Diversity Paper

 

SOCIOECONOMIC FACTORS AFFFECTING ACCESS TO AND ATTITUDES TOWARD PHYSICAL HEALTH:

AN AWESOME DIVERSITY PAPER BY BALDY AND FINCH

The overarching theme of our articles was that higher socioeconomic status (SES) equates with improved health habits and awareness, while lower SES reduced access to and appreciation of healthy lifestyle choices. For example, people with socioeconomic advantages were shown to have been less likely to smoke and more likely to exercise and to eat fruits and vegetables daily. Meanwhile, lower SES was associated with less health consciousness, stronger beliefs in the influence of chance on health, less thinking about the future and lower life expectancies.

 

Some of our studies delved deeper into the underlying causes of this health gap and the corresponding trend of childhood obesity among families of lower socioeconomic classes. According to the researchers, the reasons included “differences in the availability of healthier foods in homes and schools, as well as the availability of safe environments for physical activity.”  They point out that minority and low-income children “watch more television than white, non-poor children and are potentially exposed to more commercials advertising high-calorie, low-nutrient food during an average hour of TV programming” and that “ neighborhoods where low-income and minority children live typically have more fast-food restaurants and fewer vendors of healthful foods than do wealthier or predominantly white neighborhood.”

 

Other studies showed that African American youth “suffer fatal drowning events at significantly higher rates when compared with white peers.” Incredibly, drowning is the second leading cause of death for adolescent black males and the authors point to racial factors and socioeconomic causes such as a lack of access to public pools and poor parental education.

 

Access to health information and to health professionals in poor rural areas was also highlighted, especially when it came to serving the needs of at-risk populations and students with disabilities. For example, “only half of health service providers in surveyed low socioeconomic areas of Alabama teach healthy behaviors (diet, exercise, hygiene) and access clinical resources for their patients with disabilities.” And while, nationally, the ratio of children with diabetes to the number of pediatric endocrinologists who treat them was shown to be about 290 to 1, across the more urban affluent Northeast that ratio was reduced to 144 to 1. Not surprisingly, the ratio of youth with diabetes to specialists dropped to between 335 and 370 to one in more rural economically depressed areas.  

 

All of these access and attitudinal factors taken together were, in turn, associated with unhealthy behavioral choices–independent of age, sex, and how people rated their own health. And these findings weren’t just confined to the United States. Throughout the world, studies show that a lower health factor and lower life expectations correlate directly to lower SES.

 

It can be argued then that helping every child access the tools they need to craft a healthy life, regardless of their socioeconomic status, is one of the most pressing issues of our day. After looking at all available research, multiple authors concluded that “winning the fight against childhood obesity in minority and low-income communities will depend on the nation’s will to change the social and physical environments in which these communities exist.” We would argue that maybe, as physical educators, we have the opportunity to win the fight one child at a time.  

 

Perhaps Nobel Prize-winning poet Gabriela Mistral made the best case for the urgency with which all of us must tackle this problem:

“Many of the things we need can wait. The child cannot.

Right now is the time his bones are being formed,

his blood is being made, and his senses are being developed. To him we cannot answer ‘Tomorrow.’

His name is ‘Today.”

 

 

SOURCE ARTICLES

1. Socio-economic inequalities in physical activity practice among Italian children and adolescents: a cross-sectional study        

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2967259/

2. Trends in physical activity and sedentary behavior in adolescence: ethnic and socioeconomic differences               

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2465219/

 3. Children, Youth and Families & Socioeconomic Status 

http://www.apa.org/pi/ses/resources/publications/factsheet-cyf.aspx

 

4. Socioeconomic differences in attitudes and beliefs about healthy lifestyles

http://jech.bmj.com/content/57/6/440.full

 

5. Physical Education Research for Kids(PERK)

http://www.childrennow.org/uploads/documents/bwlw2011_resource1.pdf

 

6. Perceptions of Health and Disability among Service Providers in Alabama http://aahperd.confex.com/aahperd/2010/webprogram/Paper14448.html

7. Minority Youth Swimming: Barriers Affecting Participation and Ability http://aahperd.confex.com/aahperd/2010/webprogram/Paper14455.html

8. Socioeconomic factors in the development of childhood obesity and diabetes http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19505621

9. Impact of early psychosocial factors (childhood socioeconomic factors and adversities) on future risk of type 2 diabetes, metabolic disturbances and obesity: a systematic review http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1471-2458-10-525.pdf

10. Targeting interventions for ethnic minority and low-income populations http://www.jointcenter.org/hpi/sites/all/files/08-Targeting%20Interventions.pdf

11. Geographic distribution of childhood diabetes and obesity relative to the supply of pediatric endocrinologists in the United States http://www.gghjournal.com/volume24/2/ab18.cfm

 

 

APE Diversity Articles

CONSULTATION

“Empowering children with special educational needs to speak up: experiences of inclusive physical education,” Coates, Janine and Vickerman, Philip; Disability & Rehabilitation, Nov2010, Vol. 32 Issue 18, p1517-1526.

This UK study looks at the perspectives of children with special education needs attending both mainstream and special schools with regards to physical education. The results showed how children are empowered through consultation, and are made more aware of their needs and abilities. The authors conclude that inclusive physical education “must use consultation as a tool for empowering pupils as a means of providing them with choices while gaining a rich insight into their lived experiences of PE”

 

“Let the children have their say: children with special educational needs and their experiences of Physical Education – a review,” Coates, Janine and Vickerman, Philip; “Support for Learning,” Nov2008, Vol. 23, Issue 4, p168-175.

Another UK article, this one a review of the literature examining the experiences of children with special educational in Physical Education. The authors concentrated on studies concerning consultation with special educational needs children and identified six key themes: children’s experiences of PE; their experiences of PE teachers; discrimination by others; feelings of self-doubt; barriers to inclusion; and empowerment and consultation. The researchers found that “children with special educational needs enjoy PE when fully included; however, participation is restricted by discrimination, limited teacher training and material barriers to inclusion.” The authors concluded that, consequently, teacher training in special educational and the education of able-bodied children about special educational needs “requires extensive consideration.”

 

“The Ebb and Flow of Curriculum Construction in Physical Education: A Scottish Narrative”

Gray, Shirley; Mulholland, Rosemary; and MacLean, Justine; “Curriculum Journal,” v23 n1 p59-78 2012.

The background for the study is that Scotland has adjusted its categorization of physical education from “Expressive Arts” to “Health and Wellbeing”. This repositioning of PE, say the authors “could result in a shift in the way PE is conceptualized.” In order to understand this change in approach, the researchers conducted extensive interviews with 10 contributors to the development of the new PE policy. The authors reported that the 10 contributors described “a process of consultation and debate,” but that evidence also suggested that “the government controlled the process and that this control limited the extent to which the participants could make a genuine contribution to shaping the vision for PE.”

 

 

COLLABORATION

“Collaborative Strategies during Transition for Students with Disabilities,” Roth, Kristi and Columna, Luis;

Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance (JOPERD), v82 n5 p50-55 May-Jun 2011.

This article provides makes the case for how physical education teachers can collaborate in the transition process helping students with disabilities to remain physically active after graduation. The authors argue that, “in order to be seen as a key member of the special education team, physical educators need to use the same instructional strategies, theories, and models as special educators.”

 

“Increasing the Value of Physical Education in Schools and Communities,” France, Thaddeus J.; Moosbrugger, Michelle and Brockmeyer, Gretchen, Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance (JOPERD), v82 n7 p48-51 Sep 2011.

The authors argue that physical educators currently have great potential to enhance their status. They point to three steps: First, “physical educators must continue to promote and implement the curricular and instructional innovations that exist. Second, physical educators should explore ways to develop more community-based support for their programs. Finally, physical educators must work with colleagues from other disciplines to achieve the shared goal of educating students about a healthy lifestyle.” The article goes on to tout a program called Leaders in Academics, Community Engagement and Service (LACES) program that they argue has been able to achieve these outcomes.

 

“Mentoring as a Profession-Building Process in Physical Education Teacher Education

Chambers,” Fiona C.; Armour, Kathleen; Luttrell, Sinead; Bleakley, Walter; Brennan, Deirdre and Herold, Frank, Irish Educational Studies, v31 n3 p345-362 2012.

This paper details a one-year collaborative research project that examined the role of physical education teachers as mentors to new PE teachers. The two key findings were that “mentor teachers had a shared perception of the need to be selected on the basis of suitability” (in other words, new PE teachers felt they should be mentored by experienced teachers in the same field) and that “mentor teachers perceived that they should provide a safe learning space for the pre-service PE teacher where he/she is free to take risks and explore praxis (theory-informed practice) in a variety of contexts.”

 

 

INCLUSION

“EXAMING CURRENT PROVISION, PRACTICE AND EXPERIENCE OF INITIAL TEACHER TRAINING PROVIDERS IN IRELAND PREPARING PRE SERVICE TEACHERS FOR THE INCLUSION OF STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL EDUCATIONNEEDS IN PHYSICAL EDUCATION CLASSES.” Crawford, Susan; O’Reilly, R. and Flanagan, N., European Journal of Adapted Physical Activity Sep2012, Vol. 5 Issue 2, p23 22p.

This study examined the training of preservice physical education teachers in special education and concluded that a collaborative approach would be “essential to ensure quality adapted physical activity training can be accommodated throughout Ireland.” In Ireland, according to the article, previous research “indicates that physical education teachers do not feel adequately prepared to accommodate students with Special Educational Needs (SEN) in physical education classes.” The researcher’s findings indicated that, from a training perspective, “time allocation (semester long modules), working with children with disabilities in mainstream settings (school or leisure centre based), lack of collaboration with other PETE providers and a need for continued professional development” were all issues that needed to be addressed. They further proposed that an approach which infused SEN training through the undergraduate degree program.

 

“Students’ perceptions of the command, practice, and inclusion styles of teaching,” Sanchez, Beth;
Byra, Mark and Wallhead, Tristan L., Physical Education & Sport Pedagogy, Jul2012, Vol. 17 Issue 3, p317  

According to the authors, the purpose of this study was twofold “(a) to examine students’ perceptions of physical, cognitive, and social involvement in physical activity lessons conducted in the command, practice, and inclusion styles of teaching and (b) to examine student preference for different teaching styles.” The researchers looked at 77 college-aged students at four different college physical activity classes in the United States. The students performed a series of pilates exercises and, after each lesson, the students completed two questionnaires that included statements addressing physical, cognitive, and social involvement, style preference, and rating of perceived exertion. The researchers found that “students reported feeling more physically and cognitively involved in the inclusion-style lessons than in the command- and practice-style lessons. No differences were found for social involvement.”

 

“Physical Educators and School Counselors Collaborating to Foster Successful Inclusion of Students with Disabilities,” Webb, Daniel; Webb, Tammy T. and Fults-McMurtery, Regina, “Physical Educator Fall 2011,” Vol. 68 Issue 3, p124 6p.

This article talks about federal legislation its impact on educating students with disabilities. The authors argue that “the changing roles of physical educators and school counselors relative to educating students with disabilities, and collaborative approaches pertaining to how physical educators and school counselors can collaboratively foster successful inclusion of students with disabilities in physical education.” They conclude that, through collaboration, “physical educators and school counselors should be able to foster successful inclusion of students with disabilities in physical education.”

 

APE Local and National Resources

LOCAL RESOURCES

CAHPERD State Council on Adapted Physical Education (SCAPE)  http://napeconference.org/index.html                                                                                        The CAHPERD State Council on Adapted Physical Education (SCAPE) is the working body of the Adapted Physical Education Section of the General Division of the California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (CAHPERD). It’s purpose is to: *Promote well developed and Accepted Practices in health, physical education, recreation, and dance for individuals with disabilities throughout the state of California. *Encourage the promotion and development of quality physical education programs for individuals with disabilities in schools and colleges through the state of California with the Adapted Physical Education Guidelines in California Schools. *Encourage the promotion and development of quality professional preparation programs of adapted physical education in higher education. *Promote the National Adapted Physical Education Conference (NAPEC) (the Registration Form is available online now and the annual state CAHPERD conference.

Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program (BORP)                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.borp.org                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                BORP is the leading provider and promoter of accessible sports and recreation opportunities for children and adults with physical disabilities in the greater San Francisco Bay Area

Special Olympics: Contra Costa County                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.sonc.org/sports/county/contra-costa                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Contra Costa County is proud to offer sports training and competition in 11 sports!  We have athletes of varying abilities, and our trained head coaches are able to accommodate all abilities. Contra Costa is home to the Special Olympics Northern California main office and several coaches, volunteers and athletes drop by to check on the program and make sure they are up to date with all the current happenings. Contra Costa County also offers a schools partnership program, which offers training and competition in basketball, soccer and track & field to special needs students during their normal school day. 

Parents Helping Parents                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   http://www.php.com/                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sobrato Center For Nonprofits                                                                 
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                                                                                                                                                                                  San Jose, CA 95126                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  (408) 727-5775                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Toll Free in CA (855) 727-5775                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Parents Helping Parents is a 30-year-old nonprofit, family resource center that benefits children with special needs. This includes children of all ages (birth through life) and all backgrounds.

Learning Disabilities Association of California (LDA-CA)                       http://www.nceblda.org                                                                                                              P.O. Box 5513                                                                                                                     Berkeley, CA, 94705                                                                                                                   510-433-7934                                                                                                                              The purpose of the Northern California/ East Bay Learning Disabilities Association Affiliate (NCEB-LDA) is to support the education and general welfare of children and adults with learning disabilities. Our current specialities are Advocacy, Preliminary assessments in a number of areas, Interaction between agencies such as The Department of Rehabilitation, Social Security Offices, School districts, community colleges, vocational education providers, and 4 year education facilities.  Disabilities We Address include, Specific Learning Disabilites in the areas of Reading, Mathematics, Oral and Written Language, Visual Perception and Discrimination, Auditory Perception, Discrimination, Processing, and Conceptualization.

AudioVision, Inc.                                                                                    http://www.audiovision.org/                                                                                                          1503 Alta Glen Dr.                                                                                                                        San Jose, CA 95125-4405                                                                                                          877-574-0896                                                                                                                    AudioVision, Inc. in San Jose, California, is a non-profit organization that advocates and provides description services for movies, videos, and television; live theater, education, media, exhibits, public meetings and other venues, in order to make these events more accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired.

AXIS Dance Company                                                                                          http://axisdance.org/                                                                                                                  1428 Alice Street, Suite 200                                                                                                   Oakland, CA 94612                                                                                                                Phone (510) 625-0110                                                                                                                Fax (510) 625-0321                                                                                                                    AXIS Dance Company has become one of the world’s most acclaimed and innovative ensembles of performers with and without disabilities. Founded in 1987, they have paved the way for a powerful contemporary dance form called physically integrated dance.   In 1997 Judith Smith led the company to new heights.  Under her artistic direction, AXIS expanded from in-house choreographers to various commissions from outside the company. Since then, their performances have won numerous awards and the Company has toured extensively throughout the U.S. and abroad. AXIS also dramatically expanded its education and outreach programs creating Dance Access for Adults and Dance Access/KIDS! Today, AXIS collaborates with world-class choreographers and composers to create completely new and innovative performances.   Acclaimed by critics around the world, AXIS is the recipient of multiple awards and honors. Their Dance Access for Adults and Dance Access/KIDS! programs provide dance classes for adults, educators, and students of all abilities and socioeconomic backgrounds. Through the outreach programs AXIS brings physically integrated dance outside the studio and into schools, community centers, independent living centers, and to countless organizations seeking to learn more about dance, disability and collaboration.

Disabled Sports USA Far West                                                                 http://www.dsusafw.org/                                                                                                Background:  Founded in 1967, Disabled Sports USA Far West is dedicated to innovative programs that provide an environment with positive therapeutic and psychological outcomes.  Individuals are empowered to reach their full potential.  Our programs allow individuals of all abilities to discover their own strengths and interests. With emphasis on safety, fun and learning, Disabled Sports encourages participation by individuals of all ages and abilities, including those with orthopedic, spinal cord, neuromuscular, visual and hearing impairments.  Included, too, are those with cognitive and developmental disabilities.  Family Orientation:  We believe that the family is the true heart of an integrated society.  Therefore, we encourage the whole family to participate in many of our programs and activities. By uniting families through recreational activities, we strengthen the well being of the entire family while ending the isolation of individuals with disabilities.

Environmental Travelling Companions (ETC)                                              http://www.etctrips.org/                                                                                           info@etctrips.org                                                                                                                          415-474-7662                                                                                                                      Experience the beauty and challenge of outdoor adventures. Every year over 2,000 people of all abilities join us to raft whitewater rivers, ski across alpine meadows, sea kayak the waters of the Golden Gate and sleep beneath the open sky. ETC trips enable participants to access the wilderness, gain environmental awareness, and share the adventure.We invite you to join us on a trip. Groups and individuals of all abilities are welcome to participate in our SEA KAYAKING, RAFTING and CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING programs.

Shared Adventures                                                                                 www.sharedadventures.org                                                                                                          90 Grandview St. B101                                                                                                              Santa Cruz, CA 95060                                                                                                                 831-459-7210                                                                                                                               We create opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy arts and social interaction, as well as engage with the natural environment through outdoor recreation. Our diverse Calendar of Activities includes kayaking, art classes, surfing, museum trips, sailing, indoor rock-climbing, river rafting, dance parties with live music, camping trips, whale watching, bowling, horseback riding, and much more.

 

NATIONAL RESOURCES

AAPAR/Adapted Physical Activity Council                                                                                 http://www.aahperd.org/aapar/people/councils/APAC.cfm                                                     1900 Association Dr.                                                                                                                Reston, VA 20191                                                                                                                            800-213-7193, ext. 430                                                                                                              The American Association for Physical Activity and Recreation (AAPAR) is dedicated to enhancing quality of life by promoting creative and active lifestyles through meaningful physical activity, recreation and fitness experiences across  the lifespan with particular focus on community-based programs. The Adapted Physical Activity Council has as its mission the promotion of both practical and theoretical endeavors in the areas of physical activity and recreation for individuals with disabilities that will lead to appropriate active lifestyles and healthful qualities of life. 

Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)                                                                                   http://www.cec.sped.org                                                                                                          1110 North Glebe Road – Suite 300                                                                                      Arlington, VA 22201                                                                                                                    703-620-3660                                                                                                                               The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is dedicated to improving educational outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities, students with disabilities, and/or the gifted. CEC advocates for appropriate governmental policies, sets professional standards, provides continual professional development, advocates for newly and historically underserved individuals with exceptionalities, and helps professionals obtain conditions and resources necessary for effective professional practice.

Disabled Sports USA                                                                                        http://www.dsusa.org                                                                                                                  451 Hungerford Drive – Suite 100                                                                                                           Rockville, MD 20850                                                                                                                   301-217-0960                                                                                                                                   A national nonprofit organization offering nationwide sports rehabilitation programs to anyone with a permanent disability. Activities include winter skiing, water sports, summer and winter competitions, fitness and special sports events. Participants include those with visual impairments, amputations, spinal cord injury, dwarfism, multiple sclerosis, head injury, cerebral palsy, and other neuromuscular and orthopedic conditions.

The National Center on Physical Activity and Disability                                                          1640 W. Roosevelt Rd.                                                                                                          Chicago, Il 60608-6904                                                                                                               800-900-8086                                                                                                   http://www.ncpad.org/                                                                                                                 The mission of the National Center on Physical Activity and Disability (NCPAD) is to promote substantial health benefits that can be gained from participating in regular physical activity. The slogan of NCPAD is Exercise is for EVERY body, and every person can gain some health benefit from being more physically active. This site provides information and resources that can enable people with disabilities to become as physically active as they choose to be.

NCPERID: National Consortium for Physical Education and Recreation for Individuals with Disabilities                                                                                               http://www.ncperid.org/officers.htm                                                                                                      The Mission of the National Consortium for Physical Education and Recreation for Individuals with Disabilities is to promote research, professional preparation, service delivery, and advocacy of Physical Education and Recreation for individuals with disabilities.

NICHCY: National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities                http://www.nichcy.org/idea.htm                                                                                                  PO Box 1492                                                                                                                        Washington, DC 20013                                                                                                                800-695-0285                                                                                                                         NICHCY provides information on: disabilities in children and youth; programs and services for infants, children, and youth with disabilities; IDEA, the nation’s special education law; No Child Left Behind, the nation’s general education law; and research-based information on effective practices for children with disabilities.

PACER: Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights                                                   http://www.pacer.org                                                                                                                  8161 Normandale Blvd.                                                                                                    Minneapolis, MN 55437                                                                                                                   952-838-9000                                                                                                                             The mission of PACER Center is to expand opportunities and enhance the quality of life of children and young adults with disabilities and their families, based on the concept of parents helping parents.

PE Central: Adapted Physical Education http://www.pecentral.org/adapted/adaptedmenu.html                                                               PO Box 10262                                                                                                                      Blacksburg, VA 24062                                                                                                                 800-783-8124                                                                                                                               The adapted physical education section provides information on teaching physical education to students with disabilities

Special Olympics                                                                                          www.specialolympics.org                                                                                                         Global headquarters for the worldwide Special Olympics Movement, providing year-round sports training and competition for more than one million athletes.

Disability Sports                                                                            http://edweb6.educ.msu.edu/kin866/                                                                                   Overview of sports organizations and offerings, classification systems, major competitions and summaries of recent research papers on disability sport topics; from the Department of Kinesiology at Michigan State University.

International Paralympic Committee — United Kingdom http://www.paralympic.org/release/Main_Sections_Menu/index.html                                         The international representative organization of elite sports for athletes with disabilities. IPC organizes, supervises and co-ordinates the Paralympic Games and other multi-disability competitions on elite sports level, of which the most important are world and regional championships. It is an international non-profit organization formed and run by 160 National Paralympic Committees and 5 disability specific international sports federations.

Frame of Reference and the Collaborative Process

We are all role players–it’s just that we all want to be the star. When, as individuals and as a society, we regularly prioritize our efforts to be empathetic to other informed points view, we all stand to gain. Individual perspectives and expertise, whether melted in a pot, tossed in a salad or stirred in a stew–make the meal. Now, if we could all just stop arguing about who will shop for and pay for groceries, who will be the chef and who will be the server, who will eat first or most, and who will do the dishes.  

My Collaboratvie Experience

I feel as if, in some core essence, the short story of my life is so far has been the grinding, gradual shift I’ve made from a grand obsession with competition to the awkward, intentional pursuit of collaboration. As a kid, I never liked groups. More precisely I was incredibly confused and angered by the popularity contest of the classroom and Lord-of-the-Flies cruelty of recess’s roaming hoards. 
All any kid ever wants to do is fit it, and I was no different. Still, I was made equally nauseous by daily worries over whether I would be able to find acceptance, and by hating the idea of wanting to. So, early on, feeling as if I couldn’t and didn’t want to be like “them,” I bailed. I shut myself off from my classmates and found this kind of superhuman strength in isolation. 
Taking a consistant, contrary and, more often than not, harshly critical stance toward crowd (and, to be honest, toward most everyone and everything in my path) has always been empowering and ego-boosting. Certainly this fierce independence provided me with the strength and purpose to pursue truth over a long career in journalism–sadly, it’s also served me quite well as a shell. 
Fast forward through years of self-reflection culled by countless coaches, tireless teachers and amazing mentors and I stand before you today in recovery 🙂 I know, deep in my bones, that collaboration is everything. Still, no matter how much I manage to collaborate, no matter how much I practice it with peers, preach it to students or pull it off in personal relationships, in the pit of my stomach it still feels like recess.