I have recently come to understand that one of the fundamental and foundational pieces of education is an understanding of one’s students. Thus, pedagogical approaches for the accommodation of the diverse needs and interests of learners is to first understand what those diverse needs and interests are! Entry and exit slips with simple questions are a good way to gauge students’ feelings about PHE, as well as journals or blogs. After you have an understanding of who you are teaching, you can begin to differentiate your lessons to accommodate a diverse student population. I really enjoy stations as a part of my own Physical Education. Stations provide diversity in the learning environment and account for differences between students. Even if there are one or two stations that students enjoy less, a limited amount of time and a variety of stations ensures that all students’ will be catered to.
In the same way as understanding your students feelings about PHE through entry and exit slips, journals, etc. is important, observing your students throughout physical education is important to give them formative assessment, and to find the best ways to provide summative assessment at the end of the learning period. Formative assessment is critical in subjects such as PHE as many students struggle with testing and performance at the level to which they are actually capable. Observation is more likely to provide those performing assessments with an understanding of students’ authentic ability to apply fundamental movement skills in real-life situations. Observation is another way in which educators can glean a better understanding of their students’ needs and interests. Levels of engagement during a lesson can be observed and lessons can then be adjusted to better suit the needs of the students. Thus, reflective and observational assessment of one’s own teaching is incorporated in the PHE experience.