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.

1 comment:

  1. Stacy, I like how you mention that you would meet with the children individually to learn more about them. Far too often people simply assume things based on others physical appearance, and sometimes this come back to get them. As an educator I think it would be important to go straight to the source and talk with the individual before making false assumptions.