Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Multiculturalism in Physical Education




Introduction
Multicultural education is an “education that values diversity and includes the perspectives of a variety of cultural groups on a regular basis” (Santrock, 2001, p.171). Within recent years the population of schools have become more culturally diverse. According to Lievesley, (2010) one fifth of UK’s population will be from an ethnic background by 2051. However, there are not enough equitable experiences for Black, Asian and minority ethnic people (BAME) pupils. This can be put down to the lack of ethnic teachers in the teaching profession (DfE, 2018) and the lack of cultural competency of current white professionals (Harrison, Carson, & Burden, 2010). White professionals, can be unaware of their own disruptive behaviours, critical whiteness and unconscious bias when interacting with BAME pupils, the curriculum and the ‘hidden curriculum’ in school cultures (Duncan, 2019; Flintoff & Dowling, 2019; Richardson, 2015). BAME pupils often notice this blindness and can lose motivation to study and attend school and don’t feel they can discuss their health and well-being matters with teacher. Ultimately, they will disengage in the education process (Lac & Baxley, 2019). However, if multicultural education is conducted then BAME pupils have a greater purpose, attainment level and sense of belonging with their learning and enhanced wellbeing. Although, this is an issue for the whole education system, this article will look at it from a Physical Education viewpoint.
A PE lesson is the starting point of many athletes’ careers. Teams within PE and sport will be multi-cultural and need to coexist to be successful. Moreover, PE allows children to put multiculturalism into practice, rather than it being restricted to the theoretical material of PHSE. PE can increase emotions and heighten ethnic and religious differences which can serve to normalize ‘racialised notions of Whiteness= Normal; Blackness=Otherness’ (Wilkins & Lall, 2011, p. 374). Consequently, PE teachers need to have the knowledge and understanding of how to meet culturally diverse students’ needs and the multifaceted relationship between culture and learning (Flory & McCaughtry, 2011).

WHY PE?
  • It can push political boundaries and can teach the same ethos to the children receiving such education (Docheff, 2000).
  • PE can help eradicate any misconceptions around children from diverse backgrounds (Stroot & Whipple, 2003).
  • PE is the core area for teaching teamwork, identity, embodiment and for social difference and development (Flintoff, Fitzergerald & Scraton, 2008).
  • Developing cultural awareness enables students to become more knowledgeable, understanding and respectful of everyone (Choi & Chepyator-Thompson, 2012).   
  • Children will be able to understand, respect and how to work with people from all backgrounds in PE, in school and in life (Dowling & Flintoff, 2018)

Counter Arguments
The assumption that disengagement with PE is due to cultural negligence is misplaced. Teachers cannot accurately measure if cultural barriers have been broken down. Barker et al. (2014) reported that their participants opposed PE on philosophical grounds, disruptions and disengagement due to personal effort.

According to, Kulinna, McCaughtry, Cothran, and Martin (2006), teachers will become overloaded with information on one-day course so will not retain the key aspects. If they do, then some may not have the time and support to consolidate their learning. Due to timetabling and pressure of subject’s teachers may not be able to put theory into practice and then reflect upon their practices. Some teachers may feel that not addressing or even ‘over addressing’ the subject of cultural diversity could prove to be counter-productive (Asare, 2009). However, teachers need to address it in a proactive manner and it should be placed at the forefront of teachers mind when considering children’s needs.

It is worth noting that although some teachers are from a non-diverse background and will only teach in non-diverse schools, a multicultural delivery and content is still important. Educators have an obligation to widen the horizons of the children they teach and not limit them to their immediate cultural environment they know during education. Furthermore, educators are responsible for a whole generation that will move into adulthood and be the next leaders and workers of the world. We have an obligation to make and shape a better world than we currently live in for the next generation.

Some initial teacher training organization will state that they do offer training on multiculturalism and explain that education should meet the needs of all pupils. From my observations and conversations with other teachers, most teacher training providers do not provide the depth of knowledge that non-diverse educators require to understand and be aware of their own unconscious bias. Unconscious bias cannot be discussed in one lesson, and then the job is done. An educator needs consistent training and reflection for multiculturalism and unconscious bias, in the same way teaching in general requires.

Strategies to improve
  • Make the curriculum more diverse- You could teach sports such as Kabbadi when teaching attacking and defending principles (Doolittle & Rukavina, 2014)
  • Make your content material more cultural aware. For example- Do you show British BAME athletes when discussing ‘British’ sports? We should talk, discuss and share our ideas and thoughts (Culp, 2011)
  • Use pupil voice and find out what sports they actually enjoy rather than prescribing said sports (Doolittle & Rukavina, 2014)
  • Reflect on your own assumptions, beliefs and biases (Culp, 2013).
  • Understanding the concepts of Critical Whiteness/Notion of ‘Other’/ Us vs Them (Flintoff & Dowling, 2019).
  • PETE’s teaching cultural diversity within PE to trainee teachers and through training days for in-service teachers. Why should it be just an optional lecture or a token gesture? (Hemphill et al., 2012).
  • Engaging trainee teachers in professional development opportunities with practicing urban PE teachers (Hemphill et al., 2012).
Summary
I believe that PE can develop cultural awareness in the children that we teach. We can create an environment that teaches non-physical skills such as team-work, kindness, empathy and respect for others. Moreover, that it is the responsibility of ALL teachers not just those of BAME backgrounds to ensure that ALL children have a multicultural diverse curriculum and understand cultural awareness and diversity (Sliwa et al., 2017).

With the right education and an open mind, the world can change:
       







Pictures taken from @LiverpoolFC and @EnglandCricket Twitter


Friends are made by the heart, not by skin colour, gender, or religion

Thank you for reading and please comment below with your questions and thoughts. 
Please click here to view the video of this article.

Omar Green
Twitter: @ogreen_104
LinkedIn: Omar Green
Youtube: Greenstarz Academy

References

Asare, Y. (2009) Them and Us. Race Equality Interventions in Predominantly White Schools. Runnymede Trust
Barker, D. M., Barker-Ruchti, N., Gerber, M., Gerlach, E., Sattler, S., & Pühse, U. (2014). Youths with migration backgrounds and their experiences of physical education: An examination of three cases. Sport, Education and Society, 19(2), 186– 203
Choi, W & Chepyator-Thompson, R. (2012). Multiculturalism in Teaching Physical Education: A Review of U.S. Based Literature. Journal of Research,6, 2
Culp, B. (2011). The archetypes and philosophical motivations of urban elementary physical educators. ICHPER-SD Journal of Research, 6, 40–47
Department for Education (2018). School teacher workforce. Access Online: https://www.ethnicity-facts-figures.service.gov.uk/workforce-and-business/workforce-diversity/school-teacher-workforce/latest [Last Accessed April 19]
Docheff, D. (2000) Should the physical education curriculum include more non-traditional, multicultural activities? Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 71:7, 14-15.
Doolittle, S. A., & Rukavina, P. B. (2014). Case study of an institutionalized urban comprehensive school physical activity program. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 33, 528–557.
Dowling, F. & Flintoff, A. (2018) A whitewashed curriculum? The construction of race in contemporary PE curriculum policy, Sport, Education and Society, 23:1, 1-13
Duncan, K. E. 2019. ““They Always Hate on Me!” Black Teachers Interrupting Their White Colleagues’ Racism.” Educational Studies 55 (2): 197–213.
Flintoff, A., & Dowling, F. (2019) ‘I just treat them all the same, really’: teachers, whiteness and (anti) racism in physical education, Sport, Education and Society, 24:2, 121-133
Flory, S.B., & McCaughtry, N. (2011). Culturally relevant physical education in urban schools: Reflecting cultural knowledge. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 82(1), 49-60.
Hemphill, M. A., Richards, A. K., Blankenship, B. T., Beck, S., & Keith, D. (2012). Making PALS through partnerships. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 83(9), 23–236

Howard, T. C., & Navarro, O. (2016). Critical race theory 20 years later: Where do we go from here? Urban Education, 51(3), 253-273.
Kulinna P.H., McCaughtry, N., Cothran, D. & Martin J. (2006). What do urban/inner-city physical education teachers teach? A contextual analysis of one elementary/primary school district. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy.  11:45–68.
Lac, V. T., & Baxley, G.S., (2019). “Race and Racism: How Does an Aspiring Social Justice Principal Support Black Student Leaders for Racial Equity Among a Resistant White Staff.” Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership 22 (1): 29–42.
Richardson, R. (2015) ‘Narrative, nation and classrooms: the latest twists and turns in a perennial debate’, in C. Alexander, D. Weekes-Bernard and J. Arday (eds) The Runnymede School Report: Race, Education and Inequality in Contemporary Britain, London: Runnymede Trust.
Santrock, J. W. (2001). Educational psychology. New York: McGraw Hill.
Sliwa, S., Nihiser, A., Lee, S., McCaughtry, N., Culp, B., & Michael, S., (2017) Engaging Students in Physical Education: Key Challenges and Opportunities for Physical Educators in Urban Settings, Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 88:3, 43-48, DOI: 10.1080/07303084.2017.1271266
Wilkins, C., & Lall, R. (2011) 'You've got to be tough and I'm trying': Black and minority ethnic student teachers' experiences of initial teacher education, Race, Ethnicity & Education, 14, 365-386.

Monday, 21 October 2019

Consideration to the hidden bias in learning material

With the recent release of “My Hair” by Hannah Lee, I have got to thinking about how I can include inclusive and multicultural material in the classroom so that all children really can flourish. The reason I say this is because studies based on real life classroom and academic observation show that children of Ethnic Minority, who are exposed to learning materials and environments that resemble and appreciate multicultural dynamics, do better academically due to holistic well-being being provided for (Wang & Eccles, 2013). Additionally, when material is closer to that of the student’s culture, they are more easily able to internalise the learning and build stronger learning structures from it (Vygotsky, 1978). At the end of this blog I will provide some of the material do and don’ts.

I think it is important to consider material that we should eradicate from the classroom as well as the material we need to include. There is unconscious bias in a majority white teaching profession in the fact that they forget to be inclusive of cultural material in the learning environment for students of Ethnic Minority, there is also hidden racism in children’s material that teachers are unaware of, and there can be a lack of sensitivity to the identity psychology that can occur in a non-representative environment. Recently I came across a version of Hansel and Gretel retold and illustrated by Jane Ray. Here are some photos:




To the unaware person this is simply a lovely story about two children who get lost and find their way back home. Perhaps even slightly intertwined with a Christian message of hope and homecoming. Some versions are simply that and nothing else. However, this version (which has won childrens book awards and is widely used for children), has hidden discrimination. The witch and her house are depicted to symbolise that of all religions other  than Christianity through the following:

  1. Henna on the witch’s hand
  2. Oriental-Asian Costume makeup on the witch’s face
  3. Native American aspects in the Head-dress
  4. Egyptian all seeing eye on the shoes
  5. Aborigine style Lizard next to the boys cage and across the pages
  6. Gingerbread men stylised to show hints of the Mexican day of the dead aspects


 It is implying that all other religions are evil and after the flesh and blood of our children, and that Christianity is the only one good religion and that every child should be brought to Christianity to be a good child. It is rather worrying that such a book is so cleverly demonising all other religions, and yet is a widely used children’s books as teachers are unaware. However due to my reading and experiences of being diligent in providing an inclusive and multicultural classroom It is something I am inclined to look for. Once I notice this, I pointed it out to a teacher trainer who took this on board and amended future training. They informed other students in my cohort to look for such symbolising and being critical of the material we put into a child’s learning environment.

Note: I contacted the author to try and establish if this was intentional racism, or if it was done to create discussion and be critical about Christian literature and am yet to hear back.

This signals that many people simply aren’t aware of their own ignorance and unconscious bias and that once informed they are willing to address this. It is why I write this blog post, so that other teachers may become more aware of the issue.
Additionally, as a consciously aware white trainee teacher, I am good at bringing multicultural material and aspects into the classroom, and being alert for inappropriate material, but am not so confident in delivering a multicultural themed lesson. This to me suggests that us white teachers should be more united and consistent in demanding that this becomes a national movement where we request the development of a multicultural consideration module to be trained to all teachers and trainees. It should not just teach awareness, but how to practically change our practice for teaching.
With that in mind, here are some do’s and don’ts:

DO:
DO research multicultural books, posters and material that can be placed around the classroom for BAME students to relate and aspire to.
DO ask BAME students what their likes and dislikes are (BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT JUST INTO AND GOOD AT SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT).
DO include BAME material for actual lessons such as whole class reading and guided reading (as it is beneficial to all students regardless of culture, to be exposed and interact with different cultures in today’s social media and globally mobile world).
DO check all material for hidden racial/discriminatory symbolism
DO provide multicultural lessons with a sensitivity (slavery, WW2 etc) where it is not made light of or trying to be “fun”. No one should every think these topics were a “good laugh”.
DO read “Why I am no longer talking to white people about race” by Renni Eddo Lodge to understand structural racism and how it effects people from young to old with references to teaching and education also.

DON’T:
DON’T assume that just because you have put one or two books in the library with a black person on the cover that your classroom now caters to BAME students effectively
DON’T be scared to reflect on your own white privilege and unconscious bias in order to be the best possible teacher you can be for ALL children
DON’T be scared to consult with members of the BAME communities to ask how they would like BAME students and education to be catered to.
DON’T ignore that multicultural education and considerations are VITAL
DON’T be a teacher if you have racist tendencies, find another job.
DON’T believe that racism no longer exists in Britain. It absolutely does whether direct or indirect, conscious or unconscious. It exists both on individual and structural levels of society. We must accept this in order to improve and change it.

Please keep an eye out for my next guest post on this blog for a list of multicultural materials for the classroom, and other handy tips and resources.

By @MissC91 on twitter

References:
Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Wang, M.-T., & Eccles, J. S. (2013). School context, achievement motivation, and academic engagement: A longitudinal study of school engagement using a multidimensional perspective. Learning and Instruction, 28, 12-23.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Drill or Games in Physical Education



In my opinion the 3 most important aspects for Physical Education lesson are:

  1. Safety.
  2. Fun/Enjoyment.
  3. Learn a skill (E.g., Physical, Mental, Moral or Social). 
There are a variety of teaching methods to achieving those goals during a PE lesson. The one that I have found most useful is the Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU; Bunker and Thorpe, 1982). Prior to attending, my PGCE in 2017 I was semi-aware of Teaching Games for Understanding (TGFU approach of teaching physical activities, however whilst at University and conducting my Netball Level 2 and teaching in this way I gained a greater appreciation of the method. By doing it in practice I have witnessed how much more the children have progressed and are enjoying the lessons more.  Drills are defined as discrete practices that children learn a skill without the concept of any game awareness. Whereas a game-based approach to learning is where children learn a skill though a game. They start to develop technical, tactical skills and can understand why they are doing an activity. See table below for an example of difference. In both situations children learn the Chest Pass. However, I want you to consider which one sounds more likely to relate to a real game of Hi5 Netball and be more fun for the children?

Hi5 Netball Chest Pass Example
Traditional (Drill)
Game Based
1.       Warm-Up (Stuck in mud but children have no ball and freeze in star)
2.       Passing against a wall.
3.       Passing with a partner.
4.       Add in a defender (2 vs 1)
5.       Match (5 vs 5)
6.       Cool Down    
    1.   Warm- Up (Stuck in Mud. Children freeze with hands in correct chess pass position. There are other variations depending on equipment, age and etc).

    2.   Keep Ball Match (3 vs 3)

  3. Now teams break off and you do same activity, but children implement teaching points without defenders.

   4. Now do Keep Ball game again (3vs 3, 5vs 5).

    5. Match (5 vs 5) Can have bonus chest pass points).

    6. Cool Down


I do understand that both approaches (Traditional and Game Based) do enable for the aspects mentioned above to be achieved. Indeed, at times teachers will use a drill-based activity to help support the learning, manage behaviour and ensure children understand the key teaching points. However, children can become bored quicker and not understand how this skill is applicable in game environment. Therefore, I agree with Bunker and Thorpe (1982) that teaching activities by playing games is better for skill development. Moreover, Butler et al. (2008) stated that physical education taught through TGFU must adhere to the following requirements:

1.     Teach activities through games
2.   Teach the game in its simplest format- then increase complexity. 
     3.    All participants are involved and have importance.
     4.    Participants must know subject matter.
     5.   Games must match participants’ skill and challenge.

Looking at the concepts above I feel that TGfU is applicable across all key stages including EYFS as it engages the children and gets them doing an activity that they enjoy doing. However, practitioners need to understand what constitutes a game for their pupils. A simple-modified activity of throwing and catching in small groups could be deemed a game for KS1 children but not for KS2. In this situation a basic throwing and catching ‘game’ has become a mundane drill. Instead doing a keep-ball session between two teams may be more beneficial to teach the skills of throwing.

To effectively teach pupils the teacher needs to teach a progression of skills needed to play the game (i.e. catching, kicking, striking), while at the same time introducing a progression of tactical awareness to play effectively (i.e. anticipate where the ball will travel, aim for the spaces). Without the tactical awareness part children are unable to develop their skills further. For Example: Two children can kick a ball back forth between themselves easily, however once a defender (3rd Person) is introduced the activity breaks down. This is where the teacher would intervene and ask the children about ways, they could keep possession of the ball. As Kirk & MacPhail, (2002) highlights for progression of a technique to occur within a game, students need a tactical awareness that comes from an emerging understanding of playing a game.

If a game is to be a learnt experience, then teachers and sport coaches need to ensure children understand the ‘why’ behind a game and the activity they are doing. This will ensure that a skill is developed and understood. I have witnessed poor practice from sport practitioners doing just playing ‘game’ and not explaining the purpose behind it.
In summary, when teaching physical education, the sessions should be safe, fun and allow the children to learn and progress. It should be game centred with children understanding the 'WHY' behind an activity. Simply reminding the children of the Learning Objective and having plenaries will help them understand the reasons behind a game.

Bunker, D., & Thorpe, R. (1982). A model for the teaching of games in the secondary school. Bulletin of Physical Education, 10, 9-16.

Butler, J., Oslin, J., Mitchell, S., & Griffin, L. (2008) The way forward for TGFU: filling the chasm between theory and practice. Physical & Health Education Journal,  74(2): 6-12 

Kirk, D., & MacPhail, A. (2002) Teaching Games for Understanding and Situated Learning: Rethinking the Bunker-Thorpe Model. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 21 (2)177-192.

Thursday, 10 October 2019

Who should teach Physical Education?



Physical Education (PE) is one of the most important subjects in the primary curriculum. This is shown by the government funding £320million into primary schools with each school getting approximately £18000-20000 to be spent on PE. Currently schools use this money to upscale current teachers, employ PE specialist teachers or to outsource PE to sport organisations who utilise qualified sport coaches to deliver curriculum PE and Extra-curricular activities. Drawing upon Personal experience and discussions with current teachers and senior leaders this article will discuss “Who delivers primary PE?” and “What are the positives and benefits of them?”

Traditionally, general classroom teachers have taken PE and many schools still do this. Classroom teachers are qualified and have been taught to teach PE. Additionally, they will possess the knowledge of the PE Curriculum, understand the needs of all pupils and how to manage their behaviour. However, many teachers will only have 6 -10 hours of overall PE training and then are expected to teach a huge variety of activities and create medium term plans for activities they don’t have any subject knowledge in. For example: A classroom teacher may play a game of Bench-ball but not teach the children any skills within the bench-ball lesson (e.g., technique of throwing/catching; finding space and communication). One could say the teacher has become more of a referee rather than an educator as they are simply doing behaviour management and safety control. Now this isn’t the case for all general class teachers as some do have good knowledge about PE. Nevertheless, from my experience this is the exception and not the rule. One experienced teacher has stated to me that they would rather a sports coach do their PE lesson because they do not like teaching it!

The number of Sport Coaches in schools has risen in recent years since the PE Premium funding entered primary schools. To deliver curriculum PE a sport coach needs to be an National Governing Body Level (NGB) Level 2 Qualified coach in that specific activity. Now I wonder how many people have 8 or more Level 2 Qualifications in different activities. Nonetheless, some sport coaches do have better physical, technical, tactical and mental understanding of sports compared to that of general based teachers. However, sport coaches may lack the ability to teach cross-curricular, lack an understanding of what PE actually and is unaware of the curriculum and of other components of PE (e.g., Physical Literacy, Behaviour Management, Assessment). Therefore, if classroom teachers lack subject specific knowledge and sports coaches lack behaviour management then who should teach it? Since the introduction of the Primary Schools PE funding more than 50% of schools state that they have a PE Specialist in their school. 

Through my experience of being first a sports coach, unqualified PE Teacher and now a qualified PE teacher, I believe that the best provision for Primary schools is to have a PE Specialist who works alongside class teachers and sport coaches. Firstly, a PE Specialist has met the professional standards of QTS and has the capability to build and develop their PE Practice daily. In my opinion a PE Specialist will seek out of ways to improve their practice by attending NGB Level 2 Qualifications (e.g., Handball Level 2, Gymnastics Level 2); attend PE Conferences (Workshops) and research in more depth about how to deliver outstanding curricular PE and extra-curricular activities.

Learning is a dynamic process, and, in my opinion, all three positions are can learn from each other to improve the quality of PE. If a school employs a PE Specialist then they will have someone who truly cares for Physical Education, Health, Well-being and Sport. A PE Specialist can give its sporting knowledge to the class teacher, whilst learning themselves about having better behaviour management or assessment techniques. Where a PE Specialist may lack knowledge in a certain sport, a sports coach who is Level 2 qualified in that area can upscale them, whilst learning about the teaching standards, the needs of the pupils and how their sports fits into the PE national curriculum. If done correctly, then there will be a greater understanding of why PE is important and how to deliver outstanding lessons!  

In summary the more PE specialists there are in schools the more likely we going to inspire children to become lifelong advocates of regular physical activity and living a healthy lifestyle. Being active has shown to improve children's physical and mental health and well-being.

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Physical Education (PE) can and should contribute to the development of a more culturally diverse curriculum


Introduction

Having taught in various schools with differing demographics I noticed that the children were given identical lessons. They had not been varied to meet the needs of the pupils from a cultural perspective. This was an issue when I attended school and I was surprised to see these issues are still apparent in some of today’s school.  If you consider Vygotsky’s theory (1978) and include culture in the classroom which is representative of the learner’s home culture, this will provide meaningful learning as it is relatable. It will allow the learner to be more engaged with the activity and provides inclusion and holistic wellbeing for the learner (Wong et al, 2003). I believe that Physical education (PE) can help breakdown perceived cultural barriers within the curriculum and develop more cultural aware pupils.


Multicultural Education
Multicultural education is an “education that values diversity and includes the perspectives of a variety of cultural groups on a regular basis” (Santrock, 2001, p.171). Developing cultural awareness enables students to become more knowledgeable, understanding and respectful of everyone (Choi & Chepyator-Thompson, 2012). This resonates with my own education values and my belief that education should incorporate every child’s cultural difference when planning and delivering physical education.

Within recent years the population of schools have become more culturally diverse. According to Lievesley, (2010) one fifth of the population will be from an ethnic background.   Therefore, PE teachers need to have the knowledge and understanding of how to meet culturally diverse students’ needs and the multifaceted relationship between culture and learning (Flory & McCaughtry, 2011). This could be achieved by PETE’s teaching pre-service teachers and through training days for in-service teachers.
There are not enough equitable experiences for black, Asian and minority ethnic people (BAME) pupils. This can be put down due the lack of ethnic teachers in the teaching profession (DfE, 2018) and the lack of cultural competency of current white professionals (Harrison, Carson, & Burden, 2010).

Although, I understand the difficulties of creating a more culturally diverse curriculum and more culturally aware staff. I know that PE, can develop more culturally aware pupils. Due to its ability to teach academic and non-academic life-skills.

Contribution to practice and knowledge

  1.        By breaking that boundary of cultural differences can ensure teachers inspire and motivate pupils through the lens of the individual pupil (Choi & Chepyator-Thompson, 2012).
  2.       Culturally diverse curriculum and teaching will result, in children being able to understand, respect and work with people from all backgrounds in PE, across the curriculum and in life (Dowling & Flintoff, 2018)
Counter Arguments
  1. The assumption that disengagement with PE is due to cultural negligence is misplaced. Teachers cannot accurately measure if cultural barriers have been broken down.  Barker et al. (2014) reported that their participants opposed PE on philosophical grounds, disruptions and disengagement due to personal effort.
  2. According to, Kulinna, McCaughtry, Cothran, and Martin (2006), teachers will become overloaded with information on one day course so will not retain the key aspects. If they do, then some may not have the time and support to consolidate their learning. Due to timetabling and pressure of subject’s teachers may not be able to put theory into practice and then reflect upon their practices. 
  3. Some teachers will come from non-diverse backgrounds and will only teach in non-diverse schools so feel that culturally diverse teaching is not relevant to them. Moreover, some teachers feel that an ‘over addressing’ the subject of cultural diversity could prove to be counterproductive (Asare, 2009, p.10).
  4. Initial teacher training organization will state that they do offer training on multiculturalism and explain that education should meet the needs of all pupils. However, they do not make it a compulsory issue in the similar aspect of disability and LGBT.
Summary

       I believe that PE can develop cultural awareness in the children that we teach. We can create an environment that teaches teamwork and respect for others.  In my future practice, I will continue to use PE to teach equality, teamwork, fairness and respect. As a teacher I understand that I have a vast amount of learning ahead and it may be difficult on occasions to ensure the cultural needs of each pupil is met.
I may teach in a school that marginalizes diversity and does not consider it to be an issue. Senior management may take offence to it and feel that I am being rude if I approach them (Haque & Elliot n.d.). I will have to reflect on their views and adapt it with my own philosophy.

References

Asare, Y. (20090 Them and Us. Race Equality Interventions in Predominantly White Schools. Runnymede Trust
Barker, D. M., Barker-Ruchti, N., Gerber, M., Gerlach, E., Sattler, S., & Pühse, U. (2014). Youths with migration backgrounds and their experiences of physical education: An examination of three cases. Sport, Education and Society, 19(2), 186– 203
Choi, W & Chepyator-Thompson, R. (2012). Multiculturalism in Teaching Physical Education: A Review of U.S. Based Literature.Journal of Research,6, 2
Department for Education (2018). School teacher workforce. Access Online: https://www.ethnicity-facts-figures.service.gov.uk/workforce-and-business/workforce-diversity/school-teacher-workforce/latest [Last Accessed April 19]
Dowling, F. & Flintoff, A. (2018) A whitewashed curriculum? The construction of race in contemporary PE curriculum policy, Sport, Education and Society, 23:1, 1-13
Flory, S.B., & McCaughtry, N. (2011). Culturally relevant physical education in urban schools: Reflecting cultural knowledge. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 82(1), 49-60.
Haque, Z & Elliot, S (n.d.). Barriers Visible and Invisible Barriers :the impact of racism on BME teachers: Runnymede Trust

Friday, 23 August 2019

All About Me

My name is Omar Green and I am a qualified teacher and sports coach from London, England. In addition to this I have a masters degree in Applied Sport Psychology.  I have worked with children and adults from a range of abilities and sports. I have worked in four different countries and am about to embark on a new experience of teaching in the UAE.

I have taught in the state and private sector of education. Through my coaching and teaching I have experienced working with children from multiple backgrounds and cultures.  Coming from a diverse background and growing up in a diverse community, I believe this holds me in good stead to work with all types of children.

I have created this blog to impart my knowledge, experience and to promote healthy discussion. Have a read of this blog and comment below.

Thursday, 22 August 2019

Religion in sport.


Elite Athletes must cope with the physical and mental demands of sport. Many athletes attribute their positive mental state to their belief in God. Having a faith in God allows athletes to be more relaxed and confident about dealing with demands and pressures of elite sport. As spectators we have seen top athletes (e.g., Kaka & Steph Curry) demonstrate their belief in God, by making the sign of the cross; pointing to the sky or through other religious gestures. Just look at Usain Bolt's prerace routine which shows his religious faith at 4.40mins. 



Another example is where players and teams will give thanks to God for enabling them to compete and be healthy. Firstly, Serena Williams is seen here giving thanks to God after winning a tennis competition.



Secondly, this picture shows Russell Wilson leading the Seattle Seahawks in prayer after an NFL game. Images of team worship can be seen across multiple sports.

Although atheists may argue, winning a medal, a championship and any other accolade cannot be wholly attributed to God, as a God may not exist. It can be argued that faith has an impact on performance. For example, Olympic Champion Jonathan Edwards speaks about his faith when he was a competitor:
My faith was pivotal to my success. Believing in something beyond the self can have a hugely beneficial psychological impact, even if the belief is fallacious. It provided a profound sense of reassurance because I took the view that the result was in God's hands and that God was on my side. It enabled me to block out doubt before I was due to jump (Syed, 2010, p143).

Furthermore, today’s elite sporting world is results based and winning is all that matters. This causes performers to compete under immense pressure and scrutiny which can cause them to have stress, depression and detrimental mental factors. Current research explains that athletes use their faith to help them obtain peak performance (e.g., Howe & Parker, 2014; Kretschmann & Benz, 2012), deal with stress (Park, 2000) and act as a prevention against taking illegal drugs (Storch et al., 2003).  An athlete’s faith can help with dealing with pressure by acting as a buffer against stress and support network (Waston & Nesti, 2005).  One buffer technique is Prayer. 

Prayer is linked to self-talk and helps athletes to relax and rationalizes situations. Precisely, statements as ‘Gods Will’ and ‘God’s Plan’ to deal with stressors (e.g., being injured; important matches) have been highlighted in research and anecdotally. An example of this can be seen in Park (2000, p.73):
I always prepared my game with prayer from the major games to the minor games. The content of my prayer to God is to help me do my best… I committed all things to God, without worry…These prayers make me calmer and more secure and I forgot fear of losing. It resulted in good play (Park, 2000, p73)                                                                                 
Moreover, by being religious an athlete has a second identity and feel that they have more than one purpose in life and feel less depressed especially after their sporting careers. Depression in athletes is a growing issue within sport and one that needs to be tackled. Therefore, an athlete’s faith can help them to overcome daily and sport specific demands.

Finally, we need remember that having a faith doesn’t make you automatically become a winner, but it has been highlighted on an academic and anecdotal level that it does have benefits and can help athletes perform to their best. As Olympic Gymnast Shawn Johnson explains:
Trust that God will walk with you through the hard times. Be grateful for the many ways he is working out all the details of your life so you can make the most of the gifts and opportunities he's given you. (Winning Balance, 2013)

I have recently conducted my own study which looked at the coping of religious athletes in sport. The findings of this study concurred with those identified above by highlighting the importance God played on their life and their sporting careers.

References
Howe, P. D., & Parker, A. (2014). Disability as a path to spiritual enlightenment: an ethnographic account of the significance of religion in Paralympic sport. Journal of Religion, Disability, and Health, 18, 8-23.
Johnson, S. (2013) Winning Balance.
Kretschmann, C. & Benz, R. (2012). God has a Plan: moral values and beliefs of Christian athletes in competitive sports. Journal Human Sport & Exercise, 7(2), 495-519.
Park, J. (2000). Coping strategies by Korean national athletes. The Sport Psychologist, 14, 63-80.
Storch, E. A., Storch, J. B., Kovacs, A. H., Okun, A., Welsh, E. (2003). Intrinsic religiosity and substance use in intercollegiate athletes. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 25, 248-252.
Syed, M. (2010). Bounce. The Myth of talent and the power of practice.
Watson, N. J., & Nesti, M. (2005). The role of spirituality in sport psychology consulting: An analysis and integrative review of the literature. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 17, 228-239