Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Short Answer Portion of Final Exam

Short Answer
1. Multicultural history of American Education

a. Culturally responsive teaching- This is a form of teaching the focuses on the learning strengths of students and mediates the frequent mismatch between home cultures and school cultures. A teacher teaching a multicultural education in a suburban or urban school district where there are mostly minorities, or diverse students, is successful when they are able to bridge the gap between possible racial, cultural, and language differences.

The history of multicultural teaching began back on 1954 when the Supreme Court ruled in favor or Brown and desegregation of schools. Once the schools were desegregated the teachers had to adapt their teaching styles in order to accommodate the different learning styles and beliefs that come from different cultures, races, backgrounds, and ethnic groups. The best way to teach our multicultural students is to create close links between home and school, so that minority children can succeed academically. This is also known as teaching the culturally different.

Multicultural education has four main components; the first component is expanding the curriculum to reflect the diversity that is so common in The United States. The Second main point of multicultural education is having teachers use teaching strategies that are responsive to the different learning styles. The third is supporting the multicultural competence of teachers so they are comfortable working with students and families from different cultures. Last but not least is the strategy of committing to social justice. This is promoting the efforts to work and teach towards gaining local and global equality.

According to James Banks, multicultural education and curriculum can be broken into four different levels of teaching diverse students. Banks believes that in order to have a more positive attitude towards different groups is to integrate and broadensr the curriculum so that it is more inclusive and action orientated. As we move from the first level to the second level to the third and then the fourth level the amount of inclusion of different cultures increases. The first level of multicultural teaching is known as The Contributions Approach. This approach focuses on the heroes, holidays and discrete cultural elements. An example of this would be incorporating a lesson on Kwanza around the holidays, or Cinco de Mayo being celebrated and described in class. Besides the celebrating and description of the holiday, there is no more in-depth learning about this topic at this level.

The Second level of approaches to Multicultural education is known as The Additive Approach. In this level is where content, concepts and perspectives are added into the curriculum, but are added in without changing the structure of the curriculum itself. An example of this would be February being considered black history month. Although this month is dedicated to black history, which can be a break from the curriculum, it still does not make a substantial change to the curriculum as a whole.

The third level approach to multicultural education is more inclusive then the first second level and much more inclusive then the first level. This level is referred to as the Transformation Approach. Through the Transformation Approach the structure of the curriculum is changed, and it is changed in a way to enable students to view concepts, issues, events and themes from different perspectives of diverse ethnic groups. An example of this would be a class studying westward expansion of the Europeans through Manifest Destiny through the eyes of the Europeans, or in through the eyes of the Native Americans who saw westward expansion and invasion from the east.

The fourth and final level of multicultural education is called the Social Action Approach. Now that students have learned to view issues from multiple perspectives, The Social Action Approach comes into play is. This is where the students become directly involved and make decisions on important social issues and take action to and become involved in solving these problems. This level takes multicultural learning above and beyond the other three level, because students become directly involved in the issues at hand.

Level 1 Contributions Approach Level 2 Additive Approach Level 3 Transformation Approach  Level 4 Social Action Approach
*Each level builds upon the level before it. As the number of the level increases the level of involvement in inclusion also increases.

When multicultural education became underway its main focus was fighting racism. Now that time has passed multicultural teaching has expanded to not only fighting racism but also fighting, and preventing injustices that have to do with gender issues, social class, disability, sexual orientation, and stereotyping. Stereo types are absolute beliefs that all members of a certain group have a fixed set of characteristics. Stereotypes ignore individuality by applying the stereotype to all members of a certain group here is an issue that occurs when it comes to stereotyping. This issue is known as stereotype threat, stereotype threat is a measure of how social context, such as self image, trust in others and a sense of belonging, can influence academic performance. When a person is aware of the stereotype that they are a part of then they are more likely to behave in that way, then if the stereotype did not exist at all. Furthermore, stereotype threat can be diminished by ensuring that your curriculum represents diversity across race, ethnicity, gender, religion and social class.

In addition to stereotyping, there is another term called generalization. To make a generalization is to recognize that there are trends that can exist over large numbers of people. Members of certain religious, racial or ethnic groups tend to share certain similarities. This offers insights, does not draw hard and fast conclusions like stereotypes.


Race is defined as a group of individuals that share a common socially determined category often related to genetic attributes, physical appearance, and ancestry. Ethnicity is defined as shared common cultural traits such as language religion and dress. A sense of shared people hood is the most important characteristics of ethnicity. Lastly, Culture is a set of learned beliefs, values, symbols and behaviors. Culture is a way of life shared by members of its society.

The expectation theory plays a large role in racism. The expectation theory is a theory where some children do not do well in school because their teachers do not expect much of kids of certain racial or ethnic groups. As a result of this these teachers teach these students different, and this is a form or discrimination.

A possible resolution of racism is the Cultural difference theory. This is a theory that asserts theat academic problems can be overcome if educators study and mediate the cultural gap separating school and home.


Bilingual education is the use to two languages for education. Language submersion is when students who are not fluent in speaking English (or dominant language) and they either learned to speak English as they sat in class or they failed out of school. This is also known as the sink or swim/ speak or sink outcome.

Lau v. Nichols was a lawsuit that reached the Supreme Court and it was centered on a student named Kinney Lau and 1,800 other Chinese students from the San Francisco area who were failing classes because they could not understand English. The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that federally funded schools must “Rectify the language deficiency” This meant that teaching students in a language they did not understand was not appropriate education, thus began bilingual education.

Bilingual education consists of four approaches to teaching students who are not fluent in the dominant language of where they are in school.

One approach is the Transitional Approach; this uses the native language of the student to bridge English language instruction. This is where students start learning in their native language and then slowly enter English into their classes more and more until they can speak English.

Another approach to teaching bilingual education is the Maintenance / Developmental Approach. The Maintenance / Developmental Approach is designed to help students develop academic skills in both English and their native language. This approach is where instruction will occur in both languages. Furthermore, another Approach is the dual-language instruction, where from kindergarten through twelfth grade students develop cognitively in both languages. They will learn about the culture and history of their ethnic group as well as the culture and history of the dominant culture.

Immersion Approach is where instruction is exclusively in English. Immersion cannot be considered truly bilingual, but it is uses with English language learners just like the other three approaches.

2. Normal Schools
In 1893, the Reverend Samuel Hall established a normal school. A Normal schools is a school the established model standards. Normal Schools typically provide a two year teacher training program. This teacher training program consisted of academic subjects as well as teaching methodologies. In the beginning of the 1990s the Normal schools were the backbone of education.

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) was formed to promote teaching excellence through recognition of superior, experienced teachers. This was simply a way of licensing new teachers who reach minimal standards. The Goal of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is to award board certification to extraordinary teachers whose skills and knowledge indicate their high level of achievement. To receive this board certification teachers had to complete a series of performance based assessments that show the reflection of mastery of their subject and understanding of the most effective teaching styles.

A Charter school is a school (or contract) that represents legal permission from a local or state school board to operate the school. This is usually for a fixed period of time, like five years for example, with the local or state school board having the right to renew the charter if the school is successful.

3. Important People
Over in Germany, Friedrich Froebel established the first kindergarten in 1837. Kindergarten stood for “chi ld’s garden. He established the first kindergarten to cultivate children’s development and learning. He had lost his parents at a very young age and really looked up to teachers, and that is why he believed that it is so important to establish an emotionally secure environment for children. In kindergarten Froebel provided cooperative activities for socialization and physical development of children. He would use materials such as clay and sand to stimulate children’s imaginations.

In the nineteenth century, German immigrants came over to the United States and brought with the Froebel’s idea of kindergarten education. Margarette Schurz established a German speaking kindergarten in Wisconsin in 1855. The first English speaking kindergarten and training school for kindergarten teachers were created by Elizabeth Peabody in Boston in 1860.

Horace Mann played an instrumental role in establishing the first state supported normal school in Lexington, Mass. Horace Mann also became the nation’s leading advocate for the establishment of a common school that was open to all. A common school is what we would consider an elementary school today. Horace Mann helped create the Massachusetts State Board of Education and played a large role as the secretary, which in our eyes would be considered a superintendent today.

4. John Dewey and Progressive Education.
John Dewey was one of the most influential and controversial educators of the twentieth century. He established a famous laboratory school at the University of Chicago. John Dewey is one of the main causes of the Progressivism, the Progressive Movement and the Progressive Approach to teaching. He is also known as the personification of progressive education and its biggest advocate.

Progressive Education includes three components, the first component helping to broaden the school programs to include health concerns, family and community life issues and a concern for vocational education. The second component was that progressivism applied new research in psychology and social sciences in the classroom practices. Lastly the third component looked for a more democratic educational approach, this accepted the needs and interests of the increasingly diverse student body.

5. Important Legal cases.

Title IX was a part of the Educational Amendments, and passed in 1972. Title IX states that “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded for participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” This was a huge step for women’s right in education. No school has ever been financially penalized by the federal government for violation Title IX.

With the Civil War at an end, it brought with it an end to policies of ignorance and affirmation of black people’s belief in the power of education. Plessy v. Ferguson was a Supreme Court case in 1896, where segregation because a legally sanctioned way of life in the United States. This case created a doctrine of “separate but equal.” “Separate but equal,” was not Equal. An example of this would be in 1907 when Mississippi spent $5.02 for the education of each white child versus $1.10 on each black child. This also created de jure segregation, where segregation by law or by official action.

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (Kansas), was another Supreme Court case the ruled unanimously that “in the field of public education the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place” this was the court case the over turned the ruling of Plessy v. Ferguson. This caused schools to desegregate, and brought on the Civil Rights Act. The Civil Rights Act is the act that gave federal government power to help local schools desegregate when necessary, to initiate lawsuits or withhold federal school funds to force schools to desegregate. (Title IV).

“The U.S. Supreme Court issued its historic Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, 347 U.S. 483, on May 17, 1954. The decision declared all laws establishing segregated schools to be unconstitutional, and it called for the desegregation of all schools throughout the nation” (2.^ Warren, Earl, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, Brown v. Topeka Board of Education, Cornell,
After the decision the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) attempted to register black students in previously all-white schools in cities throughout the South

6. Little Rock Nine Occurrences

The Little Rock Nine is a group of African-American students who were enrolled in Little Rock Central High School in 1957.

1. Virgil Blossom, the Superintendent of Schools, submitted a plan of gradual integration to the school board on May 24, 1955, which the board unanimously approved. The plan would be implemented during the fall of the 1957 school year, which would begin in September 1957.
2. By 1957, the NAACP had registered nine black students to attend the previously all-white Little Rock Central High, selected on the criteria of excellent grades and attendance. The nicknamed "Little Rock Nine" consisted of Ernest Green, Elizabeth Eckford, Jefferson Thomas, Terrence Roberts, Carlotta Walls LaNier, Minnijean Brown, Gloria Ray Karlmark, Thelma Mothershed, and Melba Pattillo Beals.
3. The Little Rock Crisis, which was when the students were at first prevented from entering the racially segregated school by Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus. They were prevented from entering the school by a line of armed soldiers. This occurrence made it to the national headlines
4. The intervention of President Eisenhower in this crisis, which is considered to be one of the most important events in the African-American Civil Rights Movement.
5. On their first day of school, troops from the Arkansas National Guard would not let them enter the school and they were followed by mobs making threats to lynch.
6. Ernest Green was the first African American to graduate from Central High School.

Philosophies of Education

Final Exam Essay 3

What are some of the major philosophies of education in the US today?
How are some of them reflected in current school practices?

There are five major teaching philosophies. They are Essentialism, Perennialism, Progressivism, social Reconstructionism and Existentialism. These five philosophies fall under two different categories. The first category being teacher centered and the second being student centered. Teacher centered philosophies are philosophies that emphasize the importance of transferring knowledge, information and from the older and wiser generation to the younger generation. The teacher center philosophies include essentialism and perennialism. Student centered philosophies are philosophies that are less authoritarian, and more focused on individual needs, contemporary relevance, and preparing students for a changing future. Philosophies in this category include progressivism, social Reconstructionism and existentialism.

There are two teacher centered philosophies. The first one is essentalism; essentalism focuses on teaching students the basics through core courses in traditional academic disciplines. This is also referred to as “back to the basics.” This idea of back to the basics is reflected through the current school practice of learning one topic after another and building upon pervious knowledge to further the students understanding of that topic. This is shown with New York State adopting the Common Core Standards.

The second teacher base philosophy is perennialism. This philosophy is the idea the schools should organize around books, ideas, concepts and critical essentials for the vast amount of factual information they require students to absorb. This can also be called the push for cultural literature. An example of this occurring currently in schools would be a school that is old fashioned and the teachers teach straight out of the book.

Furthermore, a great example of how teacher center philosophies are is still being used in school practices occurs right here at SUNY Cortland. Part of the SUNY Cortland Physical Education Curriculum is a class called Skill Acquisition. Skill acquisition is a way of teaching students by stating with the basics of skills and building on top of them. The two main components of the skill acquisition teaching philosophy is the transfer on knowledge from one lesson or unit to the next lesson or unit. The second main component is maximize facilities and maximize participation. This means that no student should be left out of an activity. Part of this philosophy is finding the most efficient way to involve all of your students.

When it comes to student center philosophies, three of the five main philosophies fall into this category. One of the philosophies is progressivism. Progressivism is the idea of a school organizing around the concerns, curiosity and real world experiences of their students.

The next philosophy that falls into the student centered category is social Reconstructionism. This is a philosophy with the belief that encourages schools, teachers, and students to focus on their studies and energies on alleviating pervasive social inquiries. In addition just like the name inquires, this philosophy wants to reconstruct society into a new and more social order.

The last philosophy that falls into this category is existentialism. Existentialism places the highest priority on students directing their own learning. The purpose of this philosophy on education is to help children find meaning and direction in their lives, and it rejects the idea that adults should/could direct meaningful learning for children. A specific example of this could be students attending college. We college students have chosen to further our education by attending college. Not only are we attending college but we chose what college we want to attend. We chose our own career path, we are studying something that interests us and is meaningful to us. Furthermore as a physical education major I might be following a specific curriculum but I am learning different styles of teaching and different ideas and philosophies of teaching, and now that I have the knowledge of all of this I can chose which style or styles that I would like to use while teaching, and what philosophy of education I want to follow.

All three of these student centered philosophies are seen currently in schools through the practice multicultural education. Multicultural education has four main components; the first component is expanding the curriculum to reflect the diversity that is so common in The United States. The Second main point of multicultural education is having teachers use teaching strategies that are responsive to the different learning styles. The third is supporting the multicultural competence of teachers so they are comfortable working with students and families from different cultures. Last but not least is the strategy of committing to social justice. This is promoting the efforts to work and teach towards gaining local and global equality. Each level builds upon the level before it. As the number of the level increases the level of involvement in inclusion also increases.


Jamie Boldish
Final Exam Essay 2

When defining what bullying is I can up with three main components. The first component of bullying is that bullying is an aggressive behavior that tends to involve unwanted, negative behaviors. The second component of the definition of bullying is that bullying involves a pattern of a behavior being repeated over a period of time. Lastly the third component of what bullying is, is bullying involves an imbalance of power and strength.

There are many different types of bullying. Research has found that there are nine different types of bullying. These nine types are verbal bullying including derogatory comments and bad names towards another student. Second, bullying can occur through social exclusion or isolation. Third, physical bullying such as hitting, kicking, shoving, and spitting is another form of bullying. Fourth, bullying can occur through the use of lies and false rumors. The fifth type of bullying is having money or other things taken away or damaged by students who bully. The sixth type of bullying that is seen is one student being threatened or being forced to do things by another student. Seventh, racial forms of bullying happen. Eight, sexual bullying can occur towards both male and female students. Lastly coming in as the ninth form of bullying is cyber bullying, which is bullying that occurs over cyber space, for example a student can be threatened via cell phone or Internet, and this is still considered bullying even though it is not happening face to face.

There are three main reasons why students are bullies. The first reason can be students who bully have strong needs for power and negative dominance. The second is students who bully find satisfaction in causing injury and suffering to another person. Third, students who bully are often rewarded in some way for their behavior with material or psychological rewards. There also many other reasons for why students bully other students.

By being aware of what bullying is, know some of the reason why students bully one another, and knowing that bullying looks like, (The nine different forms that bullying) we as teachers should be able by being proactive and preventing bullying from happening. One way of doing this is explaining the effects that bullying has on the children or teens that are victims of bullying are. The impact that bullying has on students that are bullied is truly scary. Students who are bullied can face depression, low self esteem, possible health problems, poor grades, and suicidal thoughts can come into play.

Adolescent culture shapes teenage perceptions and behaviors. What we do, what we learn and what we experience as children play a huge role in shape who we become, the way in which we carry ourselves, reacted to certain situations and how we overall behave. If a child is bullied during their childhood years then this is going to play a huge role in who they become as they grow up. I listed above the impacts that bullying can have on children and those impacts, no matter which one the child may suffer from can follow them into their adolescent and sometimes all the way to and through adulthood.

The ninth form of bullying is cyber bullying. Cyber bullying is bullying that takes place over cyber space, for example a student can be threatened via cell phone or Internet, and this is still considered bullying even though it is not happening face to face. Cyber bullying is on the rise these days that technology is becoming more readily available to children and teens. Children as young as first grade have been seen carrying around a cell phone. This fact is just making it much easier to participate in cyber bullying. Also with the bullying occurring over cyber space children do not get to see the impact it can have on the child that they are bullying.

Furthermore, media plays a large role in bullying as well. In the United States we live in a culture where children and teens are constantly being reminded about the importance of being beautiful, thin and athletic. This can encourage bullying by making it much easier for students to pick out and point out flaws that other students might have.

Media, cyber bullying and technology have such a negative impact on today’s youth. The media is telling children and teens that they are not perfect and that in order to be perfect and accepted by society then they need to look like a celebrity. In addition technology being more readily available is making cyber bullying occur more often because it is so easy to get a hold of a piece of technology these day. Also technology is getting rid of the students being able to see one another when being bullied and seeing the impact it has on the other student. Furthermore another downfall to technology is if a student is being cyber bullied this bullying can follow them outside of school and even wherever they go that they bring the technology along with this. This can make students feel like they have no escape from the bullying.

In relation to the post on the Cortland PE Group about the teacher bullying the student I find this to be completely ridiculous. We are asked to reflect about that should have been done in this situation, in my opinion this situation should have never happened. No teacher should ever treat his or her students this way. Children go through enough dealing with peer bullies that they should not have to deal with teachers acting as bullies as well. I also find it ridiculous that the student had to record this event happening for someone to believe that what he was saying was really going on. As teachers we are supposed to act as role models for our students. If students see us bullying they are going to think that it is ok for them to be doing it as well. Also when a student comes to us with a problem, issue or concern we need to always take what they are saying seriously. This situation was handled very poorly and when the student first tried to tell someone about what had happened they should have listened to him and then the issue would have been solved right then and there, and then the student would not have been put through what he went though for half as long.

As teachers there are many things that we can do have a positive effect on the lives of our students. One way we can do this is be advocates for the prevention of bullying. No student wants to be bullied, so why not do everything we can as teachers to help put an end to bullying. One idea that I have to help advocate for anit-bullying would be to send out an anti-bullying flyer to all my classes. Not only would I ask the students to read the flyer I would also ask the students to have their parents read the flyer as well. There is honestly no better support then having the parents of your students on your side!

One more thing we can do as teachers to put a stop to bullying would be to have an anti bullying seminar or programs for our student to attend. If this is not a possibility then I would make a point to have a discussion about bullying during one if not more of my class periods. All in all we need to get the message out to our students that bullying is not tolerated in school, outside of school or in the cyber world.

Common Core

Final Exam Essay 1
Common Core

“The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort, launched more than a year ago by state leaders, including governors and state commissioners of education from 48 states, 2 territories and the District of Columbia, through their membership in the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)” (About the Standards.2010.

Educational standards are necessary for successful learning. There are many reasons why we need educational standards. Educational standards assists teachers ensure that their students have the skills and knowledge they need to be successful. Also, educational standards provide teachers with clear cut goals for student learning. We also need standards to ensure that all students, no matter where they are from are ready and prepared for their future endeavors whether it is the work field or college. Common standards will help ensure that students are receiving a high quality education consistently, from school to school and state to state.

Standards that happen to be common across states will provide a better opportunity to share experiences and the best practices for teaching. Common standards will further our ability to serve the needs of students to the best of our capabilities. Standards to not explain to teachers how they should teach, but rather they help the teachers figure out what it is that they should be teaching to their students. These standards do however help teachers build better lesson plans and more efficient learning environments for their classrooms.

These standards are not only helpful to teachers but they are also helpful to parents and students as well. Common standards help parents and students by setting clear cut and realistic goals for student’s success. Think of standards are a road map that lead teachers, students, and parents down the correct and best path for learning.

New York adopted the Common Core Standards in the year 2010. The Common Core sets Standards for states to follow for both English Language Arts and Mathematics. New York State adopted these Common Core Standards for both English Language Arts and Mathematics.

These Standards were created for many reasons. These were created not as intended ways rename old ways of doing things. These Common Core standards allow states to work together to build upon lessons that have been learned over the past twenty years of standard based reforms. All in all what the Common Core does and why it was created is to keep everyone on the same page when it comes to what is being taught and when it should be taught.

“These Standards define what students should understand and be able to do in their study of mathematics. Asking a student to understand something means asking a teacher to assess whether the student has understood it. But what does mathematical understanding look like? One hallmark of mathematical understanding is the ability to justify, in a way appropriate to the student’s mathematical maturity, why a particular mathematical statement is true or where a mathematical rule comes from” (Mathematics Standards.2010.

The Standards for English Language Arts includes criteria for the following areas of English Language Arts including reading, writing, speaking and learning, language, media and technology.

The Mathematics Common Core Standards are broken up by grade level and what that grade level should be able to understand and do. Between the grades of kindergarten and fifth grade students should understand whole numbers, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, and decimals. Furthermore when students are at the middle school level they should have learned geometry, algebra, probability and statistics. Lastly students should graduate high school understanding the math topics including applying mathematical ways of thinking to real world issues and challenges, statistical methods, mathematical modeling, using math in physical, economic, public policy, social and everyday situations.

When it comes to the Common Core Standards in Mathematics and English Language Arts what the student learns depends on their grade level before and what they have learned at that grade level. Mathematics builds on top of each topic is previously learned. This means that teachers need to work hard to make sure that there is a high success rate in their class so that students can continue to learn and build upon topics that they have previously learned, and the same goes for the skills and knowledge being taught in English Language Arts.

Each state has its own process for developing, adopting, and implementing standards. As a result, what students are expected to learn can vary widely from state to state. This is what makes the common core so unique. It is normally the state that creates the curriculum for its students. But through the adoption of the Common Core, the states now have to opportunity to work together on building curriculums that meet the Common Core Standards of Education. The state boards of education are now in charge of creating the curriculum of what should be taught to students and when it should be taught, and what is being taught is now a common factor from state to state that have adopted the Common Core.

The Common Core standards are becoming very popular as more and more states are adopting their ideas. With these standards becoming increasingly more popular that means that they are getting a lot of support. Some of the main supporters of the Common Core Standards include, Terry Whittaker who is a part of the Delaware State Board of Education, Jim Douglas who is currently the Governor of Vermont, Joe Manchin the Governor or West Virginia, Dr. Lillian Lowery the Delaware State Secretary of Education, Steve Paine the West Virginia State Superintendent of Schools and many more including the states that have chosen to adopt the Common Core Standards.

Childhood Obesity Epidemic

Major Concern in Physical Education:

Childhood Obesity Epidemic

The causes, effects, risk factors and how we can help prevent obesity through physical education.

By: Jamie Boldish

Childhood obesity is an ever increasing epidemic that is ruining the lives and futures of as many as one in every three children in the United States. Obesity is defined as is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it has an adverse effect on health, leading to reduced life expectancy and/or increased health problems. The causes of obesity have been linked to and sorted into three main categories. The first category being genetic factors, the second is behavioral factors and the third category of causes of obesity is environmental factors. Some examples of the leading causes of obesity are poor diet, lack of physical activity, and just being physically uneducated overall. This is something that can be fix by physical education teachers. It is the job of the physical education teacher to teach students how to live an active and healthy lifestyle. If the obesity epidemic is continuing to increase then we are failing as physical education teachers.

The cold hard facts about childhood obesity: “Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5% to 18% over the same period. In 2008, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese” (Fitzpatrick, Diane Effect of Childhood Obesity.

Do we really know what obesity is? Should obesity be considered a medical condition if we are doing it to ourselves? We know that obesity is considered a medical condition where there is too much fat on the body. There is a difference between being overweight and being obese. To separate obese from overweight we can use the Body Mass Index also known as BMI. BMI is a measurement which uses a formula the involves weight and height, this caculation defines people as either a healthy weight, overweight, (which can also be referred to as pre-obese) that individual would have to have a BMI between 25 and 30 to be considered over weight. The BMI for obesity is greater than 30. A healthy BMI is considered between 18.5 and 24.9. “The calculation for BMI is, BMI = lb * 703 / in^2” (Childhood Obesity Facts 2.National Center for Health Statistics. Health, United States, 2010: With Special Features on Death and Dying. Hyattsville, MD; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2011.

Obesity is not a condition that a child is born with. Obesity is a condition that is acquired over time. There have been many causes that have been linked to obesity. According to the Centers for Disease Control, “Overweight and obesity are the result of “caloric imbalance”—too few calories expended for the amount of calories consumed—and are affected by various genetic, behavioral, and environmental factors”( Childhood Obesity Facts 2.National Center for Health Statistics. Health, United States, 2010: With Special Features on Death and Dying. Hyattsville, MD; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2011.

Stated earlier by the Centers for Disease Control, there are three categories that the causes of obesity fall into; genetic, behavioral and environments. The genetic factors that lead to obesity are the factors that play the smallest role in the cause of obesity. These genetic factors can be anything inherited that has to do with weight gain, including slow metabolism, thyroid issues, and many more.

The two other categories are the one I would like to focus on, because as a future physical education teacher these are the causes that I believe we can have the most influence on. These causes of obesity that the main focus is on are the behavioral factors that can lead to obesity and the environmental factors that lead to obesity in children.

“The dietary and physical activity behaviors of children and adolescents are influenced by many sectors of society, including families, communities, schools, child care settings, medical care providers, faith-based institutions, government agencies, the media, and the food and beverage industries and entertainment industries” (Fitzpatrick, Diane Effect of Childhood Obesity.
Media and technology play a huge role in in
fluencing children’s lives these days. Working along with the media and technology are the fast food companies. No matter how low income the child’s family might be they are still subjected to influences by the media and technology. I know that whenever I turn my television on, I cannot get through a segment of commercials without a fast food commercial coming on. With the dollar menus being so cheap, and fast food being exactly that; fast and easily available, to not only children but their families as well that fast food is also a huge reason why obesity is hitting the United States so hard. Its seems that on every corner there is a fast food restaurant, and that restaurant rarely does not have a drive through, and I bet it is even open 24 hours a day. (Because we all need fast food in the middle of the night when we should be getting at least our eight hours of sleep each night)

In addition to cause of obesity being linked to media, technology and fast food industries, another factor that influences obesity is family and home life. If a child grows up in a environment where the parents do not influence the child to be physically active and do not help the child develop healthy eating habits, then the child is going to live their life in an unhealthy manor, just like the rest of his / her family does, because of the influences the family has had on the child. On the other hand if the child grows up in a house hold where healthy eating habits and physical activity are high valued, then that is going to reflect on the way that they live their life, which will most likely be in an active and healthy way.

Obesity is considered a disease and much like other diseases obesity has both long term and short term effects on the physical health of children. Physical health consequences of suffering from obesity fall into two main categories. The first category is the effects of increased fat mass, such as osteoarthritis, obstructive sleep apnea, and social stigmatization. The second category is effects due to the increased number of fat cells; these include diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Both short term health consequences of being obese as a child along with the long term effects it can have on children are truly scary. These serious health concerns are not something children at such a young age should have to worry about.

For the short term effects that obesity has on children, one of the major ones being, obese youth are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The cardiovascular diseases that children are going to be at risk of are high cholesterol and high blood pressure. “In a population-based sample of 5- to 17-year-olds, 70% of obese youth had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease” (Haslam DW, James WP (2005). "Obesity". Lancet 366 (9492): 1197–209. This study shows that 70 percent of children that were obese suffer from at least one of the cardiovascular concern.

Another short term effect of suffering from obesity as a child is, adolescents are more likely to have prediabetes. Prediabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels indicate a high risk for development of diabetes. Increases in body fat alter the body's response to insulin, potentially leading to insulin resistance. Children and adolescents who are obese are at greater risk for bone and joint problems, as well, due to the extra strain that the excess fat puts on the bodies bones and joints.

Aside from the short term effect obesity had on children’s physical health there are also long term effect on children’s physical health as well. For example, children and adolescents who are obese are likely to be obese as adults. With this being said, these children are more at risk for adult health problems such as heart disease, type two diabetes, stroke, several different types of cancer, and osteoarthritis. Another long term effect of being obese as a child is that overweight and obesity are associated with increased risk for many types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, colon, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, pancreas, gall bladder, thyroid, ovary, cervix, and prostate, as well as multiple myeloma and Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

All in all children who are obese have a tough road ahead of them. To sum up the effect of obesity up, children who are obese have a greater risk of developing: high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type two diabetes, foot problems, bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, metabolic syndrome, liver disease, asthma, cancer, and osteoarthritis.

In addition to obesity having an effect on children’s physical health, obesity also heavily impacts children’s emotional health and well being as well. Children who are obese tend to suffer from social, emotional and psychological problems. Psychological social and emotional effects of childhood obesity are more damaging short term, then long term, because these effects are happening now, when children are at a very vulnerable young age.

Overweight children are often teased and bullied by their peers, which causes a lack of self-esteem. Furthermore, being obese can cause learning problems, behavior problems and depression in children. Obese children often also suffer from anxiety and a lack of social skills. Due to a lack of social skills and anxiety caused by obesity, some children misbehaving in school are disruptive and destructive in class, because of this. Other children react by withdrawing and being anti-social, because they are embarrassed about their size compared to other children. It has also been proven that children who suffer from anxiety often do poorly academically. Therefore being obese can cause anxiety, and then because the student is both obese and anxious they suffer from the effect of both obesity and anxiety. The mental and emotional effects of being obese are like a roller coaster ride that they do not enjoy and cannot get off.

Furthermore, in the United States we live in a culture where children and teens are constantly being reminded about the importance of being beautiful, thin and athletic. This can lead to overweight kids often being discriminated against and socially ostracized. Due to the discrimination, children’s opinions of themselves naturally are heavily weighted on what they think others think of them, their self-esteem can take a turn for the worst.

Physical education is the solution to the obesity epidemic, plain and simple. There are many reasons why children need physical education, and there are many different groups that support daily physical education. NASPE and NYS Standards back up my argument the children need to participate in regular physical education. Look at the scary reality of children suffering from obesity, which in its self should be enough to back up physical education.

One of the main reasons that children need daily physical education is to help the children become physically active for a lifetime. This is important because people who participate in lifelong physical fitness tend to live an overall better quality of life. Physical activity prevents obesity, which is becoming a bigger and bigger issue among children these days. If children are physically educated, by participating in regular physical activity then they are more likely to live a healthier lifestyle which in itself will help to prevent the obesity epidemic.

Another reason that physical education is a must is that “physical education helps promote motor skill development in children and people of all ages who participate in physical education” (Graham, George. Children Moving a Reflective Approach to Teaching Physical Education. 8Ed. 2010). On top of helping with motor skill development it helps maintain physical fitness, allows students to make new friends, set goals, reduces stress levels and has tons of health benefits!

All in all some of the main reasons why children need physical education are, regular healthful physical activity, skill development, improved physical fitness, reinforcement of other subjects, creates self-discipline, goal setting, leadership and cooperation, enhances self-efficacy, stress reduction, and physical education helps to strengthen peer relationships

As a physical education teacher I feel that we can prevent children from becoming obese. We might not be able to save every child, but there are some children out there that just need some direction to becoming healthy and happy. In my opinion it is the duty of a physical education teacher to help children either become physically educated and live a healthy lifestyle. By understanding the huge mental, emotional and physical health risks that children who are obese face, we need to help them better understand why it is so important the change their ways.

When it comes to weight loss, there is no quick fix, and living a healthy life style is just that, you have to be willing to change your ways for a life time. This is why we stress the idea of teaching lifelong fitness to our students as physical education teachers. Understanding the factors that cause obesity, and what influences children to live a non active and sedentary life style we can be proactive in helping children not fall into these traps.

Being physically educated I believe is the number one way we can prevent children from crossing that line and become obese. A physically educated person is someone who is well versed and very knowledgeable in the field of physical education. With being physically educated comes the understanding of healthy lifestyle habits, including healthy eating and physical activity. This can help lower the risk of becoming obese and developing related diseases.

Since physical education teachers should be very well versed in our knowledge of physical fitness, health and wellness, we need to make sure we pass this knowledge along to our students so that they have the tools to live a healthy life style. If children have to correct knowledge and tools to live a healthy lifestyle then obesity should not be a concern for that child.

Other ways besides spreading knowledge about being physically active and health, which we can help, prevent obesity helping the schools play a critical role by establishing a safe and supportive environment with policies and practices that support healthy behaviors. Schools can also provide opportunities for students to learn about and practice healthy eating and physical activity behaviors. This is to be taught in physical education class. Physical education teachers can take it one step further and teach in conjunction with the heath teacher in the school through content linkage, thematic units and shared integration to help the students better understand how health and physical education work together. Plus working with and teaching in an interdisciplinary style will help reinforce important physical education components, along with important health components. A goal of physical education should be to physically educated children in physical fitness, health and wellness.

Teaching fitness and wellness along with health is a key component is preventing children from becoming obese. Physical Fitness is defined as “a set of physical attributes that people have of achieve relating to their ability to perform physical activity. These attributes provide the foundation for tasks of daily living, are associated with reduced risk of chronic diseases, and provides a basis for involvement in lifetime physical activity” (Faney, Insel, Roth. Graham, George. Children Moving a Reflective Approach to Teaching Physical Education. 8Ed. 1994). “Wellness is defined as a broader sense of fitness. Wellness is optimal health and well being. In addition to physical fitness, wellness encompasses the dimensions of emotional, spiritual, interpersonal, social, nutritional and environmental well being (Faney, Insel, Roth. Graham, George. Children Moving a Reflective Approach to Teaching Physical Education. 8Ed. 1994). In addition the physical fitness and wellness, health is defined as the general condition of the body or mind, especially in terms of the absence of illnesses, injuries, or impairments. Physical fitness, wellness and health when taught hand in hand are the perfect combination of empowering students to take control of their lives, whether they suffer from obesity, or not and gives the students the knowledge, power, and ability to take control of their lives and live their lives.


1. Childhood Obesity Facts 2.National Center for Health Statistics. Health, United States, 2010: With Special Features on Death and Dying. Hyattsville, MD; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2011.

2. Encarta Online Dictionary. Microsoft Word 2007.

3. Fitzpatrick, Diane Effect of Childhood Obesity. teens/child-obesity/effects-of- childhood- obesity.shtml

4. Graham, George. Children Moving a Reflective Approach to Teaching Physical Education. 8Ed. 2010. Pg 41-47.

5. Haslam DW, James WP (2005). "Obesity". Lancet 366 (9492): 1197–209.

6. Faney, Insel, Roth. Graham, George. Children Moving a Reflective Approach to Teaching Physical Education. 1994.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Link to My Online Portfolio!

Revised Philosophies!

Teaching Philosophy

As a Professional Physical Education teacher I base my philosophy of what I value in education within four major areas. These four beliefs that I have, provide the basis of what I value in education, why I teach and they are the main reasons that I do what I do in my classes. These four main viewpoints that I have are, leadership, cooperation, goal setting and fitness.

Leadership is in my opinion very important, because the students need to be able to have the confidence to lead others when necessary. Furthermore through physical education and participating in different types of games and activities, this allows the students to have a chance to be a leader more often than in other subject areas.

Cooperation is something that I value as an educator because a major part of life is working with others. If students can learn to work together towards a common goal in physical education class, then this can transfer over to other areas of their life and help them be an active and helpful member of a team, no matter what it is they are working one.

When it comes to education, in my teaching I highly value goal setting. Goal setting teaches students to set the bar high for themselves. In addition to setting the bar high creating and reaching goals lets the students see how far they have come, they see that they are improving and learning and it keeps children excited and actively participating in class.

Fitness is something that I value the most in my teaching. I believe that fitness should be incorporated into all of my lessons. No matter what is the main focus of my lesson I believe that it can be taught in a way that works to improve my students fitness, all while they are learning. Being physical fit has not only health benefits, but cognitive benefits as well. Students that are physically fit are more likely to perform better in the classroom as well and in physical education class.

As a professional physical educator I believe that there are four major themes and ideas that frame what I do and what I value in the field. These themes and ideas are, physical education is for everyone, creating lifelong fitness, building confidence and promoting wellness.

Physical education is for everyone. This is something that I think needs to be stressed to not only our students, but to the community as a whole. There is always some type of physical activity that everyone can enjoy, it is just a matter of guiding our students to finding what it is that they enjoy.

Creating lifelong fitness, recommendations state that at least sixty minutes of physical activity on most, if not all days of the week. As a physical educator I believe that it is important that we guide our students towards living a healthy life style for the rest of their lives. As a part of this, and a our role in helping students achieve lifelong fitness is guiding our students towards physical activity that they can enjoy and participate in long after they are out of high school. As a physical educator I need to help my students discover what it is that they are successful at and what they enjoy most, so that they will want to participate in these activities for the rest of their lives. Furthermore, by finding lifetime activities for my students they will be well on their way to meeting the recommendations of at least sixty minutes a day for most if not all days of the week.

Building confidence, confidence is a major part of teaching. Building confidence is one of the most important things we can help our students with. The more confident our students are the more successful they will be. This confidence from being successful in physical education can carry over to other aspects of student’s lives. The most successful people are the ones who have to confidence in themselves and what they are doing, and that is why they succeed.

Promoting wellness within my students is one of my main goals when it comes to my teaching. Wellness is defined as, optimal health and well being. In addition to physical fitness, wellness encompasses the dimensions of emotional, spiritual, interpersonal, social, nutritional and environmental well being. I believe that as a teacher it is my duty to help guide my students into finding what they need to do to have optimal health and well being.

Coaching Philosophy

As a Coach I have many reasons to support my thinking and how I do things on and off the field. I base my coaching philosophy off of four major beliefs that I find very important when it comes to the way that I coach. When put together these four beliefs provide the basis of what I value in a coach, what I do and why I do it. These four main values that I have are, leadership, team work, goal setting and trust.

Leadership is in my opinion very important, because the athletes need to be able to have the confidence to lead others when necessary. Furthermore the development of leadership is important because if an athlete can be a leader on the field, then they can learn to be a leader off the field. Being a good leader also creates good self discipline and high standards for themselves and for others they are working or playing with.

Teamwork is something that I value as a coach because a major part of life is working with others. If an athlete can learn to work together towards a common goal with their teammates, then not only will the team be successful but t this can transfer over to other areas of their life and help them be an active and helpful member of a team, no matter what it is they are working one.

When it comes to coaching, I highly value goal setting. Goal setting teaches athletes to set the bar high for themselves. In addition to setting the bar high creating and reaching goals lets the students see how far they have come, they see that they are improving and learning. Furthermore, with goal setting come self discipline, time management and
as a professional physical educator I believe that there are four major themes and ideas that frame what I do and what I value in the field. These themes and ideas are, effort is always noticed, building confidence and always be prepared.

What I mean when I say that effort is always noticed is that when coaching I believe that yes the best player should play but what should matter more is the effort that my athletes put in. If I have a star athlete that is lazy and doesn’t put in a lot of effort at practice, and I have another player who might not be as good but is close and busts their butt at practice and shows me that they are really trying and really want to play and get better then I am going to choose the effort showing athlete over the star athlete every time.

Building confidence, confidence is a major part of coaching. Building confidence is one of the most important things we can help our athletes with. The more confident our students are the more successful they will be. This confidence from being successful athletics can carry over to other aspects of student’s lives. The most successful people are the ones who have to confidence in themselves and what they are doing, and that is why they succeed.

As a coach not only is it our job to coach and teach our athletes to the best of our abilities, but it is also our job to prepare them for everything we can. By always being prepared I mean we should always have practices planned out, game strategy planned out, and anything else our sport might require us to think about. If we are always prepared then we can help our athletes be ready of any situation on the field. The better prepared we are the more successful we will be.