Thursday, January 15, 2009

Take it to The Wilderness

For the past two weeks I have discussed three major curriculum models that can positively benefit student outcome. What I want to discuss in my final post is a curriculum model that is not used regularly but certainly is extremely beneficial to a student’s personal growth and maturation. The Wilderness Sport and Adventure Education model is based on three major components. These components include adventure, risk, and challenge; these components are explored through experimental education through the wilderness and nature.
The basis of this model is the relation between the processes of actual experience and education. When taking a class last semester we were given a quote by John Dewey that not only speaks to this model but also can be applied in any educational realm. “Tell me and I will forget. Show me, and I may remember. Involve Me and I will understand.” It is with this frame of mind that the Wilderness Sport and Adventure Education model benefits our students.

When looking at this model there are endless activities that can be used. Some of these activities include; high and low ropes courses, hiking, orienteering, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and cycling. While schools may not always have the necessary equipment there are plenty of wilderness based activities that involve little or no equipment at all. The benefits of using this type of model are; group involvement, leisure skills that promote life long fitness, personal commitment, challenge by choice, risk, unique teaching and learning environment, hands on learning, and relationship building. As you can see this model can promote positive outcomes no matter what the age group or grade level.
When beginning this blog I wanted to be able to share my thoughts concerning the variety of different curriculum models that are available in the field of physical education. While during this blog only four major models were discussed, there are certainly many other curriculum models out there. In order to truly understand the impact these models have on not only the field of physical education but to our students as well, one must try it. While class size, equipment, and age can certainly affect the model chosen, my suggestion is to simply experiment. Students love things that are new and exciting and by incorporating different curriculum models you are allowing endless opportunities for student growth and development within the field of physical education.

Here is a link to learn more: Wilderness

Monday, January 12, 2009

Lets Be Responsible

While my last two blogs focused on curriculum models that were age appropriate, the next model I will discuss is extremely beneficial because it concentrates on the affective domain and can be applied to any age level. The Social Responsibility Model is a based on teaching students to be responsible both in and out of the classroom. The main focus of the social responsibility model is to empower students to think critically and to make responsible decisions on physical, emotional, and social levels.

This model drives students to act responsibly both inside and outside of educational settings. The components of this model are respecting the rights and feeling of others, participation and effort, self direction, helping other as well as taking on leadership roles, and implementing these components outside of the gym. These components are imperative because they directly affect student’s growth and maturation. When implementing this model it is imperative that teachers are able to give students different types of responsibility that address the physical, emotional and social aspects.

When teachers implement this model effectively benefits include; positive social interactions between students and instructors, Provides students with leadership roles where they can learn skills in the safety of their classroom, the curriculum model can be linked with other models creating a positive learning environment, and allows students to identify both positive and negative behaviors that may exist within the classroom. Much of the assessment that occurs with this model is based on discussion, journal writing, or self reflection through assessments constructed by the teacher.

It is critical that educators teach students not only content knowledge but skills necessary to their positive participation within society. What the social responsibility model offers is students the idea of empowerment. This idea of empowerment makes learning authentic and places the responsibility on the individual student. Personal growth as well as learned life skills are all outcomes that occur as a result of this model. As an educator it is critical that you teach students to be well rounded. These skills learned are pertinent to a child’s education and that is why I adamantly believe in the implantation of this model. Teachers need to use this model not only because it empowers students and teach them life skills but because it truly works.

Here are some great article on this model. Social ResponsibilityArticle , Power-Point

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Tactic

During my last post I discussed a very valuable curriculum model that served as the building block for elementary physical education. While this curriculum model is certainly valuable especially to young students today we will be discussing a different curriculum model that is used primarily in both middle and high school physical education. The model we will be discussing today is called the Tactical Approach. Personally, the tactical approach is my favorite model and the model I use most in my classroom. As we discuss first its proper implementation and then its benefits, I will show how this model certainly has a positive effect on a students learning outcome.

The way this model is structured is the teacher presents a game, followed by a skill, and then the reintroduces a game. While this may sound straight forward, in order for it to be effective much more needs to go into its implementation. When a teacher presents the first game or activity they are supposed to limit their instructions to allow critical thinking and problem solving to take place. For example, if my focus of that day was passing I might ask the students to pass the ball four times between their team successfully. In these instructions I would leave out using the instep of the foot, game strategies such as the give and go all in hope that the students will use these skills on their own. After the students participate in the activity a discussion must make place to see how the students went about solving the problem. After the discussion it is up to the teacher to introduce the skills necessary to participate effectively. In this case the focus would be on passing with the instep of your foot and using the give and go to create open space. After the class has done their skill work it is up to the teacher to reintroduce the game and have the student’s use the skills practiced in class and carry them over into game play.

As you can see the Tactical Approach certainly benefits student learning because of the emphasis on appropriate timing and skill practice. What I like most about this model is the ability to teach student’s skills, tactics, as well as rules for game play all in the confines of a lesson. By applying game related motor skills and movement concepts students feel confident participating in activities not only in physical education class but for the rest of their life. If students do not understand the game as well as the skills involved then their ability to identify and execute the correct technique is impaired. Knowledge is power and by using this model educators are allowing their students to be successful by teaching them all the necessary skills for participation. I speak from experience when I say this model truly benefits student learning outcomes.

Here is a great article on the Tactical Approach. Please let me know your thoughts about the Tactical Approach and if you find it effective or not.

Monday, January 5, 2009

What is Your Style?

Over the past semester I took a very interesting class that focused on different curriculum models within the physical education setting. This class not only provided me with an interesting insight into the variety of different curriculum ideas within physical education it also allowed me to assess my own teaching style as well as teaching goals I may have. By assessing my own teaching style I was able to identify effective curriculum model that can be beneficial to all students within the realm of physical education. During this class I was able to gain hands on experience with variety of curriculum models. While the hands on experience gained from this class was certainly valuable, the most crucial part of this class was being able to discuss, debate, and question the effectiveness of each model. These discussions proved to be extremely helpful in understanding the intricacies within each curriculum model.

Over the next couple of weeks I will discuss different curriculum models within physical education while adding my personal experience and interpretation. Through this blog I hope to share information that can be useful and informative in the field of physical education. The first curriculum model I will discuss today is the Skill Theme Model. This model from personal experience is extremely beneficial for elementary students. This Skill Theme Model is based on teaching students what the body is capable of doing, how the body can move, where the body can move, and the relationships that occur as a result of the body moving. By implementing this model the educator’s main objective is to teach students concepts such as special awareness, time, speed, force, pathways, and manipulation. By teaching students major concepts and principles such as these, it lays the foundation as students mature. This then allows students to have the tools to be physically active.

Personally, I find this model crucial to any elementary physical education curriculum. Through proper implementation, which in this model is based upon guided discovery, the skill theme approach is both activity and student centered. The skill theme model also taps into a student’s problem solving skills, imagination, and overall body awareness. For physical education at the elementary level to truly be effective, this model needs to be the backbone to any elementary physical education curriculum.

Here is a link to help further explain The Skill Theme Model