Monday, November 29, 2010

Culturally Competent

WHAT: As a physical education teacher at a public middle school, I plan to incorporate multicultural education in my physical activities curriculum. This will allow for each student to feel comfortable with any activity pertaining to their diverse background as well as all students learning different cultural activities they have not participated in before. This cultural program will be inclusive and empowering for the students.

SO WHAT: Gill and colleagues (2008) defined cultural competence as “the ability of physical activity professionals and their agencies to develop, implement, and evaluate physical activity programs that reflect, value, and promote varied culturally relevant forms of physical activity.” To incorporate cultural activities that will please the values and diversity of all the students will not be a simple task. A plan needs to be made to allow for an inclusive and empowering environment. Our schools are more consumed by students that are from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. This being said, traditional physical education classes need to be shifted to develop and implement cultural activities. To become culturally competent I will use the model The Process of Cultural Competence in the Delivery of Healthcare Services. This model uses five constructs: cultural awareness, cultural knowledge, cultural skill, cultural encounters, and cultural desire (Campinha-Bacote, 2002).

WHAT: The first thing I must do is become culturally aware. I need to find out what cultural background each student posses. This can either be from observation, asking each student one on one, or meeting with each student and their parent. After becoming aware of the different background I am dealing with I need to gain knowledge on each background. I can use online resources, such as the National Center for Cultural Competence, to retain information. I should not stereotype any student based on their background, since individuals are unique. This may be done by also asking parents about their background or asking other teachers in the school. Next I need to acquire cultural skill. Based on the information I have learned in this process I need to decide which activities will be based on each background. These activities will be based under general assumptions for each background but will not be narrowed down yet. Cultural encounters will be the next step. After identifying the activities that will be proper for my physical education in being culturally competent, I will then try to learn these activities first hand to experience them myself and gain a better understanding. Cultural desire is the last step I need to accomplish. This is to ensure that the students want to perform a certain activity I have planned rather than to have to. After narrowing down activities for each background I will then let the students pick the activities I have listed they want to participate in. I will make sure to plan my curriculum around the activities I feel that are appropriate that they want to engage in.

Conclusion: This process will take a lot of effort and time but will pay off in the end. By making a part of the activities for the physical education class to tend to different cultural backgrounds will make the class more individualized based on each background, rather than your standard physical education class. Participating in such activities will allow for the students to be more comfortable participating and will be a great learning environment for the students to learn activities they are not use to participating in.


Gill, D.L., & Williams, L. (2008). Psychological dynamics of sport and exercise (3rd Ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Camphina-Bacote, J. (2002). The process of cultural competence in the delivery of healthcare services: A model of care. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 13(3), 181-184.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Team Building Exercise

WHAT: As a middle school physical education teacher, I want o try to incorporate team building into my seventh grade class.  PE classes usually are structured to increase the physical activity of the students, whether it is playing a sport, lifting weights or just traditional conditioning workouts. Also another component is having just having fun with physical activity. By incorporating team building into PE classes, the students will be able to gain more than just physical activity alone.

SO WHAT: Brawley and Paskevich (1997) define team building as a method of helping the group to increase effectiveness, satisfy the needs of its members, or improve work conditions.  Team building model includes four main aspects; group environment, group structure, group processes, and group cohesion.  Carron and Sprink (2003) have been successful in team building with fitness classes and sports using these four aspects. Group environment refers to the distinctiveness of the group, such as group names or same colored tee shirts. Group structure includes both individual position and group norms. Group processes include sacrifices, such as more experienced helping less experienced, as well as interaction and communication. The last component is group cohesion. Group cohesion included integration and attraction either with task or social oriented (Gill & Williams, 2008).

NOW WHAT: In order to develop team building within my PE class, every student will be involved during the class’s activity. I will make sure that the given activity will involve every student working together as one unit. These activities will not allow students to be individually rewarded. Each student will be equally split up for varying activities. This will allow for students with different skill sets to be paired with other students. Students will be given a designated position on their team with a specific duty.  Each position will have a set of rules that they must follow; an example would be a certain position might be the only person on the team who can talk during the activity. The Main objective is to get the students to work as a unit and not as individuals. By doing this it will allow for much needed teamwork and team cohesion will take place.

CONCLUSION: By incorporating team building into a PE class will be a positive change from your average PE class. This will allow for students to work as a team with other students they necessarily wouldn’t work with. By performing such activities as listed above, students will have to rely on their team to accomplish a common goal. By performing these activities, new skills will be formed. The skills that can be learned from this exercise may be applied to other areas in their life rather just in a sport or exercise setting.


Brawley, L.R., & Paskevich, D.M. (1997). Conducting team building research in the context of sport and exercise. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 9, 11-40.

Carron, A.V., & Spink, K.S. (1993). Team building in an exercise setting. The Sport Psychologist, 7(1), 8-18.

Gill, D.L., & Williams, L. (2008). Psychological dynamics of sport and exercise (3rd Ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Families Together and Active

WHAT:  The local park and recreation department would like to increase their membership as their annual goal. This membership goal is geared toward increasing family membership in particular. A program is needed to be enjoyable for the whole family and the availability so that families can normally participate.  This program is based around improving the performance of its participants and positive attitudes toward physical activity in a family oriented environment. This program needs to be developed and then presented to the director of the park and recreation department.

SO WHAT: In order to increase performance and positive attitudes, activities need to be included that families will enjoy and gain health benefits. The social aspect of these activities will be a main contributor to meet the goals of this program. Social influence will be incorporated in affecting positive attitudes and performance. Social facilitation is the influence of the presence of others on performance, including audience and coaction effects (Gill & Williams, 2008).  The presence of an audience increases arousal but if the activity is difficult and not well learned it can impair the performance. Social reinforcement is another influence that consists of positive and negative evaluative comments and actions, such as verbal praise, criticism, and body language (Gill & Williams, 2008). Positive praise should be more of the focus of this program so the children’s attitudes stay positive. Research indicates that behavior that is followed immediately by a teacher giving children attention rose rapidly to a high rate and that most young children adult attention is a positive reinforcer (Harris, Wolf, & Baer, 1964).  Another social influence is modeling.  According to Bandura’s (1986) social-cognitive theory, when we observe others we form a cognitive representation of the action that serves as a reference of correctness. Either the fitness can perform the correct movements for the children so they know how to do it or their parents can perform for them if they feel more comfortable with them. 

NOW WHAT: The main purpose of the Families Together and Active program is to improve performance and positive attitudes toward physical activity.  This program will involve the entire family for participation. Each activity will be geared toward the involvement of each family member.  Activities will range from ones that every member in the family may have done before to new activities that no family member has done. Activities will be rotated so that the program stays fresh while keeping the motivation high for every participant. During these activities the parents and instructors will be advised to give the children positive reinforcement. By staying positive with the children, it will help keep a positive attitude about participating. If the children are having fun then it should then allow the parents to have fun as well. This will allow for great family cohesion.  When performing a new skill or activity, the instructors will make sure that the fundamentals are learned before the actual activity.  If the children do not learn the skill properly before performing an activity, it could possibly have a negative effect on their performance and attitude. The instructors and parents will help demonstrate the skills needed for each activity.  Program sessions will focus on completion of each activities skill before performing the activities. An example of this would be learning how to dribble a basketball and shoot a basketball before playing a game.

CONCLUSION: In conclusion, the Families Together and Active program should help the park and recreation department increase their membership. This is a great program designed for the whole family.  Creating family cohesion with exercise and having fun is a wonderful program. If children visually see their parents having a positive attitude with physical activity it will more than likely transfer to the child. Promoting family physical activity can be a hard thing to do these days, but with this program it can be achieved.


Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Gill, D. L., & Williams, L. (2008). Psychological Dynamics of Sport and Exercise (3rd Ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Harris, F., Wolf, M., & Baer, D. (1964). Effects of adult social reinforcement on child behavior. Journal of Nursery Education, 20(1), 8-17.