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Racial Equity Standards in Physical Education Teacher Education

This is an excerpt from Critical Race Studies in Physical Education by Tara B. Blackshear & Brian Culp.

Appendix A

Standard 1: Describe the effects of enslavement, Jim Crow, and systemic racism.

Candidates will…

1a. Discuss the enslavement of African people in America.

1b. Discuss the history of Jim Crow and segregation.

1c. Acknowledge through analysis that systemic racism is inherent throughout U.S. educational systems.

1d. Describe the negative outcomes that result from systemic racism on Black students.

1e. Identify causes of trauma and examine Black mental health; Discuss Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome.

1f. Discuss the history of Black bodies performing physical work on plantations and on athletic fields.

1g. Draw analogies between enslavement and professional athletics (e.g., football, basketball).

1h. Discuss the exclusionary practices of Black people from physical education organizations.

1i. Describe the conditions of Black people pre- and post-integration – schooling, physical education, economics, housing.

Standard 2: Discuss Black femininity and Black masculinity.

Candidates will…

2a. Evaluate Black femininity and the Angry Black Woman label; evaluate Black masculinity and machismo persona.

2b. Evaluate sexuality (LGBTQ) and the concept of the Down Low in Black America.

2c. Discuss intimate and familial relationships (marriages, single-, two-parent, and multi-generational households) in Black communities.

Standard 3: Demonstrate care, respect, and advocacy.

Candidates will…

3a. Engage in anti-racist behaviors.

3b. Celebrate Black history and accomplishments yearlong.

3c. Identify and evaluate implicit and explicit biases.

3d. Monitor biases.

3e. Track and compare punishment and discipline data among all groups and genders.

3f. Engage in the direct recruitment of Black students into PETE programs.

3g. Describe effective advocacy strategies to promote physical education and physical activity opportunities for Black children.

3h. Support policies and laws that positively impact Black children.

3i. Request items/money from leadership; or, write a grant and develop other fundraising strategies to ensure all students have learning essentials.

3j. Volunteer in spaces with Black children.

Standard 4: Demonstrate high expectations.

Candidates will…

4a. Identify and focus on students’ strengths.

4b. Inform students and parents of high expectations.

4c. Discuss the school-to-prison pipeline phenomenon.

4d. Identify how schools/teachers reproduce conditions that favor prison over education (e.g., excessive punishment of Black children).

4e. Analyze the causes of violence, incarceration, and the unfair sentencing of Black people.

4f. Hold students accountable for behaviors, work, and rule violations.

4g. Model expected behaviors.

4h. Assess students learning and provide immediate feedback.

Standard 5: Demonstrate culturally consistent communicative competencies.

Candidates will…

5a. Engage in cross-cultural/racial dialogue.

5b. Use direct, verbal communication.

5c. Collect language data and implement terminologies/language commonly used in Black communities.

5d. Demonstrate verbal and non-verbal affirmations of Black children.

5e. Affirm students with dark skin and natural Black hair.

5f. Implement literacy strategies shown effective for Black children (oral/verbal communication).

5g. Call or e-mail parents weekly with positive news about students.

Standard 6: Content knowledge and application.

Candidates will…

6a. Describe content knowledge for teaching PK-12 physical education that includes Black people (athletes and non-athletes).

6b. Apply content knowledge for teaching PK-12 physical education that includes Black people.

6c. Incorporate and expose students to Black authors (fiction, nonfiction, textbooks, journal articles).

6d. Discuss the contributions of Black pioneers in physical education.

6e. Plan and implement learning experiences for students who do not have technology available of the same quality as those with.

6f. Invite Black scholars/teachers/parents to co-teach or lead a workshop.

Standard 7: Implement skill- and fitness-building strategies.

Candidates will…

7a. Identify opportunities for students to engage in physical activity in the community (parks, home, school, gyms).

7b. Evaluate racial differences in motor skill development.

7c. Discuss and evaluate the Black athlete/Black sport vs. white athlete/white sport (myths vs. reality).

7d. Explore opportunities, or the lack thereof, that underpin physical activity and athletic outcomes/participation for Black, white, and other groups.

7e. Discuss racial and cultural differences in approaches to health-related fitness (e.g., body size/body composition, beauty norms, cultural expectations) and appreciate these differences.

7f. Discuss colorism and the impact on Black students’ physical activity practices/behaviors (e.g., exercise outside in the sun).

7g. Evaluate the impact that racism has on health and fitness (e.g., stress response, cortisol release).

7h. Discuss why the white male body is the standard used for BMI measures and other anthropometric measures.

Standard 8: Implement holistic instructional strategies.

Candidates will…

8a. Encourage and allow students to express their individualism.

8b. Ask students (and parents of young children) the preferred ways of learning.

8c. Display representations of Blackness beyond sports where Black athletes are overrepresented (e.g., basketball and football).

8d. Examine and remove content knowledge that poses harm to Black students (e.g., stereotypes, deficit language).

8e. Adjust lessons/activities to meet students’ needs.

8f. Describe and apply common content knowledge for teaching PK-12 physical education that includes Black people across all activities.

8g. Implement Black pedagogical strategies that promote a positive, safe, and engaging learning environment (e.g., African Pedagogical Excellence; African-Centered; Culturally Relevant/Sustaining; Abolitionist Education).

8h. Attend workshops and professional development that promote cultural awareness among Black children and their families.

Adapted by permission from T.B. Blackshear and B. Culp, “Transforming PETE’s Initial Standards: Ensuring Social Justice for Black Students in Physical Education,” Quest 73, no. 1 (2021): 22-44.

More Excerpts From Critical Race Studies in Physical Education



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