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Lara Killick

Associate Professor and Co-Chair, Health, Exercise, and Sport Sciences


Phone: 209.946.2981

Office Hours

Main Gym, Room 211 


PhD, Loughborough University, 2009

MA, University of Leicester, 2005

BA, Durham University, 2000

Curriculum Vitae 

Teaching Philosophy

I hold a dual position here at Pacific, with one foot in Sociology of Sport and the other in Sport Pedagogy, and see the two as irrevocably intertwined.

As a sociologist, I help students develop the critical thinking skills needed to question and explore sports' role in the development of societies, ideologies and everyday life. As a pedagogue, I assist students in developing their pedagogical skills through the use of reflexive, innovative and experiential teaching practices.

Both of these roles require an approach that is sensitive to the social, cultural and historical context in which we live our lives and demand a skill set that emphasizes reasoned debate, a multi-faceted understanding of the task at hand and an appreciation of diversity in thought and action.

My position at Pacific combines the two passions in my life: teaching and research. Viewing the relationship between the two as symbiotic, I situate student learning and empowerment at the heart of my teaching approach.

My commitment to my students is particularly evident in my Teaching Assistant (TA) program. Here I work one on one with my TAs to develop their pedagogical and interpersonal skills as they prepare for the challenges and terrain of their post-graduation employment. I place tremendous significance on active and experiential learning experiences within all my classes and invest large amounts of time and energy developing curricula that apply the latest advances in pedagogical theory and practice.

On a daily basis, my students are challenged to critically examine their own life experiences and ideologies, take their thinking "outside of the box" and are encouraged to become active consumers within the learning process. In return, my students challenge and push me to become the best teacher I can be and remind me everyday that we never stop learning since "all the world is a laboratory to the inquiring mind" (Fischer).

Scholarly Interest

My research interests are focused within the broad discipline of Sociology of Sport and can be loosely organized around three central themes.

The first and most prominent of these relates to the Body and Physical Culture. I am particularly interested in contributing to the growing corpus of knowledge around young people's embodied understandings of health and risk. Within this area, I seek to develop several lines of enquiry related to my Ph.D. research which include, but are not limited to:

  • The young people-sport-risk-health nexus
  • Development of epistemic devices around sporting pain and injury
  • Media representations of the (injured) body and sport

These ideas connect with broader concerns related to the construction of gendered athletic identities, the role of achievement sport in physical education and power relations within the school environment.

In addition to the above, I am developing two embryonic research interests:

  • Social and Cultural Determinants of Health: I am particularly committed to exploring innovative methodological tools within my research and empowering participants and local communities through the research process.
  • Pedagogical Theory and Practice: I place active student learning at the heart of my teaching philosophy and am engaging more deeply with critical pedagogical theory and the utilization of emergent technology within my teaching practices.


SPTS 100: Introduction to Research

SPTS 141: Sport in America

SPTS 151: Elementary PE

SPTS 153: Adapted PE

SPTS 189e: Practicum: Sport Pedagogy

SPTS 191: Independent Study (Research topics have included the use of emergent technology in teacher education programs, the evaluation of after-school physical activity programs and national swim safety initiatives).

SPTS 241: Advanced Sociology of Sport

SPTS 291: Sport & Globalization (Graduate)

SPTS 299: Masters Thesis

I also contribute guest lectures to the Physical Therapy Doctoral program across campus at the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Science.