Inclusion in the PHE Classroom
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in the classroom are some of the most important topics in the teaching world. Educators must design, adjust and modify our lesson plans to accommodate all students. Let's start 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 equity, diversity and inclusion means, to embrace new perspectives and to 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 and life experiences. Take a moment to reflect on these stories; are there biases or blindspots? Take note of any preconceptions you may have noticed in the last year and any areas you specifically wish to improve upon within the margins of this module.
Minds On Activity: Are you teaching in 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 students 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, with routines, schedules co-created with input from the child?
Do you 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" and pay close attention because perhaps those are 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, cultures, races, physical or mental abilities, and life perspectives. 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, educators come across a wide variety of students, and the chances of them being from different cultural backgrounds brings rich diversity to our classrooms. We need to learn about our schools' communities and build strong relationships with parents and students alike. Teachers play a powerful role in creating welcoming class environments, and being aware of our actions, both visible and invisible, can make students from any background feel safe. This sense of belonging in the learning space (be it indoor, outdoor, classroom, gymnasium....imagine the possibilities !) is a way to celebrate our differences. It is also critical to ensuring student success, and the development of a sense of community empowers both teachers and learners alike. This module challenges you to examine your own school community, identify elements that might need to change, and provides you with resources and ideas to create a more open, diverse, equitable and inclusive learning environment.
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. Are there students struggling withe gender identity? racism? poverty? food insecurity? pressures from home? Every educator taking this module has valuable experiences that each one of us could learn from, and by sharing our little 'teachable moments' we open ourselves up to 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 situations or 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 whose voices aren't strong enough.
Culture, Race and Ethnicity
Below you will find a Padlet link that 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 altering posted responses. A friendly ethical reminder to not post school or student names.
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 safer, 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. This is a very thought provoking statement that every educator knows and needs to take into consideration.
Students all have their own stories, just as every teacher has his/her/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. Describe your insights in response to the presenter's comments that, “our stories of pain do not preclude us from having privilege?” How might this quote hide the realities of our students’ lived experiences that are brought to our classrooms? How can we teach this misconception of pain and privilege in our classrooms?
How does the topic of systematized oppression make you feel? Does it exist in your school context? 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 racism, discrimination, and bullying come from not understanding anyone who looks or acts differently than we do. Once the learning process has started, understanding can begin which will hopefully be followed by acceptance and a celebration of differences.
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 the activity 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 inundated through multi-media, TV, video games, in movies or on social media that can be construed as segregated or discriminatory?
Who’s breaking the barriers? A great question to ask our students and ourselves: Is movement towards a more inclusive classroom helped or hindered by the economy, people's attitudes, social or systemic structures? This is a philosophical question that merits being examined in the context of sport in our school system today. By examining societal and media norms, educators may invite themselves and their students to break some of these ideologies and begin a new dialogue based on a foundation of inclusion. Some paths forward have been created, but they still need to be developed, collaboratively forged, and taught every day to increase acceptance and inclusion of every learner.
We can thank popular culture and media such as the TV series Will and Grace 1998, Modern Family 2009, and Schitt's Creek 2020 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 1950s 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 every day to seek acceptance whether in Canada or in their home countries where their participation in sport may not be accepted.
In summary, where is the representation in your school context for all groups? Where is it missing? What actions can teachers, parents, administrators or policy-makers take to infuse EDI throughout the school culture?
Activity #4 - Video & Questions
Check out the videos above as great discussion starters for your classes. Teachers can be breaking barriers by:
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
Promoting co-ed inturmeurals or a new co-ed sports league and partner with other schools to allow all high calibre athletes to participate together without any gender divide. This would be inclusive for students in the LGBTQ+ community as well.
Developing clubs or sport competitions for students living with disabilities and have them compete against other schools.
Bringing para-athletes to speak to your classes about their lived experiences of disablity and who served as their heroes in overcoming challenges.
Inclusion, Diversity & Equity
Equity Diversity and Inclusion: Increased awareness of these issues often leaves 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. This section of the module provides you with some concrete strategies and ideas you can use in your school to increase awareness of EDI, promote full inclusion in PHE and encourage advocacy for participation for all students.
Activity #5 - Video: Watch and Reflect
Issues of EDI face us every day: in our large diverse classrooms, in our grocery stores or the streets of our community and in our academic departments with the people we work with every day. EDI 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, and also that we ourselves feel included in our workplaces and personal lives.
EDI 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. Our personal behavious can changed based on how we are treated.
"Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all
peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that
if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends."
Share reflections and insights 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? Share specific examples online.
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". Reflect on yourself and see how many characteristics you hold back during meetings, and do those people know you are not being your authentic self? Do others whom you know hold back for fear of being judged as different? Can you envision students to whom this applies? 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, where to work or go to school after highschool... and...so many things we CANNOT shooise. Neither of these defines us.
Activity #6 - What we can Choose and Cannot Choose
Morals and Values
Sex at birth
Sex at Birth
Activity: Making Choices
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. You can also do this virtually using Jamboard or Google Docs to share with colleagues or peers.
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, these events have a big effect on how a person is viewed by society. This video is a great demonstration of how those things we do not choose can affect our outcomes, and often how hard we have to fight to be at a level playing field with the rest of our peers.
Video: The Race of life
How does this resonate with you, your students, your collegues, friends and maybe your family? Everyone has their own story, so intentionally getting to know the 'other side' as talked about in the video for Activity #2, we can help students overcome challenges and guide them to break barriers down one at a time, for themselves or their peers.
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. In particular, being well versed in technologies that support EDI (accessible voice to text readers for example). This section of the module challenges you to examine your own use of technology and see if it follows principles of inclusion, equity and diversity.
Implementing technology in physical education while teaching virtually is no easy task, and it raises the question about student participation, accessibility features, socio-economic status, privacy issues as well as integrating the curriculum content through technology. Teachers needed ‘just in time technology’, meaning 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 perhaps you've downloaded the program but it doesn't work with your equipment or board firewall. 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
Activity - The Digital Text book
write something about this video
- include a reflection piece for teachers, another padlet?
- or a have them try with their students and they have to write their estimated student reaction vs. actual student reaction after this activity,...
slides mania, sligesgo,... use ticktoc video about teacher who makes digital textbooks
OUR NEW PLACE
I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. Let your users get to know you.
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.
Ready to Submit - Click here
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Remember that you are not alone in your challenge to constantly fight for student's participation, accountability and engagement. The struggle is real for many educators and it will be ongoing as virtual classrooms will become a mainstream pedagogical tool. Below are some suggested ice-breaker sites for online classes that can help students feel more comfortable using a webcam, participating on line and feeling a sense of belonging to an online community.
Great Icebreakers for Online Spaces:
Best K-12 Icebreakers for Students https://sites.google.com/site/onlineteachingstrategies/virtualicebreakers
21 Free Online Icebreakers https://symondsresearch.com/icebreakers-for-online-teaching/
15 Virtual Icebreakers https://blog.sli.do/virtual-icebreakers/
50 Virtual Icebreakers for Distance Learning https://www.vivifystem.com/blog/2020/6/1/icebreakers-for-distance-learning
Activity #8 - Assistive Tech Best Practices Compilation
Reflecting on your teaching practice from the past year we all had to adapt our teaching practice while taking into consideration the students in our class that needed explicit instructions, extra reminders about assignments being due, or accessibility features like real aloud programs. Educators quickly became the tech leads of their own classrooms and troubleshooting experts. In this activity, we are really interested in what successes you had.
Read the articles below that speak about incorporating technology into your PHE classroom, considerations for teachers when implementing tech and the importance of incorporating assistive tech or devices in your classrooms. Reflect on your technology journey while you were forced into virtual learning or tech you have always used virtual or not. There is always a place for tech but it has to be incorporated properly for it to enhance the learning opportunities of students.
10 Reasons teachers can struggle with technology in the classroom
Google Slides - Assistive Tech Best Practices Compilation
This activity is meant to share and showcase the unique ways you have implemented technology in your virtual or in-face learning settings to assist your students living with disabilities. It could be as simple as a timer to help students transition from topic to topic, a digital journal for students to write, chrome extensions that helps them organize their work or a text to speech software to help students type. There may be repetition of the websites or tools however how each teacher uses the resources will be different.
Click on the google slides link below and duplicate the template slide and add in your teacher tech tool.
Keeping in mind this module is based on Inclusion for all students not just individuals living with physical or mental disabilities. So your tech tool could include something to support a minority group of students or an inexpensive tool affordable for all families.
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)