Multicultural education is a way of advancing sport and exercise psychology and to influence the public interest. As a physical education teacher at a public middle school, I am looking to incorporate multicultural education within my curriculum. It is going to allow us to reach out to the diversity of the students as well as promote being physically active (Gill & Williams, 2008).
According to the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE), a two-year strategic plan has been developed specifically for promoting physical activity amongst diverse settings. This plan is aimed towards enhancing and improving the quality of physical education programs, and as a teacher, it is my duty to create an inclusive environment amongst the diversity of the students within the program. Identifying the multicultural competencies is necessary while teaching in such a diverse setting (NASPE). It is going to allow the program to see where we are on the continuum and what we need to do to in order to develop certain competencies and to be able to be where we want to be in the near future as well.
Gill and colleagues (2005) suggest a need for the concept of cultural competence, a continuum, as well as selected resources. They also suggest the application of the concept of cultural competence to be applied within physical education including program instruction, the curriculum itself, as well as the policies involved in the program (Gill & Williams, 2008).
The concept of cultural competence includes the inclusion of culturally diverse forms of physical activity (Gill & Williams, 2008). As a way to create an inclusive environment, a multicultural games unit will be introduced for four weeks out of the semester. This is going to allow the students to be able to create an understanding of different world cultures. As an introduction of multicultural education, there is going to be a time for research and allowing the students to collect resources specific to multicultural physical activities. The students will be divided up into groups and given the task of researching and learning about a specific multicultural game. The students will then be assigned a day to present the information they have found to the class as well as teach and play the game itself.
By allowing the students to teach themselves about the variety of multicultural physical activities, we as a school and the program itself will promote the improvement of cultural competence and we will be able to move up the competence continuum. As a school having never included any type of multicultural education previously, we have been within the first few stages of the continuum. However, now that there is a clear plan of introducing multicultural education within the physical education curriculum, we as a school are between the stages of cultural precompetence and cultural competence (Gill & Williams, 2008).
As a starting point for including multicultural education within the curriculum, our school aims to reach the final stage of cultural proficiency by the end of following school year. Multicultural education is necessary for creating an inclusive environment and allowing not only the students, but also the teachers and staff to broaden their knowledge of other existing cultural physical activities. This improvement in our education system is a mere stepping stone in affecting social change. Someday, society will become educated and there will be a stop to oppression and injustice for all.
Gill, D., & Williams, L. (2008). Psychological dynamics of sport and exercise. pp. 267-289. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
National Association for Sport and Physical Education. (2010-2012). NASPE strategic plan. Retrieved from http://www.aahperd.org/naspe/about/upload/NASPE-Strategic-Plan-2010-2012.pdf