HWC Are Integrated Physical Education Classes Case Assignment
Order ID 53563633773 Type Essay Writer Level Masters Style APA Sources/References 4 Perfect Number of Pages to Order 5-10 Pages
HWC Are Integrated Physical Education Classes Case Assignment
Case Study #3 – Are Integrated Physical Education Classes Inclusive?
By Justin A. Haegele, Wesley J. Wilson, and Steven K. Holland
Ms. Craig is a veteran physical education teacher who has been teaching at Long Beach Elementary School for the past 15 years. Long Beach Elementary School is one of 12 public school buildings in the Oceanside Public School District, located in a rapidly developing suburban area.
The community of Oceanside is composed of predominantly of middle-class White families. Because of an aggregation in resources, including specialized staff (i.e., teachers for students with visual impairments, orientation and mobility instructors, physical therapists), most elementary-age students with disabilities living in the Oceanside community are enrolled at Long Beach Elementary. For the most part, students with disabilities, particularly those perceived to have more “mild” disabilities by teachers and therapists, in Long Beach Elementary School receive their physical education (PE) instruction in integrated classes1 with their peers without disabilities.
Ms. Craig teaches several PE classes throughout her day that include one or more students with disabilities. She is very mindful of providing an inclusive2 experience and believes she does so by modifying and adapting activities to ensure that students of all skill levels can participate in her classes. In fact, Ms. Craig uses an observational checklist, where she notes the action, she takes to guarantee students with disabilities are included in her classes, which typically tells her that students are fully included in her classes most of the time. For example, she ensures that
(a) all children sit together when she provides daily instructions,
(b) all children perform warm-up activities together and can go at their own pace, and
(c) she avoids exclusionary teaching practices like allowing students to pick their own teams and playing elimination games. Because of her focus on inclusivity, Ms. Craig has received praise from her school and recently received the elementary PE teacher of the year award from her state organization. She has even recently began talking to other teachers about how to make their classes more inclusive.
Marty is an eight-year-old boy who has low vision3 with a visual acuity ranging from 20/400 to 20/150. He is in the third grade at Long Beach Elementary School and has been in Ms. Craig’s integrated PE classes throughout his three years at the school.
Although he enjoys some aspects of Ms. Craig’s class and appreciates her efforts toward making the classes suitable for his needs, he has had several experiences that make him feel less than included in class. That is, there were several times during his PE classes that Marty4 did not feel a sense of belonging, acceptance, and value in the classes that Ms. Craig was teaching. For example, Marty recalls a number of instances where Ms. Craig exclaims how her class is inclusive during sessions and describes Marty and other students with disabilities as needing accommodations in order to be successful. These types of experiences make Marty feel exposed and incompetent. Recently, the PE teacher had even stopped class to showcase how successful he was at throwing a ball at a target with high color contrast; it is a feeling he has never forgotten. At times like these, Marty believes the difference between himself and his peers is exaggerated by Ms. Craig, even though it appears her heart is in the right place.
These types of experiences make him strongly dislike PE, and instead, he occasionally tells his classroom teacher he is not feeling well in an effort to get a note from the nurse to withdraw from participating in PE activities.
Complicating issues, a paraeducator, Mr. Veigh, is assigned to Marty’s class and is instructed to provide support to Marty and other students with disabilities. Mr. Veigh is a former college athlete and loves working in the PE classes with Ms. Craig. Because of this, he is incredibly engaged during PE, helping with modifications and accommodations throughout the class period. Unfortunately, however, this also makes Marty stand out quite a bit from his peers, and he feels like having Mr. Veigharound places a spotlight on him and his needs during PE. For example, in one instance during a kickball game, a ball was kicked toward Marty, and even though he could see it just fine and was moving toward it, Mr. Veigh yelled continuously where the ball was rolling and where Marty should move to retrieve it.
Mr. Veigh would yell “go forward,” “left three feet,” and “OK, you are almost there.” Marty remembers thinking this behavior was due to his low vision because Mr. Veigh would not act this way with any other students. According to Marty, it was bad enough having low vision and being in PE, but receiving extra attention because of Mr. Veigh’s yelling made it even worse.
On days where Mr. Veigh was most engaged, other students would not even talk to Marty. He would think, Of course, who wants to talk to me when an adult is always right next to me? As such, Marty’s feelings of belonging and value in PE class suffered when Mr. Veigh emphasized his work with him.
Of course, there were days where Mr. Veigh would work more closely with other students. On days like this, Ms. Craig relied on the “best practice” of using peer buddies and would assign peers to be buddies with Marty. In Marty’s view, this further differentiates him from his peers, showing that he is incapable of participating in activities without help.
In addition, many of Marty’s peers dislike being assigned to work with him and get frustrated with their experiences in PE being altered because they must deal with having him around activities in which they figure he should not even be involved. Therefore, most of the time, the help that Marty receives is not that helpful, as his peers see him as just “the blind kid,” even though he is a visual traveler and visual learner.
As a student, this makes Marty feel more incompetent than he likely would have if he were just to attempt to participate without help and fail. Further, when peers would try to help Marty, it would typically lead to him having negative feelings toward them because he would think that they thought less of him. Why do these people think I need their help? he would think to himself.
Indeed, Marty appears to receive a good deal of attention from Ms. Craig, Mr. Veigh, and peer buddies throughout his PE classes, which highlights any educational needs he may have to complete the activities. These pronounced differences between him and his peers make fitting in challenging and lead to some uncomfortable social situations. For example, Ms. Craig has all students with and without disabilities stand together while receiving instruction or waiting to engage in activities because it is part of her observational checklist. However, this is a time where Marty seems to be a victim of bullying where peers tease him about his inability to see visual models at the front of the gymnasium and about the accommodations Ms. Craig says he needs during activities.
These social situations are further exacerbated when Mr. Veigh hears the teasing and reprimands students for “picking on a blind kid.” In other instances, Ms. Craig assigns people to teams for brief competitions in her classes rather than allows students to pick teams on their own. Even during games in which teams are assigned, Marty’s peers are not enthusiastic about him being on their team and make him feel as though he is a liability.
Although Marty had the urge to engage in these activities with his peers, he viewed the social aspects of participation challenging to overcome and elected to act as a scorekeeper most of the time when competitive games were introduced.
Clearly, Ms. Craig is satisfied with her teaching and receives positive feedback from her administration, peers, and professional organizations about how inclusive her classes are. She even frequently utilizes the observational checklist to evaluate these inclusive practices. However, Marty experiences PE in a way that is inconsistent with inclusive philosophies, and does not feel a sense of acceptance, belonging, or value among his peers and instructors. Some might suggest that rather than relying on a checklist to understand if classes are inclusive, teachers like Ms. Craig have a duty to communicate with students about their subjective experiences in their classes.
Facilitation Questions – Respond to the following questions:
- What is inclusive PE?
- Why does Ms. Craig believe that her classes are inclusive? Is she correct?
- Why doesn’t Marty believe his PE classes are inclusive? Is he correct?
- Are all integrated classes inclusive?
- What steps can Ms. Craig take to ensure that she provides an education consistent with an inclusive philosophy?
- What advice would one give to Mr. Veigh for him to act more appropriately during PE?
- What training would be meaningful to provide to peer buddies before enrolling them to work with students with disabilities?
- HWC Are Integrated Physical Education Classes Case Assignment
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