All posts by renee pasula

Session 8

What is the purpose of dance?

Dance “fulfills social, recreational, competitive, religious, therapeutic, and artistic functions” (Robinson & Randall, 2014, p.211). Therefore, dance serves many purposes that go above and beyond the other fundamental movement skills. Furthermore, dance can easily be integrated across curriculum due to its versatile nature. Dance in closely linked to cultural practices, is a partner to music, and is a form of emotional and artistic expression. The senses of sight, sound, and touch are all heavily engaged through the activity of dance. One of the wonderful things about dance is that it is very accessible for a wide range of abilities and interests. In many contexts, there is not a “right” way to dance, as it is based upon individual self-expression through movement. “Dance education is valued because it offers the student a different way of knowing, a means of thinking, and a form for expression and understanding of self and others, issues and events” (Robinson & Randall, 2014, p.211-212). When students are able to invent their own dance routines, they are given ownership over their own learning, empowering them within their physical literacy. Furthermore, this allows for creativity to play a large role in PE, which is an important skill that can often be overlooked in this area of learning. When educators use dance lessons to incorporate students’ cultural backgrounds, the purpose of dance becomes one of identity and community building. In my opinion, dance is the most versatile of the fundamental movement concepts in that it can create the most personal meaning, reaching the deepest levels of understanding and growth (of both self and others).

Knowing Your Learners & Reflective practice

How do I plan for a quality physical education (PE) program?

In order to plan for a quality PE program, teachers need to ask themselves what it is that they want their students to learn, how they plan on assessing whether or not students have properly learned their lesson, and how they are going to initiate and carry out students’ understandings. So, as this demonstrates, planning, teaching, and evaluating are the steps involved in the instructional process. Another aspect of establishing a quality PE program is evaluating the individual strengths and requirements of students in order to determine any modification that should be made to lessons. Each province provides teachers with curriculum documents outlining specific learning outcomes for each grade. These guidelines help teachers with the planning process about what it is they should expect students to learn. The curriculum documents are very general, allowing for teachers to be creative and individualize their lessons. Effective teachers will design lessons that will be the most beneficial for their groups of students, taking into account their various interests and needs. Furthermore, teachers need to take into consideration the school’s policies and values. Some schools may be more sports bases whereas others will place more focus on movement and games. Being mindful to stay away from “hall of shame” activities, ensuring that each lesson is inclusive and meaningful is yet another factor in developing quality PE programs.

What are the steps to the Instructional Process?


The instruction process discussed in ch.5 begins with establishing a safe (emotionally, physically, and mentally) environment that meets the needs of individual students while fulfilling the prescribed learning outcomes of the provincial curriculum. This requires teachers to be flexible with their plans, allowing for students to play a role in the process and adapting lessons to meet their needs. This will also encourage the active engagement of students, building up on their intrinsic motivation for PE. Furthermore, the text highlights the point that, “outstanding physical educators implicitly and explicitly address the affective learning domain, recognizing that teaching is about developing positive relationships with and among students” (Robinson & Randall, p.78).


A crucial step towards developing positive relationships involves effective communication skills. The textbook highlights key communication skills such as “clarity, demonstration and visual aids, cues, questioning, observation, and feedback” (Robinson & Randall, p.79). Not only do these skills help to establish positive relationships in class, but they also help enhance meaning making and understanding. Furthermore, through positive communication strategies and relationship building, students will become more engaged in activities, which is crucial for accomplishing the stated goals of a lesson.


The instructional framework is another key element in the instructional process. The steps involved are: The introductory phase (warm-ups and overview); New skills phase (explanation/demonstration); Consolidation phase (students practice and teachers give feedback); Application phase (apply new skills in a more independent setting); Closure (students are provided feedback on the activities) (Robinson & Randall, p.87).


What are the different teaching styles?


The textbook outlines the 11 different teaching styles proposed by Mosston and Ashworth (2001).


Command style of is teacher-directed where the teacher delivers the instructions to learners and the students are expected to respond accordingly. This is a very straightforward approach that follows the teacher’s plan very closely. “Teacher feedback is limited” (Robinson & Randall, p.88) with this type of instruction, maximizing the students time on task.


Practice style is a slightly less teacher-directed approach. In this teaching style, learners are given slightly more independence by allowing for them to set their own pace for activity time. There is more of a focus on individual practice and the teacher provides students with individual feedback.


Reciprocal style is more social in nature. In this type of teaching style, the students are grouped in two’s or three’s. One student does activities while the other(s) observe and give feedback rather than the teacher providing feedback. Although the teacher communicates with the student who are observing, they mostly place responsibility in the hands of students.


A Self-Check style is when students assess themselves as opposed to teacher assessment. This allows for the students to gain a better understanding on their own personal strengths, weaknesses, and progress. Teachers provide feedback for students at the end of a lesson.


Inclusion style takes account of the varying abilities in a group. This teaching style allows for accommodations to be made in order to increase or decrease the complexity of an activity in order to meet individual’s needs. This is a more self-assessed/directed style of teaching.


The remaining teaching styles are inquiry-teaching styles. They range on a spectrum from Guided Discovery to Self-teaching. A Guided Discovery style, teachers guide students through a series of steps, offering frequent feedback and working along with the students throughout the process. Convergent Discovery style involved the teacher presenting the problem/task and the students figure out the process. Whereas Convergent Discovery style involves only one solution to a problem, Divergent Discovery style considers many different solutions to a problem. In this teaching style, teachers may model one response but mostly encourage students’ responses to the problem. Learner-Designed Individual Program style allows students to take control of their learning experiences under the teacher’s broad topic area. Learner-initiated style is when the learners make all of the decisions and the teacher is a facilitative resource. Self-teaching style is when the student is the teacher (and is “outside the realm of physical education classes”(p.89).


Session 7: Educational Gymnastics

What ideas are used to create a safer, inclusive and respectful environment?

There are many more opportunities for injury in the gymnasium and therefore, PE teachers must be very thoughtful and careful and ensuring the safety of all students. The use of space and equipment should take into consideration and possible risks for injury and how they can be addressed. The space should be able to accommodate all students and the activity they will be engaged in. If the space is too small, the teacher should either adapt their activity or the area of participation in order to create a safe, inclusive, and respectful environment. The equipment used should be appropriate for the students’ age/abilities (plushy balls as apposed to medicine balls in elementary grades) and the use of helmets, padding, and other safety equipment should be used whenever required.

Furthermore, teachers should have a zero tolerance policy for bullying and aggressive behaviour. When game play becomes too competitive then the activities not only fail to be inclusive, but there is an increased risk of injury. Therefore, teachers must provide close supervision in order to monitor students’ behaviors.

Overall, paying attention to details and developing thoughtful, carefully planned activities are elements in creating a safe space for students. Knowing what to do in case of injury is another crucial detail for learners’ safety. Teachers should always know emergency procedures and have quick and easy access to first aid care/equipment.

What are legal responsibilities of educators in a range of movement contexts?

The “law of torts” concerns educators because it “is concerned with the compensation of losses suffered by private individuals” (Robinson & Randall, p.179). Therefore, if a student sustains injuries under the supervision of an educator, the teacher may be responsible for the financial compensation of the losses incurred. This can occur when a student sustains injuries on account of a teacher’s negligence. Therefore, it is the educator’s responsibility to predict any potential harm that may occur under their supervision and take any/all steps necessary to avoid (or in the least, minimize) these risks. One way for teacher’s to avoid unnecessary risks in PE is by educating students on the safety and rules involved in class activities. Ensuring that all students have a firm understanding on how to properly and safely utilize the equipment and space of the class should be a pre-requisite for student participation. Furthermore, it is the teacher’s responsibility to store equipment in a safe and secure manner so that it does not pose a threat to anyone’s wellbeing.

As discussed in the previous guiding question, it is also the teacher’s responsibility to monitor students’ behaviours in order to ensure the safety of all. If students have a history of unsafe behaviours, measures should be taken in order to ensure that the student does not pose a safety risk to themselves or the others in the class. As well, activities should be safe and appropriate for the students’ physical and mental abilities.

How do I approach gymnastics with limited resources?

Although the use of specialized equipment can enhance gymnastics in PE, there are many activities that can still be done without the use of equipment. For example, running, jumping, rolling, and balancing require very little (if any) special resources. Other equipment such as balls, hoops, ropes, and ribbons are inexpensive and easily acquired. In this sense, if a teacher is able to think, “out-side the box” and take a creative approach to gymnastics, the curriculum should be easily adapted to the use of limited resources. For example, most schools or public parks have playground equipment that can easily be adapted to fit in with a gymnastics lesson.

“Body control is the major objective of gymnastics; efficient movement is necessary in a variety of situations, both on the floor and when using an apparatus” (Robinson & Randall, p.214). This statement helps to convey the idea that assuming specialized equipment is needed for meaningful gymnastics is a misconception.

Session 5: Understanding Through Play

What are conditions for including all learners in game playing?

Through the multi-activity curriculum model, students will be introduced to a diverse range of physical activity. This allows for the differing needs of students to be addressed rather than focusing on those who are more athletically inclined. Activities should include a combination of cooperative and individual games, sports, dance, gymnastics, fitness development, aquatics, and outdoor activities. Furthermore, activities should incorporate different categories such as cooperative, individual, and team sports, recreational. Games that do not provide inclusive conditions involve those that are eliminate players such as dodge ball or duck duck goose. Another method for learner inclusion involves randomized teams rather than allowing team captains to choose players so that certain students are not made to feel unappreciated.

The Teaching Personal and Social Responsibility Model is useful for creating inclusive conditions for learning as it encourages students to be “accountable for their own well-being and contributing to the well-being of others… both inside and outside the gymnasium” (Robinson & Randall, p.38). These are skills that can be acquired by all students, regardless of their physical limitations. The Fitness for Life model is another inclusive pedagogy, as it focuses on the “health for everyone with an emphasis on lifetime activity designed to meet their personal needs” (Robinson & Randall, p.42).

The TGfU Model is an inclusive practice as well, because it places the learner at the center of teaching. In this practice, the “needs, motivation, abilities, and developmental level of the student are fundamental to all decisions made by the physical educator” (Robinson & Randall, p.36). An inclusive teacher will take these considerations into account and adapt games in order to allow for the student’s full participation.

Overall, in order to create inclusive conditions for learners, teachers should incorporate ideas from all of the discussed models (as well as those that were not touched upon in my reflection). Learning is a multi-faceted concept and there are many different ways of knowing. Exploring different areas and approaches are crucial for meeting the needs of all learners.

ABC- Week 2- Group B

I found a lot of the ideas in this week’s readings to be very relatable to me. Although I do enjoy engaging in sporting activities, I have always felt that PE classes (at least in my experiences) tend to favor specific groups of students while alienating others. My personal experiences in PE classes placed great importance on fundamental skills and sport literacy, but ignored the mental and emotional elements of physical literacy. Developing an understanding of the fundamental movement skills is a necessary building block for further exploration of function, form, feelings, and flow. However, it seems that too often teachers get caught up in the fundamentals without acknowledging the large variety of ways in which these skills can be applied to everyday life (not just on the sports field). The textbook offered many interesting alternative ideas for PE activities that I have not been lucky enough to participate in, but believe would be most excellent to incorporate into the curriculum. Some of these ideas include circus and flow arts, yoga, climbing, juggling, hooping, martial arts, and horse riding (pg.234). I believe that the more variety a teacher incorporates into their lessons, the more likely they will be able to appeal to a larger audience. Physical and Health Education is not just for athletic students and we need to develop teaching approaches that reflects this.