Physical Education & Physical Activity Advocacy Close to Home. Advocacy strategies to make a difference in your school & district. Julie Jahn, Eastern Michigan University Angie Scott, Dexter High School (Michigan) Tony Moreno, Eastern Michigan University. AAHPERD 2013. Our Focus Today.
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Advocacy strategies to make a difference in your school & district
Julie Jahn, Eastern Michigan University
Angie Scott, Dexter High School (Michigan)
Tony Moreno, Eastern Michigan University
Advocacy strategies at the local level:
Program, school, & district
Voice of school community
Local influence on policies
Angie Scott—Physical Educator,
Dexter High School, Michigan
Take a few minutes to jot down a few notes to answer the top two questions
Advocacy Notes + Plans:
Julie Jahn, Assistant Professor
Eastern Michigan University
How was this study conducted?
Who was involved in this study?
Twelve school & district policy makers
Southern Butte HS
Sunset Union HS District
Greater metropolitan area
13,000 high school students served
89% district graduation rate
2 semesters of required Physical Education
Windy Plains HS
Gateway School District
Upper-middle class suburban/rural area
Strong academic/arts emphasis
2 semesters of required Physical Education
How will the data be interpreted?
Acknowledging & Minimizing
School and district policy makers have a varied, and sometimes minimal grasp on PE/PA policies at all levels.
“No, I haven’t seen a Physical Education piece since the Kennedy era.” (Superintendent when asked about a recent Act in U.S. Congress)
“We’ve had an administrative change, and a lot of other things going on, so it might have gotten lost in the shuffle.” (School board member on district wellness committee)
Local policy makers don’t hear much information about PE/PA policy unless it happens to be from mass media.
The expectation of who has the responsibility of staying up-to-date (and sharing) PE/PA policy knowledge is disconnected in the school and district hierarchy.
School Board Members
PE Department Chairs
“We never hear anything…and there’s zero feedback. I think of all the [educational] legislation, and even if it doesn’t have to do with PE, I think they need to do a better job of informing teachers.” (PE teacher)
When informed of administrators’ desires for content-level department chairs to have the responsibility of updating them with policy:
“That’s bull****. I think that’s good in theory, but our department chair is just as busy as our principal.”
“No one has time to be looking up legislation.”(PE teacher)
PE waivers and substitutions are here unless the program can show us they are doing something better.
“It would take a really good exchange with PE not to do that anymore.
You can’t just describe it; I’d have to see it.”
(School board member in response to what it would take to take away the PE waiver policy)
= data that shows students are learning
School board members enjoy seeing the students’ benefit from a good program with their own eyes.
“Always, always bring the students. Because they are key. Pointing out kids and what they were doing before and what they’re having the opportunity to do…It’s those things that make board members smile.”
They may not be able to come the first 100 times you ask, but even being asked to visit a class or event makes a difference.
“So you should invite the board members. And not just ‘come sometime,’ but send them an invitation and make it easy and specific.
…I can’t make it every time they say that, but when you do, and I just sit in the audience…and swell with pride like they’re my own kids.”
Learn the policy process because you need to have a realistic expectation of the persistence you’ll need to exert.
“And another thing I’ve learned about policies is you can’t just sort of recommend or do overnight…if I was the president and could set the agenda, but if you’re on a committee and they don’t meet, so you’re screwed.” (School board member when asked what is the timeline for change if she really was in favor of something)
“You get bounced around a lot here unless you’ll find someone that will just trail blaze and do it.”
(PE Teacher/Dept. chair when asked about the process of who to talk to about a policy issue).
We know you don’t have a lot of time to do this all on your own, so ask for help.
It is our job at the university to know, understand, & interpret policy, research, and updates to share them with schools.
“You have to have strong support. You’d have to probably bring in a professor or two from a local university to persuade the school board to open it up again…
…The problem is that people like myself and the everyday school teacher, we have so much on our plate—you know we dream about these things and all these battles and which battles do you fight?”
You have to be strong enough to pick the battles that should be picked.
1 What makes your program irreplaceable or “un-cutable”?2 How do you show your students are learning?3 With whom/how do you share that data/
Defining Your Role
With the person next to you, take a minute to describe what your role is as a physical educator?
Why do youth need to be “physically” educated?
What may be obvious to you, may not be obvious to everyone else?
Be a devil’s advocate for a second…can a personal trainer or recreation/activity specialist do your job?
The provision of “developmentally appropriate experiences” that allow students to develop physical skills, knowledge and personal social attributes facilitating the pursuit of active, healthy lifestyles.
You should check it out regularly
BMI = Weight / Height2
Percentage of Obese Adults in the US for the past 20 years
CDC (2010): 33% of all children were overweight (BMI ≈ 25-29) with 17% considered obese (BMI ≥ 30).
Michigan 2008: Obesity Costs = $3.1 Billion!
Prevalence of Obesity (BMI≥30) if the current trend continues
(% of population):
Obesity-attributable spending if the trend continues (in millions $):
$28,117 per prisoner in Michigan in 2010…total MDOC prison budget is close to $1.2 Billion!
$10,644 per student in Michigan…where is the priority?
The association between school-based physical activity, including physical education, and academic performance: A systematic review of the literature
Rasberry et al., (2011). Preventative Medicine, 52 Supplement
Dynamical Systems Theory – Dexterity and its Development (Bernstein)
…most important,motor confidentthroughout the lifespan!!!
Governor’s 4 x 4 plan (2011)
How do we mandate these critical elements?
General Motor Ability
Less Reliance on Health Care System
Higher Quality and Price Competitive Health Care Providers
If your program is on the chopping block …you’re not important. You are a luxury, that is the perception.If you’re not important, how do you change that perception?What benefit do you provide and how will you deliver it with great enthusiasm?How do you keep yourself viable and visible in the public eye so they want to return for your services?
Be visible. Be viable.
Make it clear that Physical Education is at the vanguard of affordable health care.
Advocacy in Motion
Eastern Michigan [email protected]
Julie A. Jahn, M.A. Doctoral Candidate at Arizona State UniversityAssistant Professor Eastern Michigan [email protected]
High School Physical Educator
We welcome your questions & personal insights…