Inclusion in the PHE Classroom
Inclusion in the classroom is one of the most important topics talked about in the teaching world. We are told to fix, adjust and modify our lessons plans to accommodate all students without really asking the questions; What do all of our students want? or What do students prefer to play in our PE classes?
This module will ask you to reflect on your current ideas of what inclusion means, embrace new perspectives and share ideas with other teachers of what has worked in your classrooms.
Inclusion in our PHE Classrooms
Each of you taking this module come from a wide range of teaching experiences and life experiences. Take a moment to reflect on these experiences, are there biases you are aware of? Perhaps any preconceptions you may have noticed about yourself in the last year and any area you specifically wish to improve upon within the margins of this module.
Minds On Activity: Are you an inclusive school?
Take this little quiz before starting Module 2. It's meant as a minds-on activity to get you thinking and open yourself up to areas you may not have thought needed work. This little quiz was taken from an Inclusive Teaching Blog that has some good ideas, activities and resources to assist teachers as they navigate through their teaching career, if you like Blogs it might be a good resource for you to bookmark.
Do they have a chance to share their interests with peers and adults?
Do you regularly ask “What is their behaviour telling me”?
Have you made them welcome using their preferred communication method?
Do you ever just sit with them and share time and space without placing demands?
Do they trust you?
Are reactions and interactions always consistent and relentlessly positive?
Do they have a voice that all staff actively listen and respond to?
Is everything predictable, and routines, schedules created with input from the child?
Do we teach skills to cope with and thrive during unstructured time?
Do all children have their own space or territory and are there safe spaces to escape to?
Do you plan and prepare for all transitions?
Do you always model expected behaviours?
Ask yourself how many questions did you answer "No" to pay close attention because perhaps those are the some areas that you, or your school, could improve upon to create a more inclusive and comfortable learning environment for your students. As you work through this module, keep these areas in mind if they related to your own teaching practice and use them for your focus on the activities.
The Big Ideas
Living in this world we are surrounded by people with different experiences, different cultures, different race, different physical or mental abilities and the list goes on. As human beings it is important we accept and understand that what we see in front of us is only the tip of the iceberg and there is much more than meets the eye.
Inclusion in our classrooms
Throughout our teaching careers we come across such a wide variety of students, and the chances of them being the same ethnicity or cultural background as us is very slim, which is why we need to learn about our schools communities and build strong relationships with parents and students alike. (EDIT SHORT INTRO PARAGRAPH - ADD MORE ABOUT THE ROLE THE TEACHER PLAYS IN BUILDING AN INCLUSIVE CLASSROOM)
Activity #1 - Share on Padlet
Think of all students that you encounter in a school year and think about a few groups that you are particularly concerned with in your classroom or in your community. Perhaps they aren’t getting the support they need, they are victims of bullying or haven’t adjusted to learning English as a second language. Everyone taking this course has valuable experiences that each one of us could learn from and by sharing our little 'teachable moments' we open ourselves up a very important conversation that starts with the question: How can we help?
Below are some examples of the groups of students, populations or individuals living with medical conditions that often feel pushed aside in certain situations. By taking this module you are already taking a strong step towards educating yourself and being willing to advocate for those who's voices aren't strong enough.
Culture, Race and Ethnicity
Below you will find a Padlet link which will allow you to post and share your ideas. Please answer one of the questions below and please practice good digital citizenship, by only offering constructive and reflective feedback and by not alter anyone’s response.
Which groups are you most concerned about in your school/community? Is there currently any support for these students to feel more included and safe in their environment? What interventions have taken place, if any, that seemed to erase the divide and help students feel more included and comfortable in your community/school.
Think about how you have helped a student feel more safe, or perhaps have advocated for a student who wasn't being heard. What were the circumstances or what needs of the student? What challenges did the student, the teacher and/or the parents face? Did you find a solution and what interventions or strategies were put in place? If no solution was found, post a ‘help’ question and perhaps another educator has been in a similar situation and could offer some advice.
In this video Maria Morukian discusses her idea of “embracing multiple realities” and she emphasizes the importance that we are all individuals with our own perspectives. A very true statement that every educator knows and needs to take into consideration.
Students all have their own stories, just as every teacher has their own, and whether the student is in grade 1 or grade 10 their past experiences will influence their current behaviour. Understanding their stories can move mountains when it comes to building relationships with your students.
Activity #2 - Video: Watch and Reflect
While watching this video, take note of your own perspectives and who Maria Morukian may be referring to as ‘the other side’ in the context of your life. Reflect on the following questions.
In the video pain and privilege are mentioned. What was the presenter trying to say when she said, “our stories of pain do not preclude us from having privilege?” How might this quote hide in the realities of our students’ lived experiences that are brought to our classrooms? How can we teach this misconception of pain not equally privilege in our classrooms?
How does the topic of systematized oppression make you feel? Does it exist? Why or why not? Reflect on how this oppression might be impacting our students based on their looks, economic status, culture, beliefs, ability, etc. What can you do in your classroom to establish a learning environment that is detached and independent from systematized oppression for your students. (ie. creating a space where all students see one another as equals).
Many problems of rasicsm, discrimination and bullying come from not understanding anyone who looks or acts different from us. Once the learning process has started, understanding can begin which will hopefully be followed by acceptance.
Think of situation you have encountered over the last few years where you had to intervene because a single student (or group) was being ostracized because they 'seemed' different to the other students in your class.
Now, with that in mind, watch the video and do the next activity and think about how you could have used them in your classroom to start the process of learning, understanding and accepting.
Activity: Teachers this is for you to complete. Think of a partner, co-worker or friend and complete this Venn Diagram. The partner would typically answer their own questions so pick someone you know very well.
Video: This could be a great introductory video to be used in your classroom to discuss diversity and inclusion and break those barriers that may already exist in students.
Printable Version of the Diagram
Activity #3 - What's Different, What's the same?
The take home message about this activity is that we all belong to the human race and should respect and celebrate our differences. So, how do we teach our students this, and even more importantly how do we help them see past everything they see on TV, in movies or on social media that can be construed as segregated or discriminatory?
Who’s breaking the barriers; society, large companies or the people? This is more of a philosophical question but it merits being examined in the context of sport in our school system today for the sole purpose of examining society and media norms and how educators have to break some of these ideologies. We can thank those who came before us for the paths that have been created but they still need to be developed, enforced and taught everyday for these paths to become concrete and widely accepted where we view everything and everyone as ONE.
We can thank TV shows such as Friends, Rosanne, and The Real World who aired episodes that brought awareness to the LGBTQ+ community in the 1990’s after the devastating outbreak of AIDS in the 1980’s. Then came full the TV series of Will and Grace 1998 and Modern Family 2009 which familiarized the acceptance of the gay community in society.
Social norms and acceptance is not only a battle for the LGBTQIA+ community, but has been a battle fought by any marginalized racial group in our country. Looking at the racial divide that exists in sports slowly decreased in the 1950’s with Earl Llyod, Chuck Cooper and Nat Clifton joining the NBA. The influx of African-American athletes in sports is addressed in The book Taboo: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports And Why We're Afraid To Talk About It written by Jon Entine. A review by Cynthia L. Lehman describes the book as “a good beginning to understanding the debate on the subject of race and sports.” sited from the review of the book in the Journal of Black Studies.
Of course these groups discussed above are not the only ones who are discriminated against in sport. Many Indigenous people, new immigrants, females, LGBTQ+ individuals and mentally or physically disabled individuals have to fight battles everyday to seek acceptance whether in Canada or in their home countries where their participation in sport may not be accepted.
Activity #4 - Video & Questions
Teachers can be breaking barriers by: (Maybe have them watch these video and read a related article to follow? do we explicitly have to say watch videos? if they are there,.. is it assummed?)
offering independent changing room facilities for our students who identify with the LGBTQ+ community, or even allowing students to participate in physical activities in their street clothes.
Altering our sports training schedules to accommodate for students who have to exercise during Ramadam as well as serving food after sundown for any banquets, awards services or high school prom
Promote co-ed inturmeurals or a new co-ed sports league and partner with other schools to allow all high calaber athletes to participate together without any gender divide. This would be inclusive for students in the LGBTQ+ community as well.
Develop some clubs or sport competitions for students living with disabilities and have them compete against other schools. Our next para athletes have to get their start from somewhere
Inclusion, Diversity & Equity
Filler paragraph ..... The use of technology in the classrooms has increased significantly over the last few decades and with that teachers have had to adapt their teaching practices. The last couple of years had left many teachers struggling to not only adapt, but completely change their method of teaching to be completely online. Leaving so many Physical & Health Education teachers, across the country wondering ‘How can I do this?’. Well, in the end, nothing drives innovation like being stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Activity #5 - Video: Watch and Reflect
This next topic needs no introduction because we see it everyday. In our large diverse classrooms, in our grocery stores or the streets of our community as in our departments with the people we work with everyday. This topic isn't only important to teach our students about, but it's important that we do our best to model and be inclusive with our co-workers, or that we ourselves feel included and are not cast out because of who we are.
It affects our lives in 2-ways; how we treat others and how we are treated by others. It is a delicate balance, which many of you have seen in your classrooms before, where the victims either become more withdrawn or sometimes even becomes the bully. Our personal behavious can changed based on how we are treated
Our personal behaviours can changed based on how we are treated which is why by promoting inclusion, you are not only helping others around you, you are also helping yourself.
Feelings about this video, answer questions, post in a padlet, or write a blog post (sample questions below)
1) What are some ways you promote an inclusive environment in your school community?
2) How have you supported your students in the past?
3) Do you have any specific examples ?
Whether it's in our classroom, a staff meeting, a coaches meeting or a group of friends, we sometimes ask those around us to behave according to social norms or as the speaker called it behaviour conformity. Look at yourself and see how many characteristics you hold back during meetings or gathers, and do those people know you are not being your authentic self? Look at others, whom you know hold back (eg. friend living with ADHD who doesn't like taking medication all the time but picks the people who they can be un-medicated around because they know they will not be judged). How many students do you think this applies to? There are so many things in our lives that we choose, such as; where to live, who we are friends with, what movie to watch, what school to attend, to work or go to school after highschool... and the list goes on.
Activity #6 - What we can Choose and Cannot Choose
Morals and Values
Sex at birth
Sex at Birth
There are also so many things we cannot choose in life, these things often affect us, but we had no control over the decision or outcome. We cannot choose who our family is, if our parents get divorced, if we are born with a disability, we cannot choose any trauma that happens to us or how people hurt us or treat us.
On a blank piece of paper re-create the 2 columns to the left, try to list at least 20 for each column. If you hover over the list to the left it will give you a larger collection of answers but try to come up with some on your own first before looking at the answers.
Try this as an individual or whole class activity with your students
The above activity should point out that there are certain things in everyone's life that they didn't choose, and yet, it has a big effect on how they are viewed by society. This video is a great demonstration of how those things we do not choose can effect our outcomes and how hard we have to fight to be at a level playing field with the rest of our peers.
Video: The Race of life
This may resonate with you, your students, your collegues, friends and maybe your family. Everyone has their own story, so get to know the 'other side' as talked about in the video for Activity #2, and by helping eachother overcome barriers we will break then down one at a time.
Innovation & Technology in Physical Education
The use of technology in the classrooms has increased significantly over the last few decades and with that teachers have had to adapt their teaching practices. However, over the last couple of years many school boards moved to virtual learning which left many teachers struggling to not only adapt, but completely change their method of teaching to be completely online. Leaving so many Physical & Health Education teachers, across the country wondering ‘How can I do this?’. Well, in the end, nothing drives innovation like being stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Implementing technology in physical education while teaching virtually is no easy task, and it raises the question about student participation, privacy issues as well as integrating the curriculum content through technology. Teachers needed ‘just in time technology’ something they could implement tomorrow with a very easy learning curve, such as a digital food journal, or step counter. When searching for new tech tools during the school year, you can come across many that don't work with your class or you've download the program but it doesn't work with your equipment. The trial and error process can be a never ending rabbit hole, or roller coaster as some teachers would call it. If you have ever felt overwhelmed or are constantly searching for ideas, you are not alone.
Activity # 7 - Reflection Survey and Article
The below article examines teachers during the COVID-pandemic and their experiences with online teaching and survey teachers on their experiences, the authors note that "many items specifically focused on use and access to technology, student participation, and meeting students’ needs in various ways. Results can provide guidance for how to address the essential components of physical education in the online environment." (Centeio, E., 2021)
Please survey yourself first using the drop down boxes and then read the article making note of the specific sections and anything you find that parallels your own experiences. Use your survey answers to reflect on your own teaching practice and how you use of technology in your classroom. All submissions are checked for completion and ideas expressed here will not be published or shared.
Ready to Submit - Click here
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A large part of including this article was to show that you are not alone in your challenge to constantly fight for student's participation, accountability and engagement. The struggle was real and it will be ongoing as virtual classrooms will become a mainstream pedagogical tool.
Activity #8 - Read & Share Best Practices
Reflecting on your teaching practice from the past year was there anything you were surprised you learned how do or became proficient in? What about learning a completely new skill like navigating the virtual platforms while sharing your screen. I'm sure we can have a whole section of bloopers or things NOT to do while teaching virtually but we'll let tictok take care of that. In this activity we are really interested in what success you had.
Read a blog post from the 4 blogs below. Choose 1 one (or more) that resonate with your teaching successes or struggles and examine the use of technology in our current Physical and Health classrooms. There is a place for tech, but it has to be incorporated properly for it to enhance the learning opportunities of students. There is a difference between tech software such as Microsoft Office, or Google Suites that has become mainstream and Tech Tools, Applications or Devices that can enhance data collection (i.e. digital sprinter blocks and finish line).
10 Reasons teachers can struggle with technology in the classroom
Jamboard Slide Share - Best Practices
For this activity, think of one tech tip, one chrome extension, or perhaps an application or website that you used during your virtual teaching practice. This activity is meant to share and showcase the unique ways we have implemented technology in our virtual or in-face learning settings. Repetition of websites or tools is to be expected, however how each teacher uses the resources or what activity they connect them to will be different.
Step 1: Think of a tech tool, website, phone application, device or equipment that you have used and think it would add value to any Phys. Ed. Department.
Step 2: Open up a new slide
Step 3: Write a little description to explain how you used it, why you think it's useful, what grade and unit did you use it for etc.
Step 4: Include a picture or the technology or of the application, a web link and/or online store so that anyone can have access if they feel it could be utilized in their class as well
Is there anything (tech related) that you would have liked to do differently while teaching Online ? - change to an open ended question
Technology can be a good thing in PE, consider which tech tips you or your colleagues used during the pandemic that could still be implemented in your class today.
What technologies are realistic for PE teachers to use and to match with what pedagogical tools during which units?
To finish off this Module, we invite you to read 3 of 6 of the following research articles. Each research article has roots deep in inclusive pedagogy but touches on different topics and areas. Choose articles that will help you elevate your teaching practice.
Research Article Collection
Muslim female athletes in sports and dress code: major obstacle in international competitions
Journal of Experimental Sciences 2011, 2(11): 09-13
Yasmeen Iqbal Qureshi and Soniha Aslam Ghouri (2011)