skilled learners - plus they present us with very few differences as challenges. However, all seasoned leaders have a "bag" of activities and equipment they can pull out in a moments notice and adapt to almost any situation.

Given the scenario that you have a bus load of children and have just been informed that the bus will be late, using only the resources at hand, you the recreation leader must now occupy/entertain these children until the bus arrives.

Therefore, on separate sheets of paper, prepare three (3) leisure/recreation activities approximately 5 minutes in length that are unusual (ethnic, antique, regional, etc.) but avoid the worn-out dodge ball, relay race, kick-ball, and sports activities. The best activities are challenging emotionally, but demand little particular skill. For each activity, provide the goal(s), group size limits, clear instructions on how to conduct this activity, and possibly variations of the activity. Provide each class member with a copy of the activity instructions sheet (approximately 35 copies). At the end of this semester, each class member will have a repertoire of extemporaneous activities at his/her disposal. If you are at a loss or unfamiliar with recreation activities, there are many resources in the library, and the appendix of your text book is also a good starting point. Each of these activities must be typed on separate pages.


You will be required to work in teams of 5 in the planning and leading of activities to the rest of the class for a period of 30 minutes of presentation time. Each member of the group is to prepare a new and unique activity in which to lead the class. The entire groups’ activities must have some coherency or commonality. Each group member is responsible for leading during the program. Do not assume everything will go as planned - so be prepared with alternative "B." DO consider safety factors both physically and psychologically. I have the PEB gym floor reserved, but if you need any equipment from downstairs, you must provide me with a list four (4) days ahead of your scheduled time. You will be judged on leadership, clarity of explanation, utilizing the entire time frame, how to handle late comers, creativity of activity, and overall control of the class. The concepts of teamwork, cooperation, decision making, group leadership, and problem solving are experienced in this exercise.