Week nine: Inclusive physical literacy.

this was a great class for two points; the first being that everywhere in the world and especially in schools everyone should access to all aspects of education. Secondly, the racing around on the wheelchairs was great. Sadly though I can recall as a child there was one kid who was in a wheelchair and he never got to take part in PE. His education assistant would at times let him watch for awhile or when we would do long distance runs he would hand out water to us. But for the most part he was never or rarely involved in our physical activities.

I cannot stress enough how much I would work to ensure everyone had equal and fair access to any activities I will plan in physical education.  I would consider what they have to offer in terms of  suggestions for me to deal with their unique situation. I would educate my self on how to deal with such a situation and i would also use it as an opportunity to engage the students in educational terms as well.  But at the same time i would not let my concern single them out and the need dictate the class either, A healthy balance will be what i will always shoot for in any classroom activity.

As for rolling around all morning at first I was pretty hesitant because as a child my elders would always tell me to not play with a wheelchair or crutches unless I wanted to be in one myself. They believed if you play with one of these items you would end up in one of them.  I got over that fear and I sat down in one thinking that my Gramma must be up with he spirits looking down upon me shaking her head saying, “ah you! Kenthen!”  But I enjoyed the experience and instead of looking at as ‘playing’ in a wheelchair i was educating myself on what it will be like for a possible student in the future.

2 thoughts on “Week nine: Inclusive physical literacy.”

  1. Kenthen has articulated with great insight many of the impressions that last Tuesday’s class left me pondering about. I always hoped that I would provide “equal and fair access to any activities I will plan in physical education,” and this opportunity to try out different wheelchair sports and games made me feel much better equipped with how to tackle this issue. I want to take it a step further and research how to incorporate individuals with disabilities in PHE activities that are not sport and games based. We looked at how to make PHE more than a sports and games based curriculum, and similarly I would want to make sure that persons with disabilities are included throughout the entire PHE curriculum as much as possible.

    I had a partner in a wheelchair. Before his accident, he was a computer engineer, and due to its sedentary nature he was able to continue his profession afterward with great success. He returned to work while still in hospital! Others were not so lucky, as they held positions that required body functions they could no longer carry out. They suddenly found themselves without purpose to their days. Unsurprisingly, many did not not thrive, and their mental and physical health outcomes were seriously compromised. I think this concept can be applied to children in wheelchairs, even those who have been in one most of their lives. I believe that if we tell children of all physical abilities that they have valuable skills and knowledge that they can contribute to the classroom, this will translate to better outcomes in all aspects of their lives.

  2. Hi Kenthen,
    I agree with you, what a great class this was! I found your last paragraph to be particularly interesting with regards to the lessons you were taught about not playing in wheelchairs as a child. I understand where your elders were coming from and will admit that there were times during today’s lesson when I became very conscious of the fact that we got to enjoy these activities as a novelty; for our students with physical disabilities, they do not get to walk away from the wheelchair experience as it is their everyday reality. I sometimes find myself approaching the concept of inclusive education with trepidation, as I am afraid of doing anything that might come across as insensitive. I agree with you that asking students about their comfort level is key. In one of our other courses, I did an assignment on inclusive PE policy and practices. I brought up a discussion question for our class with regards to a video I saw involving students participating in office chair basketball, asking our classmates if they felt this was inclusive practice. Within our evaluation, our prof stated her opinion that “disabled for a day strikes [her] as insensitive and does not address the issue of how to include disabled students in the already given activity.” Keeping this in the back of my mind probably added to some of my discomforts regarding participation today. However, just as you said, instead of looking at today’s lesson as “playing”, we were “educating [ourselves] on what it will be like for a possible student in the future.” Furthermore, the resources that the presenters offered to us (for example, the program that rents out sports chairs to schools) was incredibly valuable and extended the lesson to incorporate ways we can bring more inclusive practices into our schools.

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