All posts by daniella chai

Chapter 14/16 Reading Summaries, ABC Cohort

By Daniella Chai, Para Demosten, Sacha Raino, and Renee Pasula.

Chapter 14:  Health Literacy

–  What is health literacy? Individual’s ability to ACCESS, UNDERSTAND, & ACT UPON INFORMATION in order to generate change for the betterment of their health.
–  The late 1980s brought reports of connection between better education and better health outcomes. This is for many reasons, i.e. better employment, better access to health care, extended insurance, more income, etc. This realization sparked more research on the issue.
Better health and quality of life is the result of actions, genetics, and social determinants.
–  Examples of everyday health literacy issues: bullying, body image, food choices, high risk behaviours (smoking, drinking,…), …
–  Health behaviours are learned and can be changed.
–  Health literacy has lifelong benefits.
–  Some barriers to health literacy are cultural beliefs, low level of education, lack of understanding, systemic barriers…
–  Health is now understood as something involving prevention, rather than dealing with illness as it strikes, and something that involves ALL aspects of a persons life. “Health is a balanced state that allows individuals to achieve their full potential in life.”
–  The 7 dimensions of health: emotional, environmental (work, community, country…), mental/intellectual (engagement with world around you, lifelong learning…), occupational, physical, social, spiritual (understanding one’s own beliefs leading to sense of meaning or purpose).
–  Purpose of health education: Students “develop awareness of the varying components of health and wellness, and begin to assume responsibility for, and actively participate in, their own healthy decision-making.”
–  Biggest health issues facing children/youth in Canada: Physical inactivity (too much daily screen time), nutrition (too much fast food, not enough fruits and veges), mental health, substance abuse, sexual activity, bullying.
–  School year habits are forming, kids are more open and willing to accept positive health behaviours.
–  Pillars of comprehensive school health: social and physical environment, teaching and learning, healthy school policy, partnerships and services.
–  A student who is not healthy will not learn well.
–  Reason for failure of some health programs in schools is that they were “piecemeal, short-term packages”. School needs to develop a complete action plan, involving the “whole” school (people, place…).
–  TIP: Use the list of many amazing health websites at end of chapter.

Chapter 16: Beyond Physical Education: School-Based Physical Activity Programming

School-Based Physical Activity
–  Inactivity is on the rise—there is a greater need for getting kids active in schools
–  There are guidelines issued by CSEP that make recommendations for each age group
–  Current guidelines (2011) recommend 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous PA per day
–  Regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status; PA should be safe, enjoyable, and developmentally appropriate
–  Schools offer a unique opportunity to provide PA to the majority of children, of which some may not have access to such facilities, equipment or coaching otherwise.
–  There is a decline in quantity and quality of PE programs—PE budget decreasing or more emphasis placed on other subjects
–  School setting, administration and teachers are the major influencing factors affecting PA in schools

Curricular Physical Activity:
–  Curricular PA works to help students: 1. Develop competence across a spectrum of physical activities 2. Demonstrate a personal commitment to their own health and wellness 3. Develop the capacity to understand, communicate, apply and analyze different forms of movement.
–  Accessible to all
–  Provincial mandates: DPA (2008 in BC) will improve academic performance, readiness to learn and student behaviour
–  Variety of forms that DPA takes in schools: whole school, teacher-driven and student-facilitated
–  Importance of planning DPA: inclusivity, role-modeling, support, health and safety (supervision, space and equipment)

Intramural Physical Activity:
–  Organized in to 4 categories: sport imitations (modified version of the sport), low organization activities, special events and clubs
–  Different from curricular PA is the structure and purpose: structure is school-wide and only from one school; primary purpose is participation. –  More casual, fun and inclusive; deemphasize instruction, skills, proficiency
–  Traditional Model; Pick-up Model; Free play model; whole school model; leadership model
–  Same considerations in terms of supervision, health and safety, equipment etc.

Interscholastic Physical Activity:
–  Usually a combination of structured individual and team competitions: local, regional or provincial
–  Voluntary, participation through try-outs
–  More emphasis on competition and winning
–  Elementary model; Secondary Model
–  Role of the teacher; supervision, equipment, facilities

Discussion Questions, Ch. 14:
1.  What do you consider to be some of the challenges for providing and promoting health education in schools today? What do you believe are some of the challenges a physical educator faces when it comes to health education?

2.  When planning, what could you do in terms of classroom environment, teaching strategies, use of technology, and other methods to give students the chance to become truly health-literate individuals? How can you involve parents in comprehensive school health planning? What personnel would be needed to develop an action plan for comprehensive school health? Why?

Discussion Questions, Chapter 16:

1.  What kind of DPA models/methods have you seen or been exposed to (in your practicum school or from your own schooling experiences) and which methods do you find most effective? Do you have ideas for how you would like to organize or implement DPA when you start teaching?

ABC Week 6, Group B

Outdoor Education.  Chapter 4/5.

Several things struck me from today’s class.  One of which was how bringing P.E. outdoors can add a level of relevance to class activities.  In alternative contexts, actions such as running, jumping, and climbing are given a whole new meaning.  Climbing on a creative wooden play structure outside, for example, has a totally different significance in comparison to climbing on gym equipment inside a school.  I felt a sense of freedom today, that tends to come with playing outdoors.  For me this feeling connected with some of the objectives of physical education that we have been reading about, such as instilling a passion for movement into our students, and teaching P.E. through play.  Running in the forest during a game of predator had so much more significance than running in a gymnasium playing the same game.  We see animals around us outside.  We can invest more into the game, and get more inspiration from the environment when playing this game outside.

The second thing that struck me was how valuable our classmates are as P.E. resources.  Everyone has different areas of expertise that we can gain so much from.  Lisa shared with us some of her exceptional knowledge and experience regarding outdoor education today, and I learned so much from her.  In particular, she brought up many important points when addressing the question, “How do I plan for alternative environment activities”.  I found her description of unacceptable and acceptable hazards useful, and the discussion that surrounded those.  This week’s activities were very inspiring, and I look forward to implementing some of the ideas shared in the classroom!

Week 4, Group B, Daniella Chai

Learning from teachers how to teach learners is quite a meta task.  Today in P.E. class we learned both in active and passive ways.  We got up on our feet to embody the task progression model, and then we also reviewed it on a handout while seated around the projector.  It’s it truly remarkable how much better I understood and will remeber the task progression model from actively doing it, rather than listening and reading about it.

One of this week’s guided questions is, “What is the value of embodied learning?  Why is an active curriculum useful or neccessary?”  Today was an example to me of the effectiveness of embodied learning.  We learn from doing, and often doing requires moving.  I think there’s more to it than that as well.  When sitting all day, I become sleepy, and start to shut down, and don’t feel so good.  Physical activity wakes me up, gets the blood flowing to my brain, and allows me to take in more oxygen.  I am more focused, and have more fun.  It is neccessary that students get to experience the power of activity, and see how it effects every other part of their life.  I can do better in my other classes when I have moved before hand.  Moreover, I think every subject could benefit from incorporating daily physical activity, even if that means using active desks, like treadmill and standing desks.  Here’s an article that outlines some of the scientifically proven benefits of these devices:

ABC- Week 2- Sept. 22nd- Daniella Chai, Group B

Today’s P.E. class left me very impassioned.  Reading about how far P.E. curriculum has come over the past several decades, and then learning of its current redevelopment to include more “health” education (rather than solely “physical”) gets me excited, because I believe the future of P.E. has great potential.

To be specific, knowing that one of the foundational objectives of P.E. is to teach children how to live healthy, active lifestyles, and understanding the current context of remarkable childhood obesity and inactivity, I hope for greater integration of nutrition into P.E. curriculum.

Considering my own journey towards a healthier lifestyle–though I have always been physically active–my unhealthy habits stemed from ignorance in regards to nutrition/body sciences.  I had to learn outside of school about how blood sugar and fibre work, to read ingredients, and understand how to fuel my body and prepare my own foods so that I would have the energy to support my activities.

Many kids are addicted to candy and processed foods, things that will take away their ability to focus in school, or keep up in gym class.  Moreover, in the same bed as obescity lie eating disorders like anorexia and bulemia.  All of these issues stem at a young age, and can not be overcome without strong nutrition education.

Though there are some whispers of “nutrition” in class readings thus far, it seems movement is currently the dominant focus of P.E. class.  I believe teaching movement skills is essential in education and don’t want to take away from that.  I simply mean to say that there are multiple keystones to healthly living.  Perhaps future curricular models will further reflect that.