How lessons in Physical Education can reflect the diversity of my community, region, country, or world
This is simple. Physical Education is present throughout the world. I’d be willing to bet that people in every country across the world are familiar with sport. It is just something that is developed in communities. It could be baseball in the U.S., soccer in Europe, hockey in Canada, or a variation of any of those sports in a small community in an undeveloped country. Regardless, people are all familiar with physical activity and competition.
Lessons in Physical Education, especially in international teaching, need to reflect a worldly view and open the eyes of students to what people do in other parts of the world. An example of this is Badminton. Before moving to China, Badminton was a backyard sport played as a kid at BBQ’s. Over the past three years of living in China, I have learned more about skills and strategies in the sport than I ever would have in the U.S.
A rationale for why it is important to introduce students to multicultural content and multiple perspectives in the curriculum
As I briefly mentioned earlier, it is vital for international students to be international minded and be able to understand what goes on outside of their comfort zone. As the Director of Athletics & Activities at my current international school, I focus on preparing our students for any encounter that they may experience in terms of intramural and recreational sports when they graduate from our school and move on to university in America. By exposing our students to sports and activities that are not very popular in their Chinese cultures, I feel we are preparing them to ease into their new lives in America much easier.
Being able to see and understand multiple perspectives in not just beneficial in Physical Education. More than that, it is important to learn this skill to be successful in basically any part of your life. In a business meeting, if I can say “yes, I see your perspective and I would like some time to think on that” is much better than saying “no, you obviously did not hear what I said.”
How will I know that students are developing cultural competence in your classroom?
At my current school, this is easy. To start, the curriculum is from Ontario. So, students need to develop some level of cultural competence just to understand the curriculum, objectives, standards, and so on. Furthermore, it will be evident that students are developing cultural competence through their interest and skill level in particular sports and units throughout the year. Some students may relate better to some units than others. Overall, though, it must be a major focus on my behalf to assure that students fully understand the similarities and differences between Physical Education in China and in America as they plan to make this transition. Regular formative assessments as well as summatives that truly test for understanding are crucial. Talking with individual students one-on-one to address any misunderstandings and using resources when necessary are a couple of ways that I will make sure students are understanding and becoming more competent throughout the school year.