Accommodating Diverse Students in Physical Education Class

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  • 0:04 Diverse Students
  • 0:24 Different Cultures
  • 1:44 Different Languages
  • 2:50 Different Abilities
  • 3:55 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

You're going to learn how methods of instruction, activities, rules, and equipment can be altered in order to accommodate students of different cultures, languages, and physical abilities in this lesson.

Diverse Students

Today we're going to meet three students: Giang, Isabella, and Alex. One of them has a physical disability, another is from a different country and culture, and the final student is also from a different country but is only beginning to learn English. How can we accommodate these diverse students in physical education class? Let's find out.

Different Cultures

Giang is a student who was born and partially raised in Vietnam. He speaks fluent English, so there's no language barrier to overcome with Giang. However, he does come from a very different culture than that of the European-American culture that values individual competitiveness, or the drive for personal success.

As opposed to this, many African, Asian, Arab, Latin American, and Native American cultures are collectivist in their value system. Meaning, instead of valuing individual competitiveness, it's more about working together that's important to them. How can we apply this knowledge to physical education? Well, it will be up to the teacher to first form a balance of activities that hit on both of these two value systems so that no one is left out and both value systems are accommodated for.

When it comes to individualistic fitness, the physical education teacher can help students learn how to design their own fitness plans and monitor their progress through logs so they can see how much better they're doing at one or another exercise or game. For example, a fitness plan may include climbing a rope and seeing if the student gets faster over time. On the flip side, the collectivist value system can incorporate group activities and games. An example of this could be coming up with a dance routine or playing a game of Making Waves, where students team up and use a parachute to make waves that are big or small.

Different Languages

Just like Giang, Isabella is a student from another country. She just arrived in the United States from Mexico a couple of weeks ago and speaks virtually no English. She's obviously in an ESL class, but it'll be a little while before she can communicate to an extent that she understands the instructions being handed out or explained to her.

What can we do to ensure a student like Isabella has a great experience in PE class and doesn't feel left out? Well, in some instances we may need to enlist the help of an individual who is bilingual so that Isabella can understand what's going on. This can be another PE teacher, an assistant, or even a student who speaks the same language, depending on circumstances.

Additionally, the teacher can use non-verbal means of communication in order to relay a message. For instance, a frown when a student is doing something wrong along with a shake of the head would let the student know he or she should stop that activity. A teacher can also use familiar objects and demonstrations to explain to a student how to perform a task. For example, a soccer ball can be placed on the ground and the teacher can point to how to position the foot in order to kick the ball.

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