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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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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 Advocacy strategies at the local level: Program, school, & district • Levels of advocacy • A teacher who didn’t take “cut” for an answer • What do administrators have to say? • Making a platform to stand on • You advocacy efforts, successes
Advocacy: National Level • What • Federal law • Best practice recommendation • National awareness & publicity • Examples of how • NASPE Speak Out! Day • Contacting congressional representative • Testimony at Congressional committee meeting • Target Audience • Congressional representatives • Educational committee representatives • Directors/executives of national organizations • Mainstream audience • Who • NASPE lobbyists • Everyone who has a stake in PE/PA efforts • You
Advocacy: State Level • What • State mandate or Dept. of Education requirement • State situation awareness & publicity • Examples of how • State-level legislative day • Contacting state legislative representatives & committee members • Department of Education policy • Testimony at congressional or committee meetings • Target Audience • State legislators • Educational committee representative • State Department of Education • State Superintendent • Governor • Who • State AHPERD organizations • Other PA-related supporting organizations • Everyone who has a stake in PE/PA efforts • You
Advocacy: District Level • What • District requirement • In supplement of state requirement • Examples of how • Communication with Superintendents & district office on policy gaps • Communication with curriculum directors on what is being taught • Speaking at school board meetings & forums • Target Audience • Superintendent(s) • Curriculum director • School Board • Parents • Community (taxpayers) • Who • State AHPERD organizations • Other PA-related supporting organizations • Everyone who has a stake in PE/PA efforts • You
Advocacy: School/site Level • What • Practice or implementation • Examples of how • Communication with school administration on program needs • Sharing improvement data • Promotion of events, successes, & needs • Target Audience • Principal(s) • Deans, counselors, or registrars • Other teachers • Kids • Who • Everyone who has a stake in PE/PA efforts • You
Who are these policy makers & what kinds of policy are they responsible for? School Level District Level Superintendent District policies District budget Performance standards School Board Voice of school community Local influence on policies • Principals • School-based decisions • In-school budget • Scheduling • Class sizes • Programming • Department chairs • What is taught • Content-area policies • Advocate for the department
Angie’s Advocacy Story:A teacher who refused to accept a cut to HS Physical Education 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:
Words from Administrators:Getting to know the people calling the shots Julie Jahn, Assistant Professor Eastern Michigan University
Methods How was this study conducted? • Extracting descriptive data & understanding meaning (interpretive approach) • What meaning do policy makers attach to PE/PA-related policy? • Uncovering where these policy makers’ perspectives come from • How does this perspective & the individual’s role impact what happens in schools related to PE/PA? • Making assertions • Common themes & supporting data • Giving policy makers a voice • Sharing their perspective & what PA means to them
Participants Who was involved in this study? Twelve school & district policy makers • Physical Education teachers (2) • One from each of two participating schools • Physical Education Department Chairs (2) • One from each of two participating school settings • Principals (3) • One assistant level from the larger participating school • One from each of two participating school settings • District superintendents (3) • One associate from the larger participating district • One from each of two participating districts • School board members (2) • One member from each of two participating district school board
Setting: District & School A Southern Butte HS Sunset Union HS District Greater metropolitan area Southwest U.S. 13,000 high school students served 89% district graduation rate 2 semesters of required Physical Education Waivers/substitutions allowed • 2,500 students • Ethnically diverse student body • “Excelling” academic profile
Setting: District & School B Windy Plains HS Gateway School District Upper-middle class suburban/rural area Southwest U.S Strong academic/arts emphasis 2 semesters of required Physical Education Waivers/substitutions allowed • 1,500 students enrolled • “Excelling” academic profile • Third year enrolling students • First time enrolling 9-12th grades
Methods: Data Collection Interviews • Interview 1 • Informal, gaining rapport • Understanding the role of the policy maker • Interview 2 • Drawing attention to Physical Education & physical activity policies at various levels • Their perspectives & knowledge • Interview 3 • Specific school/district PA policies • Barriers & facilitators to implementation of PA
Methods: Data Collection Archive Analysis • Learning opportunity • Stimulate discussion • Background information of districts, schools • Examples: • District Physical Education requirements • District Wellness Policy • PA-related promotional documents • PA-program documentation • State PA/Physical Education requirements • National PA/Physical Education recommendations
Methods: Data Analysis How will the data be interpreted? • Constant comparison technique • Cross-cases (within each series) • Grouping cases, categorizing, asserting • Concluding each interview • Immediate transcription • Initial coding • Application to next interview in the series • Concluding each series • Categories & themes • Assertions supported by data examples
Data Trustworthiness • Expert peer review • Colleague experienced with this population • Methods, interview prompts, collected archives • Clarification of researcher bias • Per interview series • Member checks • Second & third interviews in each series • External audit • Impartial colleague • Leading topics in interview schedules/prompts • Data transcripts (leading questions) • Themes • Assertions & evidence examples
Researcher Bias Acknowledging & Minimizing • Self-checks • Memos/journaling • Not expecting the worst • Policy makers’ meanings, not my pre-supposed guesses • Create opportunities to better understand the role & responsibilities of each local policy maker • Building relationships by listening • Increase understanding non-PA school policies • Regular consultation with external auditor
Findings relevant to PE/PA advocacy Insight #1 School and district policy makers have a varied, and sometimes minimal grasp on PE/PA policies at all levels.
Knowledge of National PE/PA Policies • PE has a national professional organization (AAHPERD) • PE has national standards • PE time requirements • PA time requirements • Schools’ roles • Let’s Move • District wellness policy • PA & academic performance
Interview Excerpts from National Policy Questions “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)
Knowledge of State PE/PA Policies • No state PE requirement • % of schools with daily PE • Student:teacher ratio mandates • Teacher certification • Curriculum or assessment
Knowledge of Local/District PE/PA Policies • PE grad requirements • Substitutions & waivers • Curriculum & assessments
Findings relevant to PE/PA advocacy Insight #2 Local policy makers don’t hear much information about PE/PA policy unless it happens to be from mass media.
Findings relevant to PE/PA advocacy Insight #3 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.
What higher levels of policy makers want School Board Members Superintendents Principals • “We always tell people who study things to actually give us options and we discuss it.” (School board member) • “I’ve found that if you can just try to give them a perspective…most of them will give you the time of day and will try to do what they think is best.” (Superintendent when asked about the school board) • “As an administrator, you’re constantly doing five things at once. So when it comes to knowing PE, for example, I have to rely on the Physical Education people to educate me on what’s going on in their area” (Assistant principal)
What lower levels of policy makers want PE Department Chairs PE Teachers “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.” (PE teacher) “No one has time to be looking up legislation.”(PE teacher)
Findings relevant to PE/PA advocacy Insight #4 PE waivers and substitutions are here unless the program can show us they are doing something better.
Findings relevant to PE/PA advocacy Insight #4 “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
Findings relevant to PE/PA advocacy Insight #5 School board members enjoy seeing the students’ benefit from a good program with their own eyes.
Findings relevant to PE/PA advocacy Insight #5 “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.”
Findings relevant to PE/PA advocacy Insight #5 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.
Findings relevant to PE/PA advocacy Insight #5 “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.”
Findings relevant to PE/PA advocacy Insight #6 Learn the policy process because you need to have a realistic expectation of the persistence you’ll need to exert.
Findings relevant to PE/PA advocacy Insight #6 “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).
Findings relevant to PE/PA advocacy Insight #7 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.
Findings relevant to PE/PA advocacy Insight #7 “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?”
Findings relevant to PE/PA advocacy Insight #7 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 does it mean to “educate”? • What is “Physical Education”? • Teach kids how to move? • Teach kids basic sport skills? • Teach kids how to respect and play with others? • Teach kids about fitness? • Teach kids proper nutrition? • Latin educere“to draw out”
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?
Why do we need physical educators? • Do you provide a unique service or benefit no one else can? • Do you provide this service or benefit better than anyone else can? • If you can’t make your case “bulletproof”, it is very easy to pursue more cost effective methods and personnel.
What is “Quality” Physical Education 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.
CDC.GOV 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).