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Klara Gubacs-Collins

Associate Professor, Exercise Science and Physical Education

University Hall
BS, Hungarian University of Physical Eduaction (Hungary)
MA, Montclair State University
EdD, University of Massachusetts
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Dr. Klara Gubacs-Collins is an Associate Professor in the Department of Exercise Science and Physical Education. She has been teaching at MSU for 15 years and responsible to teach up to 20 different sports to physical education majors, as well as a variety of theoretical courses. As a member and now Chair of the Department Curriculum Committee she was responsible for reorganizing the games education curriculum based on the Teaching Games For Understanding model. Prior to teaching at the college level, Dr. Gubacs-Collins taught K-12 physical education in Budapest, Hungary. Dr. Gubacs-Collins has received state and district awards, which included the New Jersey Outstanding College Teacher of The Year award as well as the Eastern District Outstanding Professional Award. She has also served as President of the New Jersey State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (NJAHPERD). Dr. Gubacs-Collins's research has evolved through several phases. First, she has published articles and presented in several national and international conferences regarding the implementation of a Tactical Approach to Teaching Games in Physical Education, Sport Education and Teaching Personal and Social Responsibility. Within this area most recently she developed the idea of a Socratic Gymnasium which is the combination of the above three methods in the teacher education setting. Her latest work has been published in The Physical Educator, one of the leading journals in the field of Physical Education Pedagogy.

Most recently, based on over 25 years of teaching experience, Dr. Gubacs-Collins has changed her focus to understanding the potential negative factors that inhibit teachers from implementing change. Among such inhibiting factors she hypothesized that limiting beliefs developed through life and work place anxieties may be significant contributors to practitioners' lack of actual performance. This research has led Dr. Gubacs-Collins to the study of Meridian Based Therapies such as EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) and to Kinesiology Muscle Testing. To advance her studies Dr. Gubacs-Collins has received several certificates in the above-mentioned areas and is using her knowledge of the past many years to develop a research line and course of study in the effectiveness of Meridian Based Therapies and Kinesiology Muscle Testing. In addition, Dr. Gubacs-Collins is working with athletes and performers from MSU to reduce and eliminate performance anxiety in their respective fields. She, herself, also loves to perform and play sports and many of the sports she teaches she played and/or coached on a competitive level at one time or another. Her latest achievement was to complete a feat of winning the Ridgewood Country Club Golf Championship, with which now she became the champion of all sports offered in this club, a first in the club’s history. She developed a blueprint for winning and to help people in all areas of life in MSU to become the “champion” they were meant to be.


Non-traditional approaches to teaching games in the activity modules, including Badminton, Tennis, Soccer, Speedball, Volleyball, European handball; Teacher Education, Sociology of Sport and Physical Education. Understanding and treating, through meridian based therapies, the potential negative factors of limiting beliefs developed through life and anxieties affecting performance.


Research Projects

The Development of "Generation Y Not"?

The overall objective of this project is to reduce personal, social but most importantly academic stress and achievement anxiety in Physical Education, Exercise Science and Athletic Training students. This will be done through the use of the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT, Craig 2010) to apprehend self-limiting beliefs in the process of becoming effective teachers and change agents in the field.

The Socratic Gymnasium

What constitutes Appropriate Practice in physical education? NASPE suggests that the outcome of a physical education program should be that adolescents have gained the skills and knowledge to be physically active for a lifetime. Furthermore a physically educated person is one who consistently demonstrates responsible personal and social behavior in physical activity settings. The question thus becomes, how do we accommodate all of these aspects of appropriate practice into a single unified integrated system that includes equal emphasis on the physical, cognitive, and affective aspects of physical education? My contention is that the answer lies in what I shall refer to as the Socratic Gymnasium. The main pillars of the Socratic Gymnasium are the combined utilization of a Tactical Games Approach (TGA), Sport Education (SE), and Teaching Personal and Social Responsibility (TPSR), all of which are constructivist instructional models.