Physical Education Essay
Alexander Todd Meade Szwed
CCSU Undergraduate 2014
Physical Education Major, Acting Performance Minor
Society today has many different definitions of physical education. Introduction to Physical Education, Principles and Strategies (SHIMON 2011) claims that, the whole person’s mind and body is developed from the process of learning physical education by which students use physical activities. A common misconception of physical education is that it consists of purely physical activities. A general definition of physical activities is strictly body movements to develop a better fitness level and to become more active. Physical education however, is much more than physical activity. As a future teacher I plan on developing the outlook of physical education that is focused more on lifelong learning that inspires children to become self-empowered, healthy, loving and motivated adults with resilient attitudes.
Physical education requires students to learn the content in order to specialize and feel self-empowered within the subject area. The four domains of physical education include the psychomotor, cognitive, affective and the social. The psychomotor domain includes the neuromuscular component which explains that the brain sends signals to the body parts in order to move. Students need to learn these advanced skills that will help them later in their life. They must be fundamentally sound with the groundwork of physical education. From there, students can build upon that strong base of knowledge. There have been instances in my life where I have learned the essentials to an activity or sport and then progressed to learn the more advanced skills too quickly thus forgetting the basics. An example of this is was when I played lacrosse competitively. I made the mistake of focusing too early on the advanced skills such as shooting underhand. Eventually, I ended up forgetting some of the fundamentals within lacrosse which included overhand throwing and catching. Consequently I developed bad habits. It was only after realizing this that I ended up relearning the basic essentials to lacrosse in order to compete at a higher level. This example has provided me with a significant learning experience that has taught me the importance of fundamentals in which I will bring light to in my future physical education lessons. The fundamentals being taught within my classroom will bring importance to a lifelong healthy lifestyle that will prevent obesity and other health complications.
America’s obesity conundrum has become an increasingly bigger problem every day. Exercising daily will reduce this obesity problem as well as preventing cancer and other diseases. I am currently in the process of becoming cross endorsed in Health. I will use this content knowledge to help students better understand the importance of health by focusing on a wide array of health aspects such as personal hygiene and food labels. During my experiences in physical education I have seen many of my fellow classmates fail the fitness test due to difficulties with obesity. In my earlier years I recall jogging around the track during the mile run while many of my classmates were walking due to their overweight bodies and inadequate fitness level. Let's not forget that genetics play a role in a student's fitness level and the most important part of fitness is that he or she does not give up; everyone has to start somewhere regardless of how fit or obese they are. This leads me into my next reason for teaching Physical Education which is attitude.
Attitude to me is the single most important idea in life. Attitude is an intrinsic double edged sword that can either lead a student to conquer his or her wildest expectations and dreams. On the other hand, it can ruin even the most talented and skilled students leaving them distraught and discouraged. During life people are faced with plenty of good and bad experiences that shape their overall attitude. More and more students are presenting a fabricated fallacy in which they have no control over their own attitudes; a proposition that incases the idea that we are doomed by our past thus explaining our fraudulent fixed attitudes. I am confident that our attitudes are most-definitely conquerable. In fact, a student’s or teacher’s attitude may be the only thing that he or she can regulate. It is impossible to revise the past, or change the ways that people will act. Let’s make it clear that bad experiences in life are going to exist regardless of how hard you try to control them or avoid them. The only strategy that a teacher can cultivate is to prepare these students for these uninvited experiences. A saying that has motivated me throughout my life is: I do not have to worry about the majority of things because I have planned for these unfortunate events and have expected them.
At some point in life students are going to be struck with a negative life changing experience that will cold heartedly shape their attitudes. Realizing that attitude is the only construct that students have control of is crucial in their life to overcome these obstacles. For some adults it takes a whole life time to understand that they are not doomed by their past. I am appreciative to understand this awareness earlier on in my life. I plan to practice this notion to my advantage within physical education by modeling this concept to my future students.
Physical Education is more than a class in a curriculum. It is a way of life. Many schools underestimate the benefits of Physical Education. The benefits range widely from different sides of the education spectrum, specifically relating to the area of Health. Furthermore, studies have proven that people who are physically active generate more blood-flow to the brain which leads to positive decision making, alertness, attentiveness and improvements of intellectual functioning. Studies also have supported that physical activities can positively affect your psychological well-being which can help with anxiety, depression, and self-esteem difficulties. Students who learn and perform the skills in physical education can use them constructively throughout their life. Personally, the idea of exercise and physical activeness has aided me periodically throughout my life. The most constructive method that countered a rough patch in my life was always exercising or sports. For instance, before coming to Central Connecticut State University I was struck with depression that plagued me while I was out of school in which I conquered with daily exercise and participation in sports.
My Physical Education philosophy is based on creating a space for students to feel a sense of autonomy, purpose and mastery. Every person should explore different areas in life even if they believe that they will not enjoy it. Students will have to try unfamiliar things in their life regardless if they want to or not. However, students will never learn if they like something if they do not experience it in the first place. Leaving no stone unturned is a saying that I live by and I plan on modeling this idea within my future classroom. For instance, I grew up my whole life playing sports. I always ignored theatre because I did not think that I would enjoy it. Currently, I am an Acting Performance minor and I am discovering another part of myself that is very expressive and confident on stage. Additionally, I have overcome my fear of stage-fright which will help me in my future teaching career to speak eloquently in front of large audiences.
Several teaching theories have molded my own idea of what teaching should be all about. Humanism in particular I have been closely drawn to which is the idea of being a facilitator rather than a teacher thus giving the students the freedom to explore the content. The facilitator should be empathetic to the children’s feelings rather than becoming a dictator over the class. During my field experience at the urban environment of Pulaski Middle School in New Britain I established imperative relationships with students by listening to their feelings and personal interests. This strategy engaged the students and helped them understand the purpose of their class. For example, a student who wanted to become an NBA basketball player kept procrastinating about the class work. I began to ask him how he thought he could become a basketball player. His response was that he needed to go to college first which prompted me to explain that he needs good grades in order to get in to college. This small interaction helped this student participate in his class duration that I was observing at Pulaski Middle School. In order to have control of the class, one must adapt their teaching styles to the class and the students.
Moreover, I am currently exploring a variety of ideas in education that focus on the wide range of ethnicities. Every student in any Physical Education class should feel accounted for and safe regardless of his or her ethnicity, sexual orientation or religious back ground. Even though I enjoyed physical education during my younger years, I still encountered unwanted experiences that could have been avoidable if the teacher had been supervising. During third grade, my class was playing soccer outside and a scuffle had broken out by the netting of the soccer goal. Somehow the netting of the soccer goal was wrapped around my neck and I almost choked to death. This unforgettable instance will forever shape my idea of supervision within the classroom and will implement my focus on supervision and safety in order to guarantee that my unfortunate incident is never experienced again by another student while I am teaching.
Diversity is just as significant as any of my prior themes. I grew up in Windsor, CT where there is a diverse school environment. I made plenty of friends with different backgrounds and different ethnicities due to this diverse climate. This fact has helped me effectively socialize with many different types of people successfully. I will do everything in my power to create a class of equality and diversity. However, the equality of students is not limited to different ethnicities. Students who have different sexual orientations and who speak different languages should be treated with the same respect and encouragement as any other student. I plan to build this idea of diversity and equality within my future classroom by exploring different parts of the world to enhance my knowledge of foreign physical activities and sports that could also be taught in the U.S.
I undoubtedly believe that students will be the most self-empowered when they recognize the positive effects of my future Physical Education class and I will continue to believe this idea throughout my teaching career.
Classroom Climate Plan
My Physical Education classroom will provide a positive, friendly climate that will help students become self-empowered, motivated and excited learners. The climate of a classroom is dependent on factors including diversity of cultures, relationships among participators, physical environment, and strategies used to mold the desired classroom environment. These strategies will arrive from the different explored theories and my prior experiences within the classroom.
My goal is for all students to be captivated by my activities. The variety of activities taught in my class focus on the interrelationship of the mind, body and spirit. Students use dancing for expression and develop relaxation exercises such as mediation and yoga to calm their minds and spirits which in turn will promote personal mindfulness. If a student or a teacher were to walk in to my classroom I would expect them to have an explosion of their five senses and immediately become fascinated. The emotions that stem from my classroom will extend throughout the school. When all children become excited about their PE class then my desired class has been fostered.
The physical environment of my classroom will be welcoming and supportive to students. As a facilitator and teacher I will model the behavior that is beneficial to the student’s well-being. Student will create personal motivational and inspirational posters that will illuminate the well-lit classroom or gym emulating the desired attitudes of the students and the positive atmosphere.
The student’s brain is wired for pleasure and selectiveness thus learning should be joyful. To grab the student’s minds is to motivate them. Facilitation of the students will center on the autonomy of the classroom where students are given the opportunity to explore freedom and expression. Establishing a fun atmosphere with patience and empathy towards the feelings and emotions of students is essential to build strong, trusting relationships amidst all of the participators of the class. These relationships will enable the students to positively socialize their ideas thus building off their prior knowledge or experiences. In turn, this aspect will help the students gain necessary social skills that are critical in today’s society.
Diversity of activities and students will correlate significantly from the school’s demographics and curriculum standards. However, the diversification of Physical Education is dependent on the variety of activities that correlate to different parts of the world and different cultures. Students in my class participate in different types of activities that have been played around the world thus expanding their horizons.
Students who speak English as a second language will be treated with respect and dignity. As a teacher, by showing interest in learning the native languages that are reflected in our classroom creates a positive environment for students. Furthermore, students are provided with equal learning opportunities focusing on their abilities rather than their disabilities. Diversity and equality will break the barriers of socialization between different cultures as well as students with different sexual orientations. This construct allows students to develop and prolong an open mindedness that will benefit them throughout their lives.
Motor Learning Synopsis and Learnings, Alex Szwed
The name, Physical Education does not give the meaning and truth of physical education any justice. The “physical” part of physical education is just one thread of its many layers. The mind, body and spirit are all interrelated and interdependent of each other. To say that physical education is just physicality is also to say that math is only about algebra, to say science is only about chemicals, or to say social studies is only about history. Motor development and motor learning shine light on the connection between anatomy, physiology, biology and philosophy all within the realm of physical education and exercise science.
Motor learning has been a very important class in my growth as a teacher and coach. “The study of how students and players learn and perform skills, how they develop skills, and how they use the skills in various situations.” When developing the definition of motor learning, it is important to note that the definition is not mutually exclusive to the the definition of motor development due to the fact many of the learnings will be geared towards students who are going through motor development; “A children's ability to manipulate his or her environment and develop his or her bones, muscles, reflexes, and dexterity.” This explains that skills and abilities at a young level do not usually predict the proficiency level of a student or player as an end result. It is important to allow all performers ample time to practice. With that being said, it is also important to note that practice that is relevant and mindful is critical in the skill development regardless of abilities and prior skills. “Practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.” -Vince Lombardi
Within motor learning there are many hypotheses and theories (human made structures) that predict the best ways to produce the skills; the abilities that produce results with maximum certainty and minimum expenditure of energy via economy of movement, minimizing time and energy. Internal focus and external focus are amongst the most profound learnings that were attributed to my growth as a teacher and coach. The wide array of abilities from different students and players is evident within every team or class. An awareness of these abilities should be well known on an individualistic measure. Ironically, the development of student’s “skills” is dependent on the ability of the teacher to see the inherent abilities of his or her students and use that base of measure to build upon even though ability is not malleable. The development of skills within a class or practice is also crucially dependent on understanding the sensory-perceptual factors; predictions, decisions, and producing. The predictions of a student pertain to the sensory predictions and predictions based on prior knowledge. The decisions are based on those predictions and the students’ five senses. And finally production means to produce a muscular activity to generate movements that achieve the skill or goal. Also note that some students will not produce these three steps due to low motivation. The differences between open-skills and closed skills are apparent in any class or practice. Open skills like a playing a 2-2 basketball game or trying to dodge a defender will promote improvement towards cognitive skills. Cognitive skills attribute towards maximizing decision-making and minimizing motor control awareness. Closed skills that include predictable environments stem from examples such as hitting a golf ball, throwing a lacrosse ball or shooting a free-throw. These skills are geared towards developing motor skills that attribute to less decision-making and more motor control awareness. (focusing more on the technique or motor skill.) According to International Journal of Sports, an open skill activity develops a better reaction time and provides a higher order of thinking compared to a closed-skilled activity. Furthermore, it is important to note that some multifaceted sports that demand the need for many different forms of skills (mental and physical) are much more difficult to teach. Developing a motor-skill prior using open-skilled activities is crucial due to the overload of attention that must be focused on the form and technique. Motor learning and motor performance are two different ideas. Motor learning is an internal process that improves with practice and can be stable over long term. In contrast, motor performance is observable, motivational, fluctuating change in performance. Motor performance declines with fatigue and inattention. This distinction between two ideas provides the perfect model for understanding the difference between the total lack of a skill and a total lack of motivation or fatigue. As a future teacher, it will be important to understand this difference so I do not implement the wrong attention towards particular students. If a student is having problems at home, it may look like he or she is not coordinated when in fact his or her attention and motivation is not ample enough due to distractions or anxieties at home.
Another three types of skills that overlap the open and closed skills are discrete, continuous and serial skills. A discrete skill is a skill that provides an easy beginning and end of a movement thus explaining the appropriate example of swinging a baseball bat. A continuous skill has no particular beginning or end referring to the example to a swimming a backstroke down a lane. And lastly, a serial skill is a skill that is in the middle of continuous and discrete. A serial skills has many beginnings and ends thus explaining the example of hammering a nail or brushing your teeth or playing the piano. When practicing a discrete skill which covers much of the overlying skills handled in PE, it is important to note the amount of time between repetitions. According to Perception of Motor Skills 2013, less time between repetitions promotes significantly more long-term development within that skill if, of course, it is a discrete skill.
Explicit and implicit learning are critical components when instructing a team or a class. There are many different conflicting studies that focus on different variables such as closed skills and open skills while also focusing on the implicit or explicit techniques of skills. Explicit learning relies on the occurrence of improvements due to mindfully recognizing the obvious change or modification in performance or technique. In contrast, implicit learning provides a way of learning that relies on the occurrence of improvements with no awareness of explanation as a result of repeated performance. The implicit learning participant focuses on the stimuli or the end result while the explicit learning participant understands and recognizes the reason why he or she improved upon the end results. For an example, many times I tend to hit a great golf shot and I do not understand why; this is implicit. Furthermore, from a teacher’s perspective, teaching a lacrosse shot by instructing the students to get their arms up and not telling them why it is important to get their arms up while shooting is considered implicit; the fact that when a student has their hands up higher they will produce a more accurate pass is IMPLIED. On the other hand, if I were to explain that to the students, then it would be considered explicit. Some studies suggest that it is crucial for teachers and coaches to allow the participants to find their own reasons through implicit instruction rather than telling them the reason why. On the other hand, from a motivational standpoint, participants will find more meaning behind the technique and form if the coach explicitly explains the reasons why they need to perform the skill a certain way.
The quiet eye phenomenon is what divides athletes into two groups; athletes who perform well under pressure and athletes who do not. The term quiet eye explains the difference in dorsal stream and eye activity. The athletes who have a “quieter eye” and focus more on important aspects that attribute to their success have better success regardless of the pressure from external factors. In more simplistic terms, a wandering eye is attributable to failure while a still eye is attributable to success. Anxiety is a key component to this and directly relates internal and external focus. The external focus proves to create a definite increase in performance. However, it is important to note that internal focus is crucially important when learning the skill and technique. For an example, a person who is learning a skill for the first time must understand the foundational or fundamental techniques first and focus on them until they become second nature. It is only then that the participant can externally direct his or her focus on the results of the skill. Attention is resource pool of slightly different resources that are available and can be used for different purposes. Attention is proven to enhance or inhibit other information while predominately enhancing information that the brain deems as “important and relevant.” The complexity of a skill is directly related to the amount of attention we need to give to the certain areas of that skill. If a skill is very difficult to understand comprehend then it may helpful to not use this skill in a game-situation (open-skill environment) and rather use it in a closed skill environment without any distractions. The parallel processing of a skill involves two or more streams of information that can enter the brain/system at the same time and be processed without interference. For instance, while dribbling a ball down the court I could also be drawing my attention to where my teammates are on the court. The cocktail party effect is influenced by two different streams of information; one stream you are focusing on intently while another stream is considered “background noise”. During this event, the background noise triggers one of your five senses creating a shift in attention. For an example, if I am talking to a person in front of me while other people are talking and creating background noise, then one of the people in the background says, “Alex Szwed” which triggers a shift in my attention due to the fact that I heard my name. Inattention blindness refers to the missing of seemingly obvious features in an environment when we are engaged in attention demanding tasks. This effect can attribute to car accidents and subsequently can also attribute to collisions on the field or in the gym if students are not aware while moving. Sustained attention can decrease over time due to the fact that concentration demands energy substrates thus becoming depleted and becoming more difficult. Motivation, arousal, fatigue and environmental factors are play roles in the ability to sustain attention. Relating to the dribbling basketball example stated before, controlled and automatic processing is a crucial aspect of developing automaticity within a skill in order to use that skill within game situations. Controlled processing refers to the effortful, controlled processing that consumes much of your consciousness and attention. In contrast, automatic processing refers to the fast, non-attentional, involuntary skills that are obtained over enormous amounts of practice.
The reaction time is strictly defined as the the time between recognition of a stimulus and the initiation of a physical reaction. The movement time is the physical movement between the end of the reaction time and the end result of the movement. The response time is the summation of both the reaction time and the movement time. The number of stimuli during an activity can decrease the reaction time of the individual; this is defered to the choice reaction time. In essence, the more options that a person needs to make increases the reaction. Developing a good reaction time correlates to not only the timing of skill but also pertains to the anticipation factor. If a defensive athlete has an overall low reaction time and can anticipate a movement of an offensive athlete in an open-skill environment then this allows the the offense to fake out the defender at higher rate. The event anticipation is what is going to happen. The spatial anticipation is where it is going to happen. The temporal anticipation is when it is going to happen.
The three memory stores include the short term sensory store (STSS), the short term memory (STM) and the long term memory (LTM). The short term sensory store is used for very short durations while also focusing visual stimuli. The short term memory is the working memory that can be remembered few minutes without rehearsing the stimuli. These stimuli are lost from the short term memory if they are not given adequate information. The long term memory is learned information that has been collected over a lifetime. The reason why these stimuli can obtained for such a long time is due to the elaborate connections between neurons in different areas in the brain. With this idea in mind, one way to use the long term memory store is to connect the presented information with other already represented information that is within the long term memory. This notion magnifies the importance of letting the students experience the information for themselves and relating it to their own lives rather than cold reading the information from a book.
On paper and in society, I consider myself to be white or Caucasian. However, I also understand that from an evolutionary standpoint we have all come and evolved from the same cell. Biblically stated, this case can be argued the opposite thus pointing to Adam and Eve. The fact that I believe in the scientific notion of evolution also gives way to stress on separation due to survival of the fittest and adaptation. I do not consider myself superior to everyone but subconsciously I have a narcissistic outlook on life and something that I am working on. Human consciousness has provided this view. However, is this narcissistic outlook embedded within all of us? Undoubtedly, the educational system conveys these qualities onto the average human being and rightfully so. Humans are put into a society that demands qualities of greed and consumption instead of demanding qualities of compassion and empathy. In society, I consider myself to be a middle class American but I also consider myself to be a human being among many other species occupying the rest of the world. The separation of peoples is a detriment to people’s wellness yet at this day and age we must celebrate our differences of nationalities in order to justify our histories. Multiculturalism suggests that wherever there is history, there is meaning. In order for someone to truly find themselves, they must first find out who they used to be. Personally, I have been lucky enough to be provided with all of the opportunities that have led me to where I am today. I truly believe that everyone should be provided with these same opportunities. To be aware and grateful of these privileges is a compassionate choice covered in guilt since it is so easy to oversee the underprivileged. There are many situations in which when everyone is given these opportunities then they start to become something else. Instead, these opportunities start to become a standards that accompany everyone.
As far as body image, I also consider myself lucky to have a healthy and youthful body. However, the duality of life would suggest that with every gain in life there is something taken away whether you can see it right away or later not. When it comes to myself, this duality starts when it comes to intellect. I do not consider myself intellectually gifted at all. I work very hard to achieve this knowledge which is small percentage compared to some scholars. I sometimes have trouble speaking in front of people about topics that I am not familiar with. In addition to this, I use language and descriptions differently than many and at times the language does not make total sense. But is this something that I should be focused on? The attainment of knowledge and useless information in order to fulfill a corrupt model of capitalism at the expense of common humility is something that I do not take pride in. When it comes to sexuality, I consider myself straight or heterosexual. Some of these labels are not labels by me, but labels by society and I do not agree with them completely. Society has shaped and molded me. It seems impossible to ignore the fact that I am white, heterosexual, middle class or any other other labels.
From an evolutionary standpoint, humans have been using skills such as labeling and characterizing in order to survive. For an example, understanding that a certain plant is edible and another plant is potentially poisonous is crucial for survival. With that said, humans have gone beyond the survival standard and we have now started to label people for competition and separation. Also, I believe that human consciousness was a huge mistake in evolution. However, now that we have a “conscious”, we must become mindful of how we use this “higher consciousness.” For an example, using it to develop a stronger compassion towards other living entities on earth would be a more sustainable approach than using it to feed a greed among capitalism. This is where mindfulness can play a huge role in this notion by guiding us to become exponentially more aware of our logic rather than relying on our impulses that can sometimes hurt each other and even oppress each other.
I have certain unfair advantages as a white, heterosexual, male human being. For an example, I can go to the store late at night and people won’t really worry about me stealing due to the fact that I am white which is obviously ridiculous. I do not know what it is like to be oppressed to the extent of some people but I think it is necessary to feel compassionate and empathetic towards people who are oppressed. In addition, it is even more important as a future educator to empower these students who are oppressed or discriminated. However, at times I feel as though I am being discriminated because I am a white male and I have all of these unfair advantages. Even though this example is not as severe as some other examples; when I go to play basketball and I am only the white person I immediately feel as though I am the odd man out. I suspect that a good amount of people think that since I am a white, heterosexual, male that I must be racist and prejudice. It makes me feel guilty to be successful and it seems to explain why I am so humble. I am humble and guilty is because I have never felt what it is like to be significantly suppressed but I have felt guilt and stereotyped before. Another example of being oppressed is when I was in Hartford, three years ago. I was walking out to my car parked on the street outside of my friend’s apartment. I was dressed in a white backwards hat along with a lacrosse pinney which inevitably portrayed a “party boy druggie” image. As I was walking out to my car, I was prompted by three hartford police men and they started walking towards me. As they got closer they started to question me about someone running away which was obviously a tactic just to engage in conversation so they could eventually search my entire car and then sprinkle crack cocaine on my seat and accuse me to be smoking crack in my car… This led me to break down and cry in front of them and they eventually released me for some reason or another. This is proof that all people are subjected to oppression and discrimination.
I believe that a lot of my students will resist the content area of physical education because it is not stressed by most families even though the human being is made up of the mind, body and spirit. In addition, a lot of the students will feel that Physical Education is a burden because they have to sweat, change and get tired. However, if students understand the importance and connection of wellness towards Physical Education they will find meaning embedded in the content. Physical activity produces endorphins within your body which make you feel good and act as natural painkillers (which are the same neurotransmitters that heroin target). Many of the students will question the content and will not want to try any new material. This unwillingness to participate usually stems from the reason that some of the students are simply just not good at the particular sport or activity. On the other hand, many of the students will find the content fun and helpful depending on the age level obviously. The fact that PE is aligned with moving and fun, helps certain students to become motivated. If certain students do not like the content, then it is my job to find a way for them to be completely and genuinely engaged. With that being said, in life we will have to do things that are not fun and the people who do not enjoy Physical Education will have to go through it just as some people who do not like Math will have to go through Math.
I absolutely believe in the content area of Physical Education. The body and the way we treat it is just as important as how we work our brains or as we humans treat the earth. The content of self-compassion will allow students to become grateful for themselves and will translate to how they treat other people. The affective domain in physical education is the most important domain because it focuses on the interaction among humans. Before a student is able to develop a compassion for others, they must develop a compassion for themselves. In essence, humans are to the earth, as consciousness is to our bodies. Teaching eco-justice to students will allow students to develop an awareness of this concept. If we treat the earth like a wasteland then a common response would be that the earth will begin to have problems. Likewise, if we treat our bodies like crap then we will also have problems. The wide array of benefits from Physical Education also determine my commitment to the content. However, I also believe that mindfulness is an essential aspect of us humans. To be happy, peaceful, and live side by side is something that is inevitable if we humans adhere to the practices of mindfulness. This should be a holistic approach in which all educators should collaborate to help each other.
I am not one to claim that one issue is more important than another but I also think that some issues require more attention than others at this time. Fairness is a difficult subject to successfully create within modern day society. If I had to choose certain topics then I would have to choose sustainability, consumerism, earth awareness, technological dependency and equality. I believe if we can conquer one or two of these issues then I think a lot of people would be prevented from unneeded oppression. Like I have previously stated, the well-being of the earth and nature in itself are crucial to the longevity as humans. We are dependent on each other. For an example, the trees that we are constantly cutting down produces the oxygen that we need and they also inhabit the animals that we use for food. This cycle will be broken if we continue this process of advancement of civilization. Mother nature always seems to take back everything that you have taken. The oceans that we poison from oil rigs and such produce the majority of water that we use and absorb the carbon waste that we produce. In addition, the cars that we drive continue to pollute the air that we breath in and this pollution is increasing at an alarming rate. Consumerism is a disease mostly among humans located in America. It is a environmental symptom of capitalism that is brought upon us at an early age. From the day we first see light, humans are objectified and coaxed into consuming superficial material objects along consuming copious amounts of food that are detrimental towards our bodies and well-beings. Terrorism is important for many reasons. Terrorists kill innocent people and at random. The religious justification of terrorism stems from people being brainwashed. If we want to conquer terrorism then we must keep an open mind and understand the origins. The irony of this is that the ideology of terrorism stems from europeans; french revolutionaries who tried to gain control through putting terror into their government’s eyes. In summary, these topics all have one thing in common, which is that in order for us to prosper for future generations and change the course of history to live in peace we first must become of aware them specifically and holistically. From a local view, many people (including myself) are reamed helpless. They seem to think that there are so many problems in the world or nation that there is nothing that he or she can do. However, the deeds of small community member can leave long lasting positive effects that trickle up into a grander scheme. The cooperation and collaboration of local community members is crucial for the betterment of people on a smaller scale as well as a people on a larger scale. I rely mostly on the internet for sources. It is very easy to become persuaded by something on the internet so I think it is important to always be skeptical and always ask questions. This type of thinking can be easily confused with a closed off and argumentative personality yet it is just the opposite. To ask questions in a way to recover the truth, not to be “correct” is something that is crucial for us in order to understand one another. In addition, I also tend to receive a lot of information from different people which I am also very skeptical and I also watch a lot of documentaries. At times, I feel helpless with the sources because a lot of the sources do not add up and again it is easy to become absorbed into thinking something that is desirable. For instance, sources that breed fear or hate can provide a lot of stimulus from people. I believe that fear is derived from hate. A majority of the media will try to put fear into someone’s eyes in order to get them to buy in or to get their vote politically. This means that the more fear there is in the world the more opportunity for people to hate which is detrimental to the existence of all living things on earth.
As a future teacher I see myself slowly attaining different teaching skills that can help my students obtain an awareness of sustainability. However, it is important to contribute towards the three part model of sustainability personally as well as teaching. In doing so, I must demonstrate some of the awareness's towards sustainability by acting upon them rather than just preaching these ideas. Nevertheless, the first step in striving towards a more sustainable earth is to develop a simple awareness of the specific mannerisms of everyday life that create problems towards sustainability. By doing this, one may be able to slowly change their mannerisms and lifestyles. It is nearly impossible to fix a problem that is not present. And in the eyes of many humans, there are no problems at all in modern society and rightfully so. It is completely normal to go on living your life and not see the certain problems that are hidden beneath the surface. Our future students must learn to dig deep beneath the surface in order to develop a deeper understanding. Many humans live in a closed box which helps them avoid the unavoidable. Providing students a classroom in which the walls are torn down will cultivate a sense of awareness of their surroundings in order to start seeing things that they originally did not. For an example, when a student enters the school bus he or she may not be aware of the deeper aspect of entering a school bus. Questions such as “what is the bus dumping into the air? Or what is the bus driving on? Digging into these questions in order to break down the appropriations and delve into answers that explain more. What is the hidden answer? What is the question asking for? Facilitating this environment of questioning a situation will develop deeper understandings of sustainability as well as a deeper awareness.
Teaching and facilitating multiculturalism within the classroom will undoubtedly promote an awareness of racism, discrimination and nationalism. Facilitating eco-justice will help develop an awareness of certain issues of pollution and other aspects. Once the students start to become aware of these problems and any other problems that may seem deem able by their own realizations and perspectives then it may be possible to develop lifestyle changes that will produce some type of long term cure. I believe that experience is the most important aspect of teaching. Even if a future teacher obtains a wide array tactics, knowledge and theories he or she will not be able to teach effectively if he or she is not able to connect with his or her students. I believe that learning through socialization is key in obtaining this connection with students. Taking risks with different teaching techniques and pedagogies while coaching or student-teaching will allow the teacher to develop ownership of his or her tactics and teaching styles. If I can develop a good amount of experience through second-hand teaching experiences such as camp counselors, coaching or student-teaching then I can develop my own version of teaching based on the experiences through a variety of students from different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds.
One aspect that will be troublesome for me as a future teacher will be developing an environment that is conducive to learning and interaction among students without the clash of ego-centrism. In addition, the topics among sustainability are sensitive subjects that will most definitely produce intense arguments. The more deep and complex a topic, the more opportunity for conflict. However, it is possible to develop a mindfulness or awareness for this type of conflict just as there is a way to develop an awareness for sustainability and wellness. In contrast, the more mainstream a topic, the less likely there is for conflict and argument.
Using Eco-justice and cosmopolitanism will adjust the orthodox model of education from being “globally competitive” to globally compassionate. In order to achieve this, the teacher must cultivate an understanding on a smaller scale through games or activities. With all of these ideas, many of them will fail and on the surface it may seem as though the students are not grasping the content initially. But in reality, as a teacher, you are planting a seed within your students that will eventually grow into tree and that tree needs care and love in order to grow. In knowing this, teachers must develop their own intuitive awareness between themselves and their students.
Field Experience Analysis Pulaski Middle School 2013 Due to my field experience I have learned plenty of useful information and techniques for my future career as a teacher. From the one on one conversations with the teachers, the interviews with the vice principle and guidance counselor, all the way to the one on one time with the students has helped me form a better understanding for what an education should envelop. Generally, within Pulaski Middle School, the students have worked in groups and Ms. Marquez makes sure the class works together in a way that benefits their learning experience. A dispute can be proposed that many of the behavioral issues within her classroom may be due to her softness towards her students particularly in the begginning of the year. Yet a lot of the group work is completed due to the fact that the students recognize Ms. Marquez's compassion. The assignments and projects within class make an attempt to grasp every student's mind directly. Many of the students become positively engaged within projects that allow them to choose a topic. For an example, the students of her class were given the opportunity to choose a topic from the Chinese culture (food, sports, or make-up) and create a power point presentation in which they present to the rest of the class. The problem presents itself when the students are given written assignments that require them to read and write constructively. This style of teaching is boring and undesirable to the students. However, the sad truth remains that the students must learn this style in order to survive in high school and college. Initially, my conscious tells me to not leave any child behind as a teacher. Yet, usually the teachers at Pulaski Middle school have no choice but to leave students behind. A one on one conversation with my observing teacher, Ms. Marquez helped me fully understand her perspective. She claimed that many of the students have at home problems that do not allow them to become motivated regardless of what you as a teacher do. "Take the good with the bad," has become a saying that Ms. Marquez is reminded of each day when she hears students crying in class about their detrimental life at home. One sad instance involves a student that has arrived late to school countless of times because she is physically and mentally abused at home by her father. I have learned and observed a bitter-sweet realization of teaching barriers between teachers and students. Dealing with particular student's inconsistent work habits in return for their good behavior is a method used every day at Pulaski Middle School. Many of the students get away with small misbehaviors such as talking out or swearing because in reality those troubled and misguided children could be doing far worse things. The humanistic style of teaching has become eminent within Ms. Marquez’s classroom in which many of the students become relieved of their problems in life from socializing with Ms. Marquez. I admire Ms. Marquez’s compassion towards her students and I plan to emulate the same nature of care for my future students. Journals The one thing that I learned from the teachings of our first class in EDTE 314 is the presentation of a class and how to capture your kid’s attention. The way that you present yourself during a class introduction is key in order to instill the children’s minds in learning. In a sense, you are "selling the class." This ability to capture their minds will help the children better learn because they actually enjoy learning in your class. One of the factors that Dr. Surgue's brought up is the segregation through neighborhoods. Levittown’s in New York and New Jersey filtered out African Americans that directly related to the neighborhood of Egleston Highschool in the fact that the Egleston area is surrounded by mostly white suburbs. A second factor that was noted by Dr. Surgue was the idea that most Whites in America claim themselves non-racists and “talk the talk,” however they cannot "walk the walk." Many white Americans have good intentions, yet they will not sacrifice their own advantages of being white. In Levin's article, he talks about his friends trying to explain the situation that African Americans and Hispanic Americans by alluding to the idea that it is a genetic trait that has been prohibiting them from succeeding in this country. His friends claim they want equality in America yet they believe it is impossible due their ridiculous idea of inferior genetics. I grew up in a mostly White neighborhood yet I went to a mostly diverse high school in Windsor, Connecticut. Over the beginning part of my life I did not know too many African American Children due to the fact that the neighborhood I grew up in was predominantly white. The town of Windsor is pretty big and in actuality pretty segregated. Once I started to go to elementary school I began to become classmates with African American students and later became friends with many of them through high school. Conversely, at first I found it uncomfortable to talk to the other ethnicities because I was from an all-white neighborhood. If I had grown up in a more diverse neighborhood I would have been more comfortable getting along with the other children at first. On the other hand, the fact that I grew up in a very diverse school system helped me become great friends with many kids ranging in different ethnicities. The Egleston High School is a prominently black and Hispanic school and this may cause them to come up with many of the oligarchy theories that claim that whites are trying to kill their race off because they are unfamiliar with white people in general. In Levin’s article, the kid’s perspectives do not match my perspective of society at all. In a sense, I understand that many of these kids are deprived and trapped in their unforgiving neighborhood. Yet, many of their theories seem to be extremely detrimental to their existence. The majority of kids at Egleston High School believe that all whites are out to get them and that the teachers are trying to teach them inferior material in order to keep them uninformed of certain resources. The comparison of perspectives between the Egleston student and I are clearly different. My perspective of the world and my community is much lighter and lot more positive. It seems that the Egleston students are demoralized from their surroundings. In addition, the kids of Egleston Highschool have heard it all before, one of the students states; “They keep telling us you can make it, but you don’t believe it. It’s bullshit propaganda.” In order to relieve these ghettos I believe that we must try to understand their situations and discover the underlying reasons that most of these kids are in those largely negative situations. Many of the funds that directly help Egleston are cut off and make clear the sad, unfair reality of the poorer getting poorer. Reading this article, I could not understand what type of education they wanted because they kept claiming that the teachers teach them the wrong. However, I know for a fact that theywant to be treated fairly and have a good education. Personally, I want an education that will help me develop skills and useful knowledge to be succesful and happy within this world. As I walked through New Britain, I began to realize all of the culture that has flourished through the different parts. Originally, my assumptions about New Britain were based upon the large Polish community within. However, after taking the walk around the town I started to realize the wide range of different people and social statuses. It amazed me that a quick walk around New Britain showed me that it envelops all types of neighborhoods. It also struck me that New Britain has a large amount of homeless people. With that being said, the community group that we first visited was helping the homeless and the idea made me feel even better when they said that I was easily able to become involved with their group. Overall, the walk around New Britain really opened my eyes. My hometown of Windsor is a generally large town that is located just north of Hartford. Due to this fact, much of Windsor is heavily segregated. Southern Windsor, (Called Wilson) which is close to Hartford is mostly African American and Hispanics along with other ethnicities. Northern Windsor, (Called Poquonock) is mostly a white population. Growing up in Poquonock and then going to Windsor High School was a enlightening experience. The diversity of my High School opened my eyes to different cultures of people (many of which I made great friends with). As I became friends with many different types of people I started to realize the culture of Wilson on the other side of town. Much of Wilson is filled with poverty and gangs. However, many parts of Wilson are very cultured. Restaurants such as Wilson Pizzeria that have Greek Owners serve some of the best pizza I have ever tasted. Dunn's, a Jamaican restaurant that introduced me to amazingly cheap delicious Jamaican beef patties. Additionally, the center of Windsor is more diverse and home to Windsor Highschool, small town shops, a library, and many sporting facilities. The film I watched on Ladakh was very interesting. From the way that the Community has overcome different obstacles and also the way that they have preserved the land that they live on throughout the future years that are upon them. One connection that I drew from the Ladakh film and the indigenous article was the communal aspect. Everyone in the community helped each other no matter what. I recall one instance in the film where a Ladakh resident claimed that people helped other residents that lived miles upon miles away. The interrelatedness of everything on earth is a very important idea of the Ladakh. One representation of this is the crescent moon cradling the sun which symbolizes interdependence. The sun and moon are so far away but yet they are dependent on each other. Additionally, the indigenous article focused on the communal aspect in which it states that we are all part of a community and everyone in that community is dependent on each other. Furthermore, the communal aspect of the indigenous was The second connection I made was the idea of self reliance and connectedness to nature. Everyone in the Ladakh community have skills crucial to their existence. For example, all of the villagers of Ladakh know how to construct houses made up sun dried bricks. The basic needs are important to the community in order to survive. Furthermore, another example would be that the Ladakh have very scarce vegetation in which the herds of animals have to eat, due to this fact the Ladakh move the herds of animals from pasture to pasture in order to preserve the land and prevent over grazing. The indigenous article states, "each person and each culture contains the seeds that are essential to their well-being and positive development. The indigenous also believed that everyone in the community had a role in order to better themselves and better their community." In addition, it states, "A sacred view of Nature permeates its foundational process of teaching and learning." The understanding of connectedness to nature is crucial in order to the indigenous. Overall, I loved the last class and how it coordinated a game and a quiz together. Due to the fact that the quiz was actually a game caused the students and I to just have fun with it and just focus on doing our complete best. The idea of writing down the questions helped the contestants of the game organize their thoughts before they spoke. I believe that sensing the overall energy and attitude of the class depicted that we were all anxious about talking in front of the class. In sensing this attitude and energy, the teacher then made a decision to help the students calm down by choosing the game show style of a quiz. Additionally, the fact that each group was able to communicate and socialize our answers together helped us determine the best answer for each question. This idea of scaffolding relates back to the idea of humanism and social cognitive theory. If I were to improve or modify this game show in order to better my content area of Physical Education I would be more creative and make sure all the students are active physically instead of just one person per group. If I were to be having a quiz or a test for my physical education class and I wanted them to succeed and really learn the content, I would make it so all of the students are active at the same time hence not singling any one student out. By keeping all of the students in the group active, it would help the students work together and be more interdependent for their own group’s members. Scaffolding is one aspect in which we have encountered in this class and is also part of the social cognitive theory and the cognitive theory which is the teacher helps or supports the student in order for the student to complete a task. The zone of proximal development is the level at which the student can complete these tasks with the teachers help. During the Game Show class, our teacher helped us by letting us talk with our group members before the quiz as well as letting us write down our answers before our selected group member answered the questions aloud and let the other group’s judge whether the contestants answered the question proficiently. Generally, scaffolding use in the classroom and other learning areas help students and learners with the skill of independent problem solving later on in life. Authentic Learning is another aspect of the cognitive theory. Authentic learning is based upon the idea of learning important lessons and skills through real-life experiences. Furthermore, authentic learning helps students and learners understand why these skills and lessons are important by using real world examples or experiences. In our class, we walked around New Britain to understand the many dimensions of its society. One important lesson that I learned from walking around New Britain is that poverty is a real crisis in America and we need to recognize that fact. Additionally, another piece that gathered importance was the idea of community help and assistance in order to help our towns, states and country aid to the poverty stricken. By physically walking around New Britain and observing the area, I was able to develop certain knowledge that I would not have developed if I had not gone on this walk around New Britain.