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NZPETeachercast Episode 17 – Flipping the tables!

A while back it was suggested that maybe someone should interview me on NZPETeachercast.. I thought nothing much of it until a very respected colleague of mine (Celia Fleck) emailed me through some interview questions – now I know how all these people feel when I randomly ask them to appear on the podcast! Celia asked some great questions and we spend some time focusing on the past, present and future, linking in with the theme from this years PENZ conference. We cover a range of things: my sporting background, flipped learning, growth mindset, My Study Series, the future of PE and a few other things. I hope you learn a little more about me!

Follow me on Twitter.

Check out My Study Series.

Celia on Twitter.

Music by Bensound.

NZPETeachercast Episode 16 – Twitter quizzes a beginning teacher

Todays episode is a unique one, because we put a request out for questions on Twitter and have presented them to a beginning teacher (actually in her second year). I must admit we received some really good questions!

Mallory is a fantastic Health and PE teacher from Kings College who has been innovating since she started her career 18 months ago. She is a big proponent of social media and co hosts the NZBT chat on Twitter with Georgia Dougherty. Mallory (and Georgia) were also awarded the Outstanding New Professional at the recent PENZ conference, recognition that was well deserved for both of them!

Mallory Bish on Twitter.

Mallory’s blog.

Music by Bensound.

NZPETeachercast Episode 15 – Maori achievement through Sport in Education

Every so often you come across a teacher who is gifted with an amazing talent and ability to inspire the tamariki of NZ like no other. In the very brief time I have known him, Julian Reid falls into that category of educator – and I am blown away by his passion and enthusiasm for making a change. I have listened to this episode three times already and I regret only asking Julian 10 questions!

This episode of NZPTeachercast is well worth the listen!

Julian on Twitter.

Music by Bensound.

NZPETeachercast Episode 14 – Flipped classroom and student relationships

kickstarting new episodes of NZPETeachercast with a great interview with Jeremy Cumming, a seconded Secondary Advisor at the Catholic Diocese of Christchurch from Catholic Cathedral College. We have a fantastic discussion about the flipped classroom, with a bit of an emphasis on how it can impact relationships with our students.

Jeremy on Twitter.

Jeremy’s blog.

Music by Bensound.

NZPETeachercast Episode 13 – Basketball as a vehicle & teacher of life

To kick of 2017, we’re having a focus on elite athletes and coaches who are also educators.

Todays guest is Zico Coronel from Rongotai College. Zico is an exceptional teacher and basketball coach. He has been the Assistant Head Coach of the Wellington Saints for a number of years, has coached in many schools around New Zealand, won a variety of championships with his current junior basketball team, and more recently was named Head Coach of the New Zealand U16 Boys team.

I love the way Zico infuses his passion for basketball within all aspects of his teaching!

Zico on Twitter.

Music by Bensound.

NZPETeachercast Episode 12 – Reflections with a first year teacher

In the final episode of the NZPETeachercast for 2016, I get to interview a beginning teacher from Tamaki College in Auckland, NZ. Georgia Dougherty is a Health and PE teacher who is just wrapping up her first year in the profession. She is a teacher who is very reflective, has spent a considerable amount of time seeking to learn and develop her own practice, and in less than a year, is already considered a role model for those of us trying to be more innovative with our students. Throughout this episode we pull apart Georgia’s first year as a teacher and consider some of the successes and challenges she has faced over the last 12 months.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and I want to thank everyone for taking the time to listen in over the last 12 episodes. Tune in again in February 2017 for the start of a new teaching year, and more inspiring educators!

Check out Georgia’s blog – Be you, no one else can.

Music by Bensound.

NZPETeachercast Episode 11 – Maori achieving educational success as Maori

In the penultimate episode of the NZPETeachercast for 2016, I am extremely privileged to interview an ex student of mine. I taught Troy Ruhe during my time at Wellington High School, where he demonstrated success in everything he put his mind to. But even more impressive than his constant success in the classroom, was his willingness to be a role model for other Māori and Pasifika students throughout the school. He had mana, or an influence about him that had significant influence on many students and teachers that came in contact with him. Troy and I discuss a range of factors relating to his educational success as a Māori student.

With Troy currently in the Cook Islands, I didn’t manage to get an email address for him. But flick me an email if you want to get in touch with him for any reason.

Read Full Transcript

Episode 11- Troy Ruhe
Duration: [00:36:24] Troy Ruhe: In the curriculum it is ako, to teach and to learn. I think that is something that I don't know how it is now, it's been awhile since I've been out of high school but that was always something that I found, it resonated with me, tuakana–teina that's always been how I came into understanding my relationships with people.
Carl Condliffe: You're listening to the NZ PE Teachercast! A podcast sharing some of the inspirational stories from amazing health and physical education teachers.
Today's episode is sponsored by My Study Series, an online learning platform
[00:01:00] by New Zealand PE teachers for New Zealand PE teachers and their students. Check it out now at
Carl Condliffe: As a teacher every six or seven years you come across student who is different, who you know is going to make a difference in this world, essentially the ideal student we hope turns on our class roster each year. Today's guest is one of those students. I remember watching Troy grow and develop throughout year thirteen and thinking to myself I'd love to sit down with this kid and find out what makes him tick because he was pretty exceptional, he doesn't know that I was going to say all this stuff by the way. At that point in time I didn't have a real reason or the platform to do it but I can now, so Troy welcome to the podcast.
Troy Ruhe: Thanks for having me.
Carl Condliffe: So tell us a little bit about yourself, a bit about your educational
[00:02:00] background with a particular focus on what you're involved with now.
Troy Ruhe: So I am a Cook Island Maori student and New Zealand Maori student but growing up I think I didn't really understand the difference between the two and also being, well talk about New Zealand European settings and in terms of multicultural New Zealand. I went to, so I started off my education in Pudidor [00:02:28] (?) so quite a low decile school and then moved into Karori where I went to a high decile school and then into Wellington High and did all of my high schooling there. It was there that I just knew PE was going to be for me, I mean I always had an interest in physical activity but then it's just seeing the theory side of things that really kind of drew me in and seeing that there was more than just the physical activity side of it.
So going into now where I am, physical activity was what drove me
[00:03:00] through and kind of in my year off, I had a year off before I went into university just to kind of figure out exactly what I wanted to do and understanding that something that is enjoyable to me and physical activity could actually enhance health parameters and all that sort of stuff. So that's where I am now with a particular focus on non-communicable disease and focusing specifically on Maori and Pacific populations. Yeah, so that's where I am now and it's probably where I will be for a very long time.
Carl Condliffe: You mentioned something that was really interesting. You didn't know or you weren't aware of the difference between Cook Island Maori and New Zealand Maori and that's something that's really interesting to me because I'm part Tongan and part Niuean but I know nothing about that side of my family and I have very little contact with that side of my family. I'm a little bit
[00:04:00] curious, but I still haven't done anything about that yet. So what kind of drove you to find out a little bit more about that side of your heritage?
Troy Ruhe: Well I grew up, so my mom is, she's strong she grew up in the Cook Islands and my dad he started finding a little bit more about himself as a New Zealand Maori citizen and just finding a little bit more about his whakapapa and also just hearing stories about my mum. So I think that curiosity came from when we got asked questions about who we are and we're from and just saying the place was, that's all I'd say and that was about it but then there were actually people who started questioning it and saying oh yeah so what's it like growing up there or what's it like to be from there and I think that's something that I had never thought about, it was always a superficial thing in terms of ethnicity and that's just what you are, it's a box that you tick.
So I think what drove me to find out a bit more about
[00:05:00] that is that I had no idea and I think that's just the way that I am just kind of a mind, I'm very curious about things and just yeah, mind for inquiry I guess and that's been me ever since and I think as I'm growing I know that it's a process and I know that I'm not going to know everything like now and what I do know now will change as I go through more experiences but that's the awesome thing about working with Pacific people and working with Maori people is that I learn more from them about how I can go about, because going about, finding about more about my identity because they've all been through it and they can give me stuff.
Carl Condliffe: You're on a bit of a, you've got a big trip planned later on today, where are you--?
Troy Ruhe: I do, I'm flying out back to Raro, go see my mom and my sister. They've been living over there since I was about twelve now, so that's been a yearly trip but it's been a while since I've back so it's going really good.
Carl Condliffe: So your PhD study, is it your PhD study?
[00:06:00] Troy Ruhe: Masters.
Carl Condliffe: Masters, your masters study been about looking into the negative health statistics for Maori and Pasifika peoples. What's the most worrying trend that you're observing through some of the data that you're getting?
Troy Ruhe: So I think the biggest thing is that, so firstly we do know that from the statistics that there is that, the negative side of things and they are over represented in the negative health statistics, but I think when I started doing more research with them it's that, it's kind of a lack of awareness for health so it makes you question what is health to Maori or what is health to Pacific people because in terms of how they are functioning as society they feel that they are healthy.
But I think, so that's that question around that but then there's also there's a lack of awareness for how to go about it and then from there it's to go about making it better and then that lack of education on how to implement it. I know I was doing field research at the start of
[00:07:00] this year and they all knew that exercise was really, really good for you but where there was a lack in any understanding of anything was in how to implement or how to go about asking for help. I don't know if it's a pride thing or an economic thing, socio-economic barrier but that's always something where they have the mindset to do it but they just don't know how to go about it and usually one of the big things in terms of a barrier for physical activity is seeing it’s cost and I think that comes, it’s little bit of lack of education there but also just that lack of awareness as health literacy as well. I think Pacific and Maori people are more likely to let things go and won't see anyone about it until it's life threatening almost. So I think that's the most worrying thing is it's not seen as preventative it's more seen as the don't focus on the rehab side that at the end when it's,
[00:08:00] they had the worst outcome possible.
Carl Condliffe: That's a shame because our learning area, physical education that's kind of underpinned by Maori well-being and other Pacific health models and health promotion models. So it's a shame that we, in education we draw so much from these models but yet the Maori and Pacific people are still, we're still struggling to get the right information or know what to do or get the help that they need so they can take some of this negative statics and turn it into positive. This year you were Co-Tumuaki of Te Roopu Whakakaha Tinana which is the physical education Maori association. So the objective of that association is to encourage academic excellence of Maori physical education students which is pretty cool. What have you enjoyed most about that roll?
Troy Ruhe: I think the two things I've enjoyed most about it has been my personal development,
[00:09:00] I started off the first year rep my first year down there and then just slowly worked my way up the rolls into the presidency roll. So seeing that it was possible that you can go kind of like the small fish and then just learning from everyone and then taking it to that next level.
So there's that but also just I think the relationships that was something that I'd probably cherish forever is that I was learning the whole time in this and the older students but also the new people coming through, so there's that cycle of you coming in from the younger age and then getting older but you're always being pushed from the people under you but you're also learning from the people above you, that was, I think that was the most rewarding thing and just knowing that you are there to help people whether they say it or not it's always nice to have that sort of support there for you.
I think the most challenging thing for me, definitely was that we were, physical education Maori association
[00:10:00] and we were seen as we are only there for Maori people and when it came to events and what not because we did have, like I guess you called them the mainstream executive when spins [00:10:11] (?) down there and I was kind of saying that we would only do things for Maori students and then they would cover everyone else. So where do Maori fit in it? Is this a binary thing? Can they not go to the mainstream things? I think not, they wouldn't come to a lot of our events because of that fear of being singled out.
I think there's quite a bit of a stigma around having just a focus on Maori students because it looks like oh they're getting special treatment and that's, I think that was the biggest challenge for me just to say that we aren't, I mean we do, we have Maori in our title but we just develop, or we use, we implement a Maori way of thinking as opposed to being only for Maori students. That was the biggest challenge was trying to get that out of this, there's just the massive challenge
[00:11:00] between, yeah, that's it just that challenge of doing the mainstream and--
Carl Condliffe: So is that like, do you feel like that's a little bit of prejudice or even racism coming through? What do you think the attitude there is or that, just misunderstanding over it.
Troy Ruhe: That's exactly it, I think it just a misunderstanding where you feel like you have to go into one or the other where it's not like that at all, we say in New Zealand that we are a multicultural society so we should be able to accept both and be able to walk this world and both worlds. So I think that is what that is, but also being Maori and having non-Maori friends, when you're trying to make friends, especially in that first year if you are pulled away to something that is from the Maori association you don't want to make it look like you're getting extra from what everyone else is getting, I guess it's, yeah, it's interesting.
[00:12:00] Carl Condliffe: I'm quite interested in your experiences at secondary school because the majority of our listeners are secondary PE teachers so I'm positive they can hear about what drove you to succeed as well. But the first thing I noticed about you at Wellington High School and this was, I think I taught you in year ten and year thirteen was that you were such a role model for other Maori students, what made you willing to embrace this roll because I think at secondary school I think it's really difficult to be a role model, a positive role model because there's so many influences and there's so many distractions and there's so many negative things that you can fall into. So what kind of drove you or made you embrace that roll of being a role model
Troy Ruhe: That role model, I think you say in terms of leadership and whatnot, there's two ways you can think about it. There's being that dictator type or being that person
[00:13:00] who just kind leads from behind and I think that's where I always was, like I didn't strive to be a leader and I didn't want to be put up there, so I think in terms of embracing it, it was that I was channeled, people just, teachers and what not, they acknowledge that I was, I did have those leadership qualities and then started putting me in those roles.
But I think what made me embrace that most is that I am the oldest sibling in my family and knowing that what I do will trickle down and hopefully if they see what I'm doing, just kind of being a role model for them and then hearing that I did something because of you, it's a really rewarding feeling and being put, I guess a little bit of people looking out for you is just, it gives you that sense of accountability as opposed to giving you pressure to be able to be the best that you can be.
[00:14:00] I think that's what, that's difficult yes to find with all those distractions and what not but if you are singled out earlier and you had that sense of accountability, you have responsibility to a lot of people and I find that's what kind of mitigates those distractions is you know you are out there but it's finding that fine line between giving someone too much responsibility and then rebelling or them taking it on, so I guess in terms of embracing it would just be that I was, I was given the freedom to be able to be a role model the way that I wanted to be.
Carl Condliffe: I like that word, accountability that you used and the one about the things that are still quite vivid in mind is I think we were outside the pavilion, we had those bleachers, that one little bleacher and it was sport science, sport studies I think it was called and I was trying to get the class under control and we were doing a warm up or something and I
[00:15:00] was losing the class and you had turned and said to a group of boys, you're like come on this isn't how we roll basically and they were like instead of going on and giving you shit about it they just went oh sweet okay well let's, Troy said we should do this we're going to listen. That just kind of blew my mind because up until that point of time I probably hadn't seen a Maori or Pasifika student really take on that leadership with the classroom. I was seeing a lot of leadership from performance point of view, being able to demonstrate performance, exceptional performance on the sports field, but to see somebody come in and do it from a point of view where they were trying to be responsible and accountable for the actions of the entire class, not just yourself was awesome.
I kind of, you hear every
[00:16:00] now and then that the, I'm not sure if I mentioned this earlier on another podcast around the differences between Canterbury Rugby Union and Auckland Rugby Union where the Polynesian athletes are on positions, rugby positions where it's all about performance and they're not in a decision making positions and it's all about those assumptions around Maori and Pasifika students that we try to avoid but that's still there. So accountability and responsibility, it's, those are two really important things to consider.
Troy Ruhe: Just on that when you were talking about kind of the position stacking a little bit, I think in terms of being a role model, like now upon reflection I am so glad that this is a thing and that we are trying to channel more Maori and Pacific students as role models but within kind of overall positions as opposed to just on the sports field because that is a lot of our role
[00:17:00] models. A lot of the people that we see that we can kind of identify with as seeing similar backgrounds and whatnot they are musicians and sport stars and I think we have so many people doing so well, so many Maori/Pacific people doing well in academic settings, it's just that the light has never really shown on them and I think that's why the people you use see most growing up and the people that you see that you can identify with, that is when you start being channeled.
So like everyone, I just feel that we are channeled the way that we are, like the experiences that we have are going to inform our decisions for the future, so I think definitely being a role model I think if I was to go back and know what I know now in terms of being able to embrace it more, like that's my only regret is I would have done, pushed it a bit more. But that's where I am now.
Carl Condliffe: I think you pushed it pretty hard and in end of 2011 you were awarded the Welly High peace prize which
[00:18:00] being a teacher at Wellington High School at the time, we considered it to be pretty much the supreme award in the school. So how did it feel being awarded that and why do you think you were recognized with that award, just kind of leading on from your role modeling and leadership.
Troy Ruhe: Right, yeah that was actually, it was quite unreal and I just remember how Prue does it as well, she would say your name and then--
Carl Condliffe: Prue fantastic, I love Prue.
Troy Ruhe:-- and then get you up on the stage and actually just start rambling all these facts you're like you know I don't like to hear that sort of stuff and I don't like to be put up on the stage and everyone looking at you and then reading these things out but I think the big thing that did come out from all of that was it was all the groups that I was involved with and all the people that she said I had inspired and kind of the aspirations that a lot of people had for me at the time, so it's kind that, receiving that award I think was really testament to the relationships
[00:19:00] that I had developed over my time at school because that award is not ducks and it's not the sportsperson of the year, it's kind of that overall role. So that was that being channeled as a role model for everything in terms of academia, kind of even drama and performance as well as on sports field.
But from that, it is those relationships that kind of helped me become that overall person, so the positives, the negatives that I had gone through before that and like learning to be able to modify my behavior to be able to become the overall, the best person overall that I could be and that comes from that holistic view of health and that comes with that holistic way of being. So I think that's testament, I think even if you look at the people who got it before me, they were Maori and Pacific people and that's because they have that holistic view of the world and we're not just focused
[00:20:00] on one particular aspect, yeah.
Carl Condliffe: I think you're right. We know from the data that Maori achievement rates are lower than the national average, Maori students are leaving school earlier and have less qualifications than their non-Maori counterparts. Well what do you think is one thing a teacher could do right now that could begin to help address this?
Troy Ruhe: Right, so with this, I debate I think it is ako, to teach and to learn. I think that is something that I don't know how it is now, it's been awhile since I've been out of high school but that was always something that I found, it resonated with me, tuakana–teina that's always been how I came into understanding my relationships with people is that sure if I am the expert in one field I can teach you stuff, but from how you react to that I need to be able to modify what I do, so I'm learning from you, it's indirect but it is that sort of learning and I think that's where
[00:21:00] a teacher could maybe make a difference, I know people do it as well but it's just making it explicit now that whatever your, so every student is going to be different, that's the kind of saying that there is no one size fits all, but when you are delivering something if something is working for a majority of the class and then there's a group of people and usually it is the Maori and Pacific people it is not, it's just not thinking, like we were talking earlier about that deficit thinking and coming from a strength based approach.
So kind of providing context for them as a student. I know there's a lot of times where you're sitting there thinking when am I ever going to use this in the real world and that's being able to find something within their world, so maybe getting to know them and that's that learning that you're going to get from them and then that's being able to see okay for them this is how this can be applied and it sounds like it's extra work to do but if you are a teacher you are catering to everyone within that classroom. Everyone who sits down becomes
[00:22:00] your responsibility and but then at the same time I think the students need to understand that they have a responsibility to their teacher and I think is going to cover one of the later questions, but there is that relationship.
It's being able to establish that rapport with the students and then being able to see okay if there is an issue with the student in that class look at your approach. A + B doesn't always equal C. There's something in the mix of the A or the B where there's a breakdown and I think that's what teachers can do. It's like, I put, just reflect on everything that's happening.
Carl Condliffe: I like the idea of providing context for Maori and Pasifika student from their culture, but I think it's a real challenge there because we try to
[00:23:00] differentiate a lesson or a unit and provide context and we try to meet the needs of every student in the class. But I guess from my personal experience when you attempt to meet the needs of every student you, need to say that I know very little about Maori and Pasifika culture and I'm going to find it much harder to provide good context. So then I might by default not choose to go there and I might try to provide other areas to differentiate but that's, we need to get away from, we need to put ourselves out there and take risk, I think that is taking risk to try and learn something that you might not be, have a good understanding a be aware of and try to implement that. So I think that's some really good advice and some really wise words from someone who is still fairly young and still kind of finding their way in the world. So that was a good answer.
Alright, this kind of flows on and you might have
[00:24:00] addressed some of it already in that last question, but thinking back to your time in the classroom and even now in tertiary education what sticks out for you in terms of good teaching, so what are some approaches I guess that teachers have taken that resonated well with you and made you want to be successful?
Troy Ruhe: Definitely just the teachers that made me feel like I mattered. That was probably the biggest thing, because once you start feeling like someone has respect for you I don't know if this goes for everyone, if this is a generalization, but once you know you have someone's respect it's really kind of, that's your responsibility to them once again. So I think the people who actually took an interest in me and also just kind validated the way that I thought and validated the way that I went about things, they were the ones that kind of promoted my thinking and kind of encouraged me to carry on learning because I knew that I could
[00:25:00] do it in a way suited me while fitting within the guidelines of your academic, your, the guidelines of your achievement standards and whatnot--
Carl Condliffe: Curriculum.
Troy Ruhe: Yeah, exactly. I don't want to make you all blushy here, but you and Miss Johnson, Miss Johnson you two, so that's probably why I'm in PE at the moment is that you two were the ones who did that for me and also seeing, being able to identify with that teacher as well as you're quite a competitive person then you're one of those people who became a perfectionist I think in my last year I changed a lot of the way that I did things so that I could, I wasn't just satisfied with just passing in anything and it's just that I just keep pushing and pushing myself in all the different fields that I was in actually, it's just kind of carrying that mentality for excellence. So yeah, I think that
[00:26:00] it is a process where you have to make that, establish that relationship first because I think if you miss that first step everything else past that is not really going to, yeah.
Carl Condliffe: That's the next question because at the core of teaching what underpins everything we do is relationships and you've been in thick of it. So I guess from your experience how could a teacher best emphasize relationships and whanaungatanga with their students, so what's, how can we encourage that?
Troy Ruhe: Yeah, so just with that I think it's identifying or acknowledging really that within everyone you can be of the same, so say you had a class and everyone was the same ethnicity, not everyone's going to have the same values though, everyone's going to have a different world view, everyone's going to have a different background and identify differently with different things and interpret the world in different ways. So I think with that, that's not
[00:27:00] the issue.
The issue is just being able to find kind of like a negotiation space between you and your values so if there was like a Venn diagram it would be you and then within that is your identify, your background, just everything that makes you you and then the person that you're dealing with and all of them the same, so there will be a crossover where that's what you can negotiate, that's where okay these things of me, I don't like to use the word compromise but that's just it, finding that middle ground and I think that's the difficult thing with classrooms though is that's just you and one other person but you usually have up to what fifteen to make of around thirty to be able to do that with.
Carl Condliffe: Thirty-three sometimes.
Troy Ruhe: Thirty-three sometimes, yeah see exactly and that's another three that you have to do that with but that's the thing is you are, you're spending a year with these people and I think just getting in early and showing that you are open minded and showing that you can kind of validate someone's
[00:28:00] thinking and when they come into that classroom they know that they are stepping into a safe environment to be able to not only learn the content but I think a lot of it is self-discovery as well and that them growing and them being able to explore a little bit about how they go about things, I'd say that's probably why I am the way that I am, I was able to explore a lot of who I was and as you'll probably go into, quite a, Wellington High, a school that does let, they accept diversity and that sort of stuff, so I kind of dressed like everyone else but in terms of how my mind could about things that that's relationship there is that I was given that space to be able to do that.
Carl Condliffe: This is a little bit a sidetrack but you mentioned that self-discovery and one thing I've been wanting to try for years but just the situation or the context hasn't allowed for it but next year I've got a small level three
[00:29:00] class and what I'm intending to do at this point in time is have one period a week that I'm not going to link to any achievement standard, I'm not going to provide any content and it's just going to be self-guided learning/discovery, passion projects. They can link to their scholarship report if they want to but I just want people to learn about something they're passionate about and just explore the world because we get so burdened down by assessment and we dictate so much of what our students need to learn or what we think they should learn when our curriculum is only a very small, small, small fraction of what we think our students should learn and there's so much more interesting and fun things to be learning.
So I'm going to try to do that, I don't know how it will work or whether, I'll hope I'll get by but whether it's manageable with how many credits we need to give, but I think you're right being able to discover
[00:30:00] how you learn or what you want to learn and things like that is cool.
But the relationships are really important and I think you touched on some really good points. You had a Facebook post recently that pictures you in front of the Otago Union building with a colleague of yours and the statement one step closer to taking our place in the world. I thought that was really cool. So what is your place in the world or your vision of your place in the world look like at this point in time and what's the next, what's going to be the next step of your journey?
Troy Ruhe: Yeah so that was, I got that Friday when I'd just had my honor's dissertation printed so at that time I was feeling like oh on top of the world but then when we ask what my world was, I think it's my place in the world at any point in time would be a place where I know that I can affect change, whether that just be in the way that someone goes about how they, like their day or being able to actually save someone's life
[00:31:00] by implanting that exercise program and all that sort of stuff. So I think my, yeah, so my place in the world would just be creating environments for people to be able to kind of flourish and I think that's testament to what happened to me growing up is recognized that I had potential and that that flame or that spark kind of turned into a flame and I think that's what I want to be able to do is I want to be able to find that spark within different people and then that's providing the context and then providing that environment to allow it turn into a flame.
So that's, I don't mind where I do that, I don't mind who I do that with, it's just I know, seeing people flourish I think is that, that's kind of the most rewarding thing to me whether you get money from it or not, it's alright because they, you have helped on other person then if that sparks something within them they could help another person and it just keeps
[00:32:00] going on that cyclic effect and I think from here where I want to go with that is just being able to, I guess that's the sad thing is that you have to apply theory to everything and you maybe have to have like a couple letters by your name to be kind of seen as an authentic figure, to be able to do that sort of thing.
Carl Condliffe: To be an authority.
Troy Ruhe: Exactly, yeah, to be able to do that sort of thing. So my journey is to be able to be in a position where I am seen as someone that you'd like to listen to, but also in that time being able to just discover more and more about how we can create those environments and I have no idea on how to do that just yet but that's what I say, it's a discovery process.
Carl Condliffe: I think that's the best thing about my job is we do see students kind of lighting their flames
[00:33:00] and having those lightbulb moments and seeing students change from when they come into our care and then seeing how they end up at year thirteen and like now seeing where you're at, 2011 that's five years on. So that is one of the coolest things and I think you would have made a fantastic teacher, I know you originally you thought that maybe that was something you were going to do but I think you've slightly moved away from that path which is a good thing because I think you could achieve so much more than being a teacher. Although, teaching is good.
Troy Ruhe: It good be one of my careers I'm not too sure, could come back to it later yeah.
Carl Condliffe: You never know. Final question here, I didn't put this one on the thing, it's just a bit of a more informal one but when are you going to quit slacking and get on the stage to compete because you've been lifting heavy for a while now and you've got the physique so what's going on?
Troy Ruhe: I don't know, just have to find a time that works with my schedule
[00:34:00] and my studies and whatnot, just be able to sleep properly and I don't know that's not even an excuse next couple of years maybe.
Carl Condliffe: You should give it a go like the motivation and the discipline that you need to do something like that because I've only done the one competition but man it really, you can transfer a lot of that skill into other aspects of your life, so you should. I think you should definitely do it and I can't wait to see.
But hey at the start of the podcast I said a couple of things and one of those things about really wanting to sit down with you and just hear a little bit more about what makes you tick and I wasn't saying that just to make a point, that was something that I said it to a few teachers at that point in time that one day I really wanted to do this and I think some of the answers you've provided throughout have been really good and are much richer than I thought they might have been and I'm
[00:35:00] really thankful that you were able to come and have a chat and just pass on some of your wisdom and your knowledge. You know you advocate for Maori and Pasifika peoples really, really well and you're doing some great work. I just want to encourage you to keep doing that because we need more people like you who want to see people succeed and want to see people have those lightbulb moments and light their candles and see success. So big ups to you.
Troy Ruhe: Why thank you.
Carl Condliffe: Keep it up and man I'm jealous that you're off to the Cook Islands.
Troy Ruhe: Just on that, thanks for having me and I just, I jumped at the opportunity when you did ask me to be able to do this is because like I said the role models that are out there are only pictured in sporting excellence, music excellent, musical, or all those sorts of talents and kind of away from the classroom and just it was nice being acknowledged as someone that you'd like to talk to but also
[00:36:00] if this does give some sort of guidance to anyone out there that's, like I said, that's what I'm about and just being able to provide anything that I can when I can and yeah, so thank you so much for having me.
Carl Condliffe: I'll make sure I put your contact details, maybe an email or something in the show notes and people can get in touch if they have any more questions.
Troy Ruhe: Alrighty.
Carl Condliffe: Cheers Tory.
Troy Ruhe: Alright, thanks.

NZPETeachercast Episode 10 – Authentic learning through a Sport Ed model

In the 10th episode of the NZPETeachercast we have Andrew O’neill from Middleton Grange School. I met Andrew at PENZ conference earlier in the year and we bumped into each other again at the PENZ Inspired Leadership Programme here in Wellington. Andrew and his team are having huge success using a Sport Education approach with 1.4. We talk about this authentic approach to learning as well as discuss a few small successes as we move into the second year of a report format of PE Scholarship.

Andrew’s resources:

Rippa Rugby Franchise Powerpoint

Rippa Rugby CEO Spreadsheet

Game Day Cards

Game Expenses

If you have any questions you can get in touch with Andrew by emailing him at

Music by Bensound

Read Full Transcript

Episode 10- Authentic Learning through a Sport Ed
Duration: [00:37:59] Andrew O’Neill The kids when they came off, off the game, out of the game they were buzzing about it, they went this is so cool, this is awesome oh I didn't realize that all this kind of stuff was taken into account. So to me that's valuable learning.
Carl Condliffe: You're listening to the NZ PE Teachercast! A podcast sharing some of the inspirational stories from amazing health and physical education teachers.
Today's episode is sponsored by My Study Series, an online learning platform by New Zealand PE teachers for New Zealand PE teachers and their students. Check it out now at
[00:01:00] Carl Condliffe: Kia Ora everyone we're here with Andrew O'Neill from Middleton Grange School and it's been a fairly hectic week in Wellington and of course up in the South Island with the earthquake, so it's made for an interesting couple of days, been a lot of evacuations around Wellington, but we've been getting buy we're just down at Gas Works down in Wellington, if you know Gas Works it's a nice little pub and restaurant. We've just finished up at PENZ inspired leadership program which has been a nice little two day program where we've been looking at few leadership things and hearing from some great presenters. So it's been quite good with that so, Andrew welcome to the podcast.
Andrew O’Neill Thank you.
Carl Condliffe: Before we get started can you just tell us a little bit about your teaching background and experience and a few tidbits about your
[00:02:00] school and the students you teach, Middleton Grange School right?
Andrew O’Neill Yup, Middleton Grange, yup.
Carl Condliffe: I'd never heard of it until I email you, and I admit we met at PENZ.
Andrew O’Neill We met at PENZ, yup that's where it all started with the scholarship stuff. Okay, so I'm Andrew, I'm, this is I'm just finishing off my 24th year of teaching, haven't been teaching all of my life either. I went through the Big ED PE program, I was one of the first, in the first year intake of the whole program, yeah so that was pretty cool. Kind of like forging the way there and really wanted a job in Christchurch but that didn't happen, so I ended up getting a job in Invercargill of all places. So went down there and with my wife and two kids thinking I'll get my registration in two years and then get back to Christchurch but twelve years later and two extra kids we finally got here.
So I'm at 24 years
[00:03:00] of teaching. I've been involved in volleyball pretty much all the way through. I think the highlights for me in that time have been when I was at Hargest and our senior boys’ team won the div II nationals that was a pretty big achievement for a team from Invercargill. In Christchurch I did a bit of volleyball, I've done volleyball there too and I think the best achievement that I've really enjoyed is seeing the boys in 2010 win the South Island, so that's pretty cool. Although I've been involved in volleyball that long squash is actually my passion, that's what I really enjoy so I quite enjoy the fact that I'm involved in that capacity but also I can get out of the school environment and do something for myself, that kind of stuff.
Carl Condliffe: Tried playing squash once. Once.
Andrew O’Neill And?
Carl Condliffe: My glutes, gone, gone. Couldn't walk the next day.
Andrew O’Neill Do it again and they'll come around. So yeah then I got a curriculum leader's position
[00:04:00] at Middleton so I've been there for twelve years. Middleton's a state integrated school and it's from new entrant right through to year thirteen. It's about 1300 people there and it's, the way it's organized it's got primary school, it's got a middle school, years seven to ten, senior college year eleven through to thirteen and an international college as well. So yeah, it's fairly complex but it's a lot of fun and a bit of a challenge in some ways to actually get the program running. The makeup of the school, it's about 65% European, 17% Asian and 10% Maori/Pacifica.
Carl Condliffe: What's the size of the senior school? So, not the senior school but the secondary component of the school, what's the numbers there?
Andrew O’Neill So we're just about 550. In that we've got, as far as next year's concerned we've got eleven, sorry year eleven we've got three PE classes coming
[00:05:00] in, we've got two at year twelve and two at year thirteen, yeah.
Carl Condliffe: That's pretty good, very similar to where I'm at. So we're here at the Inspired Leadership program for PENZ, two days it's been pretty good minus the one afternoon session, it was okay we could take some stuff from that. But what's been the best takeaway for you so far across the two days?
Andrew O’Neill Well there's actually been quite a lot of takeaways and to me it's a real challenge to now go back and actually just think about how we can integrate a whole lot of stuff. To me I've come up with like two ideas, I wanted to see pretty much how we can incorporate within our program, integration across the different curriculum areas and how we can link that all together knowing that there will be challenges but I'm up to that, I'm quite okay and we'll just take it bit by bit.
So Shay's chat about all the integration of stuff and I think like for me
[00:06:00] the biggest thing was to really hear about where is the 21st century going for students going out into the workplace and so how are we going to prepare them and just the whole idea of the key competencies kind of things working through our program is being, that's what employers are actually wanting in their future employees, so designing a course around that kind of stuff.
Carl Condliffe: Helen Tuhoro said it, she said it really nicely around how they haven't thrown out the curriculum but that has become less of a focus for them and then more about those key competencies because they are what employers want and they are what we should be striving our kids to be able to demonstrate off the back of the hand without even thinking about it because there's some good stuff in there. So I think, for me I really, I'd done a little bit of research around Tarawera High School because we've had Kali Ross on the podcast and hearing Helen and getting to hear her in person was for me it was just awesome.
Andrew O’Neill It was also,
[00:07:00] you could just sense the passion and the enthusiasm and what came through to me was very much a real heart for actually moving the students through but in a sense for the students themselves to know that they're really important and the whole person, whole order was coming through quite clearly which was cool.
Carl Condliffe: She had people crying, she had people crying.
Andrew O’Neill Yeah, it's pretty awesome eh, yeah, yeah.
Carl Condliffe: I mean that's going to be my new goal, next time I present is I want to make someone cry but--
Andrew O’Neill For the right reasons of course.
Carl Condliffe: Yeah. So I think a good couple days.
Andrew O’Neill Yeah totally.
Carl Condliffe: Definitely next year however it pans out I encourage people to get along to that if you are thinking about middle leadership or being a leader because it's, just even the networking is really good. I put a lot of faces to names over the last two days which was cool. So I'm stoked with that. So we're really
[00:08:00] here to talk about this unique approach that you've got in your level one course, which I know sounds like you're doing more than trying to me. But you've got this quite cool sporty type model around, is it 1.4 you're doing. Tell us all about that, I've got a few questions.
Andrew O’Neill Sure, yeah. So when we started up we kind of like, we went through with the students that we'd look at some different options, so while the criteria shows quite a few different influences and themes that you can look at we wanted to kind of narrow it back a little bit because what we are trying to do within our program is get that social-cultural perspectives going right through and scaffolding, so we don't want to, at level one through heaps at them, so kind of like let's just narrow the focus down so they get a real grasp behind what they're actually looking at.
[00:09:00] So some sports were selected that gave a variety. So we looked at modified lacrosse, we looked at Zumba, and we got a guy in who runs a skateboarding/rollerblading job so the kids got out there and trialed a whole lot of that kind of stuff. Then the final part we did was with a rugby franchise tournament, yeah.
Carl Condliffe: So a franchise tournament, so you’re looking at having owners and stuff like that, how did that pan out?
Andrew O’Neill So our focus was on the media as an influence and themes kind of like sponsorship and commodification within how the media and sport were operating. So this was kind a bit of a, it wasn't a last minute adaptation to the program but it was something we'd thought about back in like a couple weeks
[00:10:00] leading into the program and you're sitting there, let's try this, let's give it ago, let's no worry too much about getting it right at the start but give the kids a real sense of well actually this is a little bit more of the realism behind what's actually happening out there in society for them.
So the way we set it up was we had, we got four teams and so we and the other teacher Andrea Gort what we did was we set it up so that we had a group of students who were what we considered the better players, the better sportsman and women in the group to actually be put into a pool that became the draft players. So we set teams up, we have CEO in each team, we had two managers and we had a captain and then so they were set, so we set them up. So the key idea was when we're putting these teams together we made sure that they were even. So
[00:11:00] we want a balance so that when they came together there's real competition going on. So we did that, so we set it up.
Carl Condliffe: So you already had some part of the teams formed and you guys formed that.
Andrew O’Neill We set that form yeah because if you left it to them there would be a lot out of imbalance and we suck as a team and that kind of stuff.
Carl Condliffe: Actually a good tip because we've done something similar but we went from scratch they could pick but the only way to do it to get competitive teams was I had to group the students in each round so then all of a sudden they're good kids, no they're in the good kid group and you're the crap kids now you're in the crap kids group and I had to do a bit of warning around that but a still a kid is grouped with the crap kids, that's not a good message to send, so I like the way that you've done it.
Andrew O’Neill Yeah, so we did that, then we got them into the classroom and we showed them the teams and then we showed them what the draft players were and who they were and of course there's the old ripple effect of ooh
[00:12:00] that kind of stuff. So it was quite cool. So what we said then is right there's going to be a silent auction of three rounds. But it's the CEOs and managers only that could be in the silent action, oop silent auction sorry. So we flicked the others and said alright come prepared for some physical activity, we bring them into the gym so they could be active, they are doing that and then what we did is we showed the CEOs and the managers who the pool of players were that they could bring into the team. So having done that, and giving them time they could discuss and see who were the ones that they wanted in their teams and that kind of stuff.
Carl Condliffe: So was it like a combine of they could see these guys in action.
Andrew O’Neill No, no, no it was kind of like, so we'll talk about that later on how it went but this was kind of like first up right at the beginning they were just going to pull these players in based on how they fit, how they good they do, kind of stuff. So that silent auction worked, they loved
[00:13:00] it, the kids it and they spent, so we gave them all 12 million dollars at the start.
Carl Condliffe: 12 million, that's a good budget.
Andrew O’Neill Yeah, so they had 12 million, 12 mil to start with and even the CEO and the two managers, the captain, they were set costs for them so that came out of the 12 mil. Then from what was left they had to buy these players in but they also had to think down the track that okay there's going to be a round robin and after the round robin there's going to be another transfer, wouldn't they. So they had their teams that they played a full round robin in and then they had the opportunity of going back in and saying oh well actually we want to buy this player instead of--
Carl Condliffe: Then they need to leave some money?
Andrew O’Neill So it's, yeah we'll talk a little bit more about that too. But as the first round robin went what happened was
[00:14:00] it gave them the opportunity to actually see how their players operated or when they come up against the opposite they knew who the draft players were on the other team so they could watch them as well and actually see how they operated.
So in that first round, the way we set it up. So we put a spreadsheet together that basically all the CEOs had to do was to put the value of the money in. So for the players bought they just put it in the sales and where they went, but for each game what we did and it's not perfect yet but what we did was we, so teams were allocated home or away games and so there would be expenses for a home game versus an anyway game, so that was all set up for different things, if you were a home game for example you had to supply theoretically two refs, if you're an away game you supplied the third ref which is the video ref kind of thing, so we just
[00:15:00] kind of mocked it up like that.
Carl Condliffe: They had, there was costs associated with that?
Andrew O’Neill There were cost associated they had to cover, and then there were uniform costs and stuff like that.
Carl Condliffe: That's really cool, that's what I'm hearing is that's quite unique like sport ed has being quite popular in the two schools that I've taught in but not to the level like we might have, okay yeah you're the away team you got to provide the refs but there's never been that monetary value attached but that's what you're trying to teach around the sponsorship and the media and what these teams have to experience.
Andrew O’Neill So even though there was those kinds of costs they actually played the game without refs, so everybody was involved. So it was just that theoretical thing, they had uniform costs, they had other costs for example if you had a home game well you had an entertainment cost that you had to pay. So if you had a home game you invariably had more cost but what we did to mix that up was
[00:16:00] that it wasn't, they weren't set costs for each home game or away game so we set up cards that had different costs and the CEOs would come and draw out of the hat a different card. So for one home game they might have had to pay more in entertainment than in another kind of thing. So the costs were varying all the time just to do that kind of thing.
Then we also had play game cards and so that was another card that came out and it could have been things like this player's injured so they're off for two minutes or whatever like that or foul weather comes through your costs that you're going to putting it on has diminished heaps or your spectators haven't come as a result of that. So there were all those kinds of costs so you either had good ones or bad ones so that was just what had to go and it was a bit of the luck of the draw that became part of the cost positive or negative for that
[00:17:00] round. So and again if they won, I think they got a million dollars if they'd lost, or if they drew half a million and if they lost they got nothing. So the competitive edge was still there, it was that whole idea of well within a franchise we want to win kind of stuff.
Carl Condliffe: It's got some really close links to, not gamification but there's a lot of video games around sports team management and they've got to manage ticket sales and earn from that and they've got to think well why ticket sales are poor I need to put more vendors to supply good food and alcohol and managing budgets and player budgets and are your players happy and stuff like that. So how did you, with these cards that they would draw out or some of those other things, how did you tie them back in terms of linking to the requirements of the standard or
[00:18:00] the understanding around that sponsorship in the media and the impact on that, how did it link back to the theory?
Andrew O’Neill So we had done some theory beforehand to give them an idea as to how the impact on media and the franchising of teams incurred so they actually, they had that all understood before the actual game time. So when they came into it they could actually relate, make real kind of stuff. As far as linking back to the criteria, that's an area we want to work on, we haven't got it totally sorted yet as far as gathering data for evidence and things. At the moment, because it was a last minute thing we didn't get that tied up properly but we've already been talking a little bit about what we want to do for next year.
Carl Condliffe: But that's alright, you don't want to, I hate teaching to the assessment.
Andrew O’Neill What I found, and what I'm thinking of is the kids, when they came off,
[00:19:00] off the game, out of the game, they were buzzing about it. They were, this is so cool, this is awesome. Oh I didn't realize that all this kind of stuff was taking into account. So to me that's valuable learning and I mean in reflections do we do what, what do we do? Do we say right let's actually just had some of the evidence when we're talking about self and others, do we actually say well okay, so in your team how did your team operate, what was the feelings like within the team, how did that effect you and influence others and what were the others like in your team as a result of maybe, well actually we went pretty well, no, no we didn't go really well. So you get all that variation there.
Carl Condliffe: Great, so I think when you've got an experience like that where they do come away buzzing and they're like man this has been a really cool process or experience and it might not have been tailored exactly for the standard or taught to the standard, that's fine because the experience has been so authentic and meaningful to them they're going to be able to pull apart that experience and find the answers they need in
[00:20:00] their reflections and stuff like that.
Andrew O’Neill Absolutely, yeah.
Carl Condliffe: So I think that's really cool. You mentioned that you, so this is, it was kind of rushed maybe, first time trying it. What are you going to change next time?
Andrew O’Neill So one of the things that I've been thinking about just in the last week or so actually is it'd be pretty cool and we're fortunate because we're in Christchurch it would be really cool to get somebody from the Crusaders outfit who are involved in the franchise, within that aspect of promoting and the sponsorship, so where they'd actually come in and talk a little bit to the guys beforehand, beforehand like as part of getting that understanding of what it's all like, to get them to come in and just throw their slant on well this is how we operate and why and then for them to be able to take some of that stuff away and--
Carl Condliffe: Do you have a good rugby team at Middleton?
Andrew O’Neill Pass. Why would you like to come in and code us?
Carl Condliffe: No, no I'm just saying like have you got a good team, then that'd be
[00:21:00] easy, but I'm sure that'll be more than willing to come on by and, most people want to give back to the community and I think that'll just add another level of authenticity when the kids can hear some of the challenges or some of the cool things that the franchise deals with. It sounds really cool. How has the performance, how did they perform in terms of stats against the national average for 1.4. Can you recall?
Andrew O’Neill Yeah the technical I'm not too bad, this year we're slightly lower than normal, than our normal which is normally, oh sorry I didn't mean, did forget to mention Middleton's a decile nine school so comparing against decile nine rates and things like that we're normally just pretty much at that same level.
Carl Condliffe: But that's to be expected if you're going to try something new and you're not necessarily worrying about teaching to the assessment. So I think that's really cool
[00:22:00] and a really unique approach. I hope that, I want to challenge other people to maybe try to look at the level that they offer something like sport ed and really try to and unpack some of the way we do things and try to make it a little bit more authentic and meaningful because if we can make things more authentic and meaningful then those are things that our kids are going to remember when they leave school.
Andrew O’Neill Yeah and the thing is like what happened was it became self-driven. So they would get in there every time because they wanted to get out there and do it and they would where's the gear. So they did all that themselves, they went and got the field's set up and that kind of stuff. So I just, yeah, I just quite impressed with just their level of engagement as a result of bringing that kind of wider image.
Carl Condliffe: Now how's your department responded? Is there any talk of trying that in the junior school to the same level or other--?
Andrew O’Neill We like the idea, but again we
[00:23:00] want to kind of make things I suppose a little bit authentic for the different levels, so like for level one you get to be good but taking that scaffold back a little bit within year ten and year nine for example. Yeah, just to bring a little bit more of understanding of socio-cultural aspects and things like that and how society actually influences the way sport actually happens. Yeah, so that's a work in progress.
Carl Condliffe: You could do some really good work around ethnicities and some of the stereotypes around, I know there's, it always seems to rear it's head how the positions in ruby, some of the decision making positions tend to be white players and all the performances, wingers, great athletic seems to go the Pacifica and Maori, you could delve into that around some of those cards.
So you can pull that around
[00:24:00] I don't know salaries and stuff like that who earns the most money, maybe there's some research floating around about the difference in, I don't know if this is public knowledge, in New Zealand the sporting salaries, like it is in America but the difference white athletes and Polynesian and Maori athletes are what the pay scales are like and stuff like that, you could go as far as that, I don't know penalize teams for something around there--
Carl Condliffe: If they can balance or something. The really interesting thing was like when we came, so we did the first round and they saw their places and stuff like that and whether they came first, second, third, or forth, when they came into the transfer window they had sussed up the good players. But of course there's a bit of a mad scramble for the good players and yes there were a shifts around, but there were also some of those good players
[00:25:00] going into different teams and I wouldn't say upset the apple cart but just kind of the dynamics of the teams changed, and there were some upsets, so one of the teams that should have gone through into the finals missed out. So it's really good for them to actually see that you know what money's going to pay all the top players but at the day it didn't perform, oh why's that.
Carl Condliffe: There's good links to American sport as well, but we don't see it in New Zealand to the level in America but how I think in New Zealand our athletes have more of a, their link to the team is much stronger than say an NBA player who at any second could be gone to another team and then like you said when they go to that other team they completely disrupt the chemistry and they might be the best, one of the top players in the NBA and now they're paired with another top five player and whose team is this and one of those issues that that brings about,
[00:26:00] just I think that's really cool. So you've done a bit of work with scholarship, you've got a scholarship group this year. How'd they get by?
Andrew O’Neill Yeah, so we had seven up for grabs this time, they're all submitting.
Carl Condliffe: They submitted?
Andrew O’Neill Yes, they're all submitted. It's been an interesting transition into the report stall of assessment, personally I like it from the perspective that you can get them into a much deeper level of critical thinking because they go into the scholarship knowing what they want to look at and so their time to be able to research and actually bring the quality, somewhat together, it just gives them and they're focused on that. So it's just the whole idea of you make a statement, what do you mean by that and what's your justification
[00:27:00] behind what you're saying. There have been things that we've really, really worked at alongside a little bit of English training.
So we had our curriculum leader for English come in, he's been looking into a program as far as SO writing as in particular that really focus on it's not how much you write, it's the quality of what you do that counts. So as far as the structure's concerned, different styles of how you put your paragraphs together, the impact that they need, short/long sentences, what your, for example just even your introduction is and then again at the end, just wrapping it all up. So it's kind of like we really worked at trying to get them to take the reader along a pathway to actually see well okay there is this and there is that and just to get them as they're taking us through to
[00:28:00] just to branch off a little bit more and go into depth a bit some of the different issues that were actually come up.
Carl Condliffe: How did your scholarship group work? Did you have lunch time meetings, after school?
Andrew O’Neill No, we pretty much focused on term two, we would get together and most of them were free, we run a tutorial from half past seven in the morning for an hour and we would get together and we would just go and --
Carl Condliffe: Give the kids breakfast?
Andrew O’Neill Sometimes, yeah. The ones that were there on time.
Carl Condliffe: Yeah, that's making the commitment to turn up in the morning is--
Andrew O’Neill And they appreciated it. You could see just the way that they responded and the feedback given. It's interesting just trying to work on the feedback, one of the things I suppose I've struggled a little bit with was okay, well it's their authentic work but how much kind of feedback can we give and how well they can use overseas research and that kind of thing.
[00:29:00] So it's certainly got better and I know for you Carl and some of the stuff that you've given me as far as advice has been good, got them to close and here's hoping. I think one of the good things that I've found this year is there's actually exemplar of with the top student, so it gave the students themselves a really good handle on what to, the actual.
Carl Condliffe: It was always going to be hard that first year and that transition from the exam to the report. But I think this year there's going to be the quality I hope will be a little bit better, I'm a little bit, we struggled with some of our students. We've had a really, our level three class this year had 27 students and I found with that where our achievement hasn't been that great the time spent with some of my lower performing students that's a bit away, I was describing those kids before as crap that's not what I mean, they're all performing students.
[00:30:00] The amount of time I've had to spend with them has kind of taken away from my top end, which is really sad for them. We got two submissions which is, we hoped for about six or seven like yourself. But even for them, the students they had a better idea of what was required this year simply because of those exemplars and being able to get their head around it.
Andrew O’Neill The good thing that I really, really liked invariably because I see look you guys have got a, you've got a big choice here, you've got a massive choice, you've got all the stems that you've done this year that you can choose and go through, they all chose the issues trends and events. A great variety, in fact I think there were only two that were the same in those seven. So it's really cool. So I really encourage them to think deeply about that kind of stuff, what really grabs you and take that and really explore and critique.
[00:31:00] While there's quite a bit more work for them to do in presenting that as a scholarship level I know for all of them although it was a bit of stress for them I've actually come away feeling really happy and it's kind of like if I get one that's fantastic but it's actually taught me a skill set that I hadn't actually realized and invariably those standards that you've done even at level one and two, our students have come away thinking wow it's a really concept, they actually have thought about the impact that sport has actually had in the way that society is constructing sport really is played. So it's really opening them up to that kind of stuff, it's not just about giving up gear and playing wool and, yeah.
Carl Condliffe: That's the biggest transition from exam to report for me is that in the exam we're spending all this time preparing them to be critical thinkers around the topics that could be anything really.
[00:32:00] We know the overriding theme but they got to then take an issue and think critical about it, but now in the report we can just teach them critical thinking process throughout the year and they learn to apply that process to everything they do, not just prepare for this one event and then I imagine a lot of them, when we had this exam approach would, right they do the exam and then that whole critical thinking process is out the door now for some them, not everyone, but now because we're teaching them those skills and they're applying that from day one all the way across the year they're going to have those skills for life and being able to think critically is sinking in.
Andrew O’Neill That's what you're wanting, is a method behind why you're doing what you're doing. You want them to actually take that skill set away wherever they go.
Carl Condliffe: We don't want students to just settle for what they hear or what they read but to really unpack and go will this is what I think and here's what we need to have a better future focus on. So we've got, how many weeks left, three weeks?
Andrew O’Neill Something like that.
Carl Condliffe: Holidays,
[00:33:00] what have you got planned for the holidays and what's your focus for 2017?
Andrew O’Neill Right, so as far as holidays are concerned there'll be a bit of just kind of like tidying up the schoolwork.
Carl Condliffe: No, you don't want to do school work in the holidays.
Andrew O’Neill I never thought of that. We do our annual shift like when we're in Invercargill my brother and sister-in-law would go to Kaiteriteri from Christchurch and when they went they first time they said oh you've got to come next time. So we dragged all our camping gear from Invercargill to Christchurch for Christmas and then Christchurch to Kaiteriteri, and the first time I can still remember the kids, the four of them just coming around the corner and seeing the beach, it just blew their socks off.
Carl Condliffe: Kaiteriteri is beautiful.
Andrew O’Neill When we can back, when we came back all they could say is this is where we're coming next Christmas, this is what we're doing. So yeah, fifteen years later
[00:34:00] even the kids aren't there we still go. So that's the plan, we'll go there early January for about three weeks and just really chill. I used to take the mountain bike up and do a few of the tracks there but I actually quite enjoy just getting out there and running them now. So--
Carl Condliffe: Still run them.
Andrew O’Neill Well trying to. Yeah.
Carl Condliffe: Good on you, good on you.
Andrew O’Neill As far as 2017 is concerned I think that a lot of stuff that I'm planning on doing is a result of coming to this workshop. I think one of the big takeaways for me is I've always wanted to get into that kind of integration of how PE is done within the school, and how it can link into the other curriculum areas. So yeah, Rob and I will go back because Rob came up with us and we'll go back and just chat away with our PE staff about it and
[00:35:00] I'm quite keen to start at a low level because I think if you go as big it can really fall to pieces quite quickly, but being quite deliberate about maybe just getting alongside one curriculum area which I've already got an idea of and just chatting and saying hey look what do you think of this idea and this is what we're thinking, how could it link with you guys or, yeah. Just trying to get that whole concept of at the end of the day key competencies are fairly critical and how can we link that into the curriculum and produce a program that the pupils themselves can actually see linkage across from just PE and how it can relate into all the other areas.
Carl Condliffe: I like that, starting small too so not trying to link up math, science, English and social studies but going well okay maybe here's one or two learning areas.
Andrew O’Neill I'm even thinking if there's not much of a take on it to maybe go to for example the English area and say look I want to do a unit within PE that has an English focus on it. So rather than them doing it within English we could actually just get them to do something with PE itself that goes across different/other curriculum areas. So we'll just see how they respond to it.
Carl Condliffe: Well I think you find that we, our learning area we innovate a lot and I think we do it really well, I think we do it better than most other departments to an extent. So I have had hands up, I think, I hope you get some learning areas who are keen to put as much in as you might be prepared to put in and you can come up with some really good end product there for your students which will be cool, so good luck with that.
Look I really want to appreciate you for coming and having a chat around some of that stuff for 1.4, I think that sporting model's really cool but taking that next step and linking in the socially critical stuff
[00:37:00] around sponsorship and media and all of those things really makes it a bit more authentic for the kids, authentic in a unit that's already made so much authentic because of that sporting approach so keep that up and also the scholarship, I look forward to hearing how your students get on in terms of results, early Jan/late Feb and hopefully you pick up a few scholarships.
Andrew O’Neill We'll see, and I liked your idea too actually about actually getting the English curriculum to be able to critic some of the work, the assignment week, so that's something that I'll sit and look at because I know our curriculum leaders there has [00:37:34] (unclear) in fact he came up and took a sit in on one of those mornings, so he's absolutely passionate about it, so I say it's no big issue, I mean he loves the fact that we're actually trying to link with this kind of stuff into our area anyway, so I'll know he'll be on board to even do a bit of criticizing. So that's cool.
Carl Condliffe: Alright, hopefully the wind doesn't get you too much on the flight out.
Andrew O’Neill I'm looking forward to it. We need it.
Carl Condliffe: Alright, cheers Andy.
Andrew O’Neill Cheers mate, thank you.

NZPETeachercast Episode 9 – Monsuta Fitness and The PE Geek

Today the NZPETeachercast has its first international guest in the one and only PE Geek, Jarrod Robinson. Jarrod develops and builds apps to support PE teachers in the classroom and contributes significantly to the professional development of teachers around the world. We talk across a range of topics including where he started from, Connected PE conference and community, emerging technologies in PE and his latest app, Monsuta Fitness.

Check out Monsuta Fitness.

Explore The PE Geek.

Join the Connected PE Community.

Listen to Jarrod’s podcasts.

Music by Bensound.

Read Full Transcript

Episode 09- Jarrod Robinson
Duration: [00:34:01] Jarrod Robinson: So there's going to be a lot of Kodak moments, a lot of tech that we look at now and think that's, could never possibly impact education. It will, it absolutely will. So smart teachers will look at ways they can embrace it to be better.
You're listening to the NZ PE Teachercast! A podcast sharing some of the inspirational stories from amazing health and physical education teachers.
Today's episode is sponsored by My Study Series, an online learning platform by New Zealand PE teachers for New Zealand PE teachers and their students. Check it out now at
[00:01:00] Carl Condliffe: Kia Ora everyone today I'm extremely luckily to be hosting Jarrod Robinson also known as the PE Geek, a teacher who's really changed the PE landscape, someone who's played a big part in advocating for the use of technology in PE and lead the way and creating innovating approaches for teachers to use technology with their classes. So Jarrod welcome to the podcast.
Jarrod Robinson: Yeah thanks for having me.
Carl Condliffe: First of all tell us, tell us a little bit about where you’re from, your teaching background, a little bit of your experience.
Jarrod Robinson: Well I'm from the great state of Victoria in Australia. So near Melbourne, the capital city probably about a 90 minute drive from there and I've taught in a class for the last sort of eight/nine years. Small country school of around about 200 students or a little bit less and the great part of that school is it gave me a really big license
[00:02:00] to be able to innovate. We weren't so dictated, we had a lot of autonomy because there wasn't many staff. So you're given many hats when you're roles like that. So that's the only school I've ever operated in and it's very much the catalyst for what lead me down the path of the PE Geek journey and writing blogs and stuff because I had the opportunity to innovate and it was a real testament to the school and the trust they put in us.
Carl Condliffe: So it's a middle school or junior secondary, what sort of?
Jarrod Robinson: It's funny though it's a secondary school in that when I first started teaching it was from year seven, you know 13 years of age up to year twelve. Because of the fact that it's a small school eventually the school merged with the primary school. So we went from only dealing with the 13 and above age group to then all of a sudden combining two schools together getting a brand new
[00:03:00] campus, state of the art facilities like open learning spaces, lots of technology and having to deal with kids from 4/5 years of age. So that didn't limit me.
We ended up having to teach phys ed as specialist PE teacher down in that younger level and it was great for what I do online because I now, and working with teachers I now get to understand both sides. But it wasn't without challenge. If you go from teaching 13 year olds and all of a sudden you've got 5 year olds, there's a massive difference and assumptions I had about that part of the school were changed a lot by being involved in a school of that much breath.
Carl Condliffe: Yeah it must have been quite powerful for, I guess for these, two weeks ago we spoke to Celia and she mentioned some issues around, I don't know whether it's the same issues in Australia but in New Zealand we have some teachers and primary who might not be as
[00:04:00] prepared, or not prepared I guess, might not have the knowledge to deliver really good physical education so you are in a sense a PE specialist and all of a sudden having a teacher with these younger students it must have been really good them, must have been some really good learning, rich authentic physical education for them. So it must have been pretty cool being able to do that.
Jarrod Robinson: It was, yeah, and that was a big comment from the primary parents who'd grown up mostly with their just classroom teaching running phys ed, so we got to step in and take over that load. But it wasn't without issues as well. So there's a massive culture change that happened between the schools, you had primary staff and their culture and the secondary staff and their culture and it's still being battled with now and it's, I don't think it's going to be something that's instantly fixed or maybe it will never be fixed but there's a lot of the stuff that was gained and there's also some stuff that was lost.
Carl Condliffe: So how did you get started in this whole technology in PE thing? What was your
[00:05:00] pathway or your transition into the PE Geek? So kind of like what's your story?
Jarrod Robinson: So in 2008 when I first started teaching we had to be collecting evidence of things that we were doing in our class on our way to be full registered teachers. So when you first start in Australia, in Victoria at least you become a provisionally registered teacher and then you have to show evidence and become full registered.
So I started a blog purely to capture evidence of things I was doing in my class and for that purpose, so I could show my principal and I could get marked to full registration. But along the line it was a heavy focus on tech because I loved it, I was always interested in it as a kid and then I did my second teaching method as technology. Then all of a sudden I realized that this blog thing people were actually turning up to and leaving comments and they weren't from my school they were from Victoria, they were from Australia, they were from all over the world. I got addicted to being able to share
[00:06:00] stuff to people even though in the early days it wasn't all that innovative. Maybe it was but we were just quite limited with what we could do.
Carl Condliffe: Why do you think people arrived at your blog and started reading it and following? What do you think the catalyst there was?
Jarrod Robinson: Well it was definitely Twitter. So around the same time I signed up for Twitter, so it was early 2008. If I longed onto Twitter at that stage I wasn't really communicating with phys ed teachers at all, it was mostly with people who were doing e-learning type roles in schools and I guess they were turning up at the site, they were seeing applications of things I did in phys ed and a lot of conversations and friends I made in those early years were with people who were in those sort of roles. And that trickled down they shared the site with their phys ed teachers and eventually when mobile became more prevalent, that's around about 2010 and '11 that's when the site became this,
[00:07:00] much more dominant resource in the phys ed space and it was probably just right time right place. It already had two or three years of writing at that stage, just nothing but sharing resources and then the right device came along that matched with phys ed and yeah it went from there.
But the funny thing is round about two months in I got a blog post comment and this is what it said, exactly to the word: "This is the trust and most brilliant thing I've ever read." And I read that and I was like whoa someone, this is amazing and you know how motivational these things can be and only two or three years later did I realize that was a spam post. That was not an authentic that was legitimately a spam.
Carl Condliffe: That's hilarious.
Jarrod Robinson: So I think about that all the time and think if I hadn't got that post would I have continued doing it? Would that have led to me finding a real audience of people and would that have led to where we were are now. It's funny to think.
Carl Condliffe: Yeah it is. You say right place, right time and stuff like that
[00:08:00] but I know you've read Outliers and I've read it as well and it's a fantastic book, but there are, I think there's a whole lot more in that path of being of innovative in PE, so I think you still would have got there.
Jarrod Robinson: Yeah, cool.
Carl Condliffe: From there you went on and started designing some apps, how did that pan out?
Jarrod Robinson: Sure did. Again it was the early mobile phone craze. I remember getting my first iPhone and just being amazed at the possibilities. I remember searching on the store for just forever trying to find things that were appropriate for my industry and my audience and writing about them. I realize there wasn't a lot, there was a few things and this stage there was the Run Keeper app which I was just blown away that you could do that and I got thinking about that well that's cool but it would be nicer if it did X. So I set about to build an app that did that and in particular the Cooper's test, which is the 12 minute run fitness test, quite common here in Oz
[00:09:00] and ever where else in the world and I thought about how I could appetize that, I don't even know if that's a word, but it is now and --
Carl Condliffe: Sounds good.
Jarrod Robinson: I wanted to build an app that would let you run for twelve minutes and then at the end of twelve minutes it would give your distance and your fitness and it would be a much easier way to facilitate the test then setting up the cones and markers and having kids run around a track.
Carl Condliffe: So none of this, you didn't start out wanting to make money in apps you wanted them for your own teaching to make, you found, you wanted things to be able to operate in a way that was going to make life easier for you.
Jarrod Robinson: The catalyst of this app was I had some kids who missed the day where we did it at school where I had to laborious set up the thirty minutes, the fitness test and I thought they've missed it, now I've got to go and do it at lunch time and set up again. I thought wouldn't this be so easy, I'd been using run keeper at the time, wouldn't it be easy just to have an app that did that and I'd just say go and run in your own time and then I'll have your results for the test. And that's what set about that journey.
It was about
[00:10:00] solving a problem for me and if I solved it for me and I was my target audience then it's probably going to be useful for other PE teachers as well. So I remember putting up the job on a website when you can find talent to build stuff like this and it cost $500 to make it and I remember at that time thinking this is a lot of money and I don't really have much, I just did it and got the first app successful. It wasn't great in terms of how it looked but it functioned and then just kept doing it.
Carl Condliffe: Easy. Looking at your website, you've got on your homepage there learn how to use game changing technologies in your PE classroom. So that's kind of, that's what you do now, you host workshops and you do this around the world. And they seem to be really popular.
Jarrod Robinson: Yeah we love it. So obviously stuff is where we have most of our audience, we can't travel everywhere. But there's nothing more satisfying
[00:11:00] than running a workshop in a place, New Zealand's been a massive supporter of what we do. We love getting over there at least once or twice a year and walking away from a group of people that you've had a chance to do a workshop with, there's no better feeling.
The follow up stuff that happen after that, it's great to see people using stuff in their classes that has an impact, not just because I say it does or because it might be nice to do some tech because it's the hottest thing but because the thing that they're looking to do is benefited by the technology and that becomes, that becomes a motivator to do more and yeah we've been to 30, 32 or 3 countries so far and we just continuing doing them because of the success that each one brings and it's a great chance to see the world as well.
Carl Condliffe: Yeah, yeah I've been to two of yours now and I think the one thing that stuck out for me was at the start of the one that was in New Plymouth you said we're going to look at maybe twelve apps but you encouraged us to really
[00:12:00] just pick one or two that are going to help us in the classroom, have some immediate effect and not try to do everything all at once but focus specifically on those two and I think that's some really good guidance around or for teachers who are really just getting started with technology and PE, just focus on one thing that is going to help you and allow you to be innovative in the classroom. So that was some really good advice that you gave. You also have Connected PE community, what is that?
Jarrod Robinson: Well we've, I mean obviously the phys ed technology stuff and the Pe Geek has been a real big driver for the trail and so on but it really ignores many of the other aspects of the phys ed landscape.
So it's all about technology in phys ed, because we've grown this big audience globally we still get a lot of emails of stuff that was, how can I do assessment in this class or what can I do in this area or that area. And I would typically say it's not what we do the PE Geek but having
[00:13:00] seen all these questions it just made sense to create a community that was much more diverse and then use the connections that I'd made online to bring in experts who could answer those questions because I only really see myself as quite knowledgeable in the tech space and other areas I have a basic understanding.
So it was about providing a framework and the mechanism and the service, I think it's more of a service around arranging content that is from other experts. So other people in that, professors and doctors and so on in the phys ed landscape. It's been good. We've deliberately slowed down social media, I think social media has this tendency to be too fast for many of the people that we serve and the Connected PE community is about slowing it down, making the essential stuff available for people on demand, it's sort of like a buffet of professional development, they come, they get what they need when they need it and they don't have to come back for a month or so. But when they come
[00:14:00] back there's something there for them, to professionally grow.
Carl Condliffe: There's definitely some good content in there that I've seen and the online conference that you ran this year was just generated a ton of really good content from great experts in our learning area. So there's heaps to take in there if you haven't looked at it yet or haven't visited, go and check it out it's definitely worth a look. Keeping on this theme of supporting and helping teachers you launched or you ran a conference this year which was, that's a pretty epic task running alone and not even in your own country. So how did that pan out for you? What was the deal with that?
Jarrod Robinson: Yeah well honestly our workshops have been successful but they're 30/40 people in a room max. One person, one facilitator, one topic. But we wanted to do something bigger than that because we realized that there's more impact in there
[00:15:00] if you can get more people and you can focus on more topics. We decided that we'd launch the Connected PE conference in Dubai and we picked Dubai for reason because it's really accessible to the world and there's no major phys ed conference already happening there.
So we set out this time last year to lock all the pieces together and it took a whole year to get it going and we stopped at no, we didn't really put in limits on who we'd invite, we invited the people that we thought could bring the most value to the conference from all corners of the globe as our expert master class leaders. It was a conference but we put heavy emphasis on this workshop model of deliver where people go into extended sessions to get a bit more into the activities that they're doing rather than just sitting, conferences tend to be--
Carl Condliffe: That's that bell.
Jarrod Robinson: Conferences tend to be more about grabbing something quickly and moving onto the next session
[00:16:00] and sometimes it's all hype but no real cut through. So we wanted to really focus in on depth in it but maybe attend less sessions. So it was really successful, we're currently just about to confirm our date for our 2017 one and bring the same model also to places like Kenya and Singapore and hopefully in two years’ time also we've got the Connected PE conference running in all continents.
Carl Condliffe: That'll be awesome. I love how you can, now that you have this Connected PE community you can pair those together and the professional learning doesn't end at the end of the conference like we see, I think you touched on a little bit that you get all pumped up and then you leave the conference and then it's like what next but you have this ongoing supportive environment.
Jarrod Robinson: Yeah that was a real focus of ours. So it had all the pre-webinars, so even if you weren't attending the conference you still got the benefit of the eight or nine pre-webinars
[00:17:00] that happened for the conference and then we recorded as many sessions as we could at the conference so that even if you were in Alaska and you were part of the community you could still watch it. The eventual goal, the ultimate goal of the Connected PE community is to make all of our face-to-face stuff zero cost. We don't want to charge for those. But the community would be the one time annual subscription or whatever we choose to do and then that gives you access to attend whatever face-to-face events you can do and if it's running in every continents then you can attend it probably pretty easily.
Carl Condliffe: Yup. What was your best take away from that in terms of a presenter who really made you go wow that's something really cool?
Jarrod Robinson: I think Doctor Dean Dudley, someone who I followed online on Twitter for a long time, he's like an academic and researcher and [00:17:48] (unclear) Sydney even. And he presented a framework for physical literacy that was just absolutely really easy for people to grasp. We hear this word physical
[00:18:00] literacy a lot but what does it really mean? What are we trying to achieve? What are the things that make it up?
He presented this core framework that is backed by research that is absolutely easy to attach to in terms of your school focus and your school vision. He also liked physical literacy and the pursuit of it to early 1800s the actual challenge to get everyone to be able to read and write and that was successful, most of the world can, there's still a percentage that can't but he looked at what they did to make that possible and sort of related that to what we could do as physical educators and people trying to get people active and so on for life. And there's a lot of lesson, there's a lot of commonalities and he's saying that most of the physical literacy literature doesn't even look at the success of literacy as a bit of a catalyst for what they could do. So he wants everyone to be mindful of where we've been.
[00:19:00] Carl Condliffe: Yeah that makes sense, you've got that term literacy there, you'd think there someone had thought to kind of look at those relationships and the approaches.
Jarrod Robinson: No they haven't, they really haven't and there's so many parallels between what we did to get the world literate and what we could do to get the world physically literate. It's amazing when you start to think of it like that.
Carl Condliffe: Is his presentation up on the community?
Jarrod Robinson: Yeah it is, it's inside the community and it's definitely been one that's generated quite a bit of discussion and rightly so because it's a hot topic.
Carl Condliffe: Cool, cool. Looking forward to hearing more about your dates for next year and I know that one Kiwi attended this year, he didn't come from New Zealand he's in international school but it'd be cool to get some more Kiwis heading out to attend. You're, gee well we're at what, 21 minutes already, you, the reason I had this podcast is you're developing a new app and you presold this
[00:20:00] app but I think it's launched now. From what I've seen it appears to be super innovative and something that I think probably quite a few New Zealanders or New Zealand schools will be interested in this, Monsuta Fitness, so tell us a bit about that.
Jarrod Robinson: Yeah there's a couple of schools in New Zealand already using it which is good. But we sort of looked at early Pokémon Go crazy and we just, as it swept through the planet and people were all over it and there was obviously phys ed teachers looking at ways they could grab it and repurpose it and jam it into their curriculum and while that's got some inherent good aspects to it. It's, a little bit wrong to just and try pick up everything that's hot and active and throw into our curriculum without much thought.
So we thought well what are the best attributes of the Pokémon Go that are getting people, everyone crazy, everyone thinking about it and it's like the hunting and the adventure and it's the gamification, leveling up aspects and it's the social
[00:21:00] aspects around it. And we thought well they're transferable into other situations and just related to this game and they're not just unique to this game. In fact they're not new to this game at all, Pokémon Go. So we grabbed those core elements and we tried to build a game around something that's a little bit more phys ed centric.
So in this particular example we wanted to build a fitness experience. So rather than capturing a Pokémon so you can progress it and battle other Pokémon we wanted to put the person who was doing the hunting into an exercise experience and that was our goal. Same sort of idea, you find them, you hunt them, you then get presented with an activity and you have to complete that activity and then you then progress through the game. But the real difference is that the schools have decision on where they place them. So you as a school head, whatever, head of PE can use your school as a canvas and place
[00:22:00] these different activity monsters through the school and go and battle them and kids progress. So that's been the real difference I guess, the complete control over the experience which people have enjoyed.
Carl Condliffe: I like that idea. I listened to a presentation yesterday at one of the Wellington PE workshops and a teacher spoke place responsive education and how we're really quick to leave our local community and seek experiences away from our school which means the students don't necessarily have as much bind or it doesn't have as much meaning to them and I think Monsuta fitness has the potential for students to be able to explore their area more and I know these students are within the school every day and they know the place really well but being able to just, for a teacher to place it somewhere that maybe is area that's not accessible a lot or the students don't go there,
[00:23:00] but just making them more familiar and more appreciative of their environment, I think that's really cool that the school or the teacher actually can place these things where they want, I think it's kind of--
Jarrod Robinson: Really focused so we have these custom monsters too which aren't tied to a prescribed activity that we've set. So you could very much create a path around the local area and in it you could have questions that revise students about topics or you could create a sort of historical journey through an important part of your community. So it's not just limited to the exercise world and the warm up activity, it could be a real learning path and that's been exciting to see what people are creating with that in mind as more tied to other subject areas.
Carl Condliffe: Yeah that's fantastic. I do a little bit geocaching and there's a lot of those. You can do some memorable
[00:24:00] walks or landmark walks where you go from one to the next landmark and find caches in there. So that's very similar and I think that's important that we acknowledge other learning areas and because I think PE's, I think we're one of the most innovative learning areas. I don't know why because phys eders tend not to be too techy but for some reason we just embrace technology and we do that really well but I think other learner areas, more learning areas should get on board but that seems to be a pretty slow uptake from what I can see, my personal experience anyway. So that approach to allow things like you mentioned being able to explore other areas has a lot of potential.
So aside from Monsuta fitness which sounds awesome, looks awesome from what I've seen can you tell us about any emerging technologies that you're aware of that kind of has a potential to be a real game changer for PE? I know this morning a few of us
[00:25:00] were on Twitter having a few Tweets about virtual reality, is that something that's going to be big or is there some other thing that you know of that we might not.
Jarrod Robinson: Yeah I did a podcast episode about this recently in my series. Bit of a rant, and I spoke about quite a few emerging technologies that will disrupt education whether you want to or not. But we have the opportunity to embrace them and sort of deliver learning opportunities that match up with good crafted experience or we cannot. So I'd rather embrace them.
A couple of those tech that we should be on the lookout for are things like virtual reality and it was easy to dismiss it when it was polygon type experience, where you didn't really feel like you were immersed. But eventually within the next two or three/four years the virtual reality experience you get through the lens will be at the same framerate as our eyes can detect. So you'll actually have no difference in being able to tell if this thing is real or not.
[00:26:00] Now that might sound scary but it presents major opportunities for learning. If you can be transported through a virtual experience, you're sitting in Auckland and all of a sudden you're in Paris and you're walking through the Louvre and it's like you're really there. We can start to craft a completely different learning experience. And the same is true for phys ed. If you can use VR to craft an experience that feels authentic that is maybe you are in a game and it's a game like scenario and you're making decision, you're being assessed on those decisions, I mean this is all going to be possible.
And then when you tie that with other disruptive technologies like senses, I think we're going to reach a stage where we get to there being over 100 billion different sense as in you know like cameras are a sensor, accelerometers are sensors, they’re going to be in everything, including our wearable shirts and that presents opportunities. So the shirt that a kid are wearing in a
[00:27:00] sport class or in your PE class that's just a normal shirt could have heart rate technology in it without being able to wear anything it's just present. The very same token it could give you feedback to either run technique or all sorts of things and it sounds farfetched but it's reality and it's quite predictable now because of how fast things progress and the exponential growth pattern that we're on. It's exciting, it's also a little bit scary but I'm just here to say that people should embrace it. It's not going to replace you, it's going to enhance you.
Carl Condliffe: I think that's, I hadn't really thought about, you just mentioned there about it's rolling and technique through element and stuff like that. So like having a skins pants and top and performing a movement and then I'm pretty sure and in no time you'll be able to get feedback on how far off you are off the most efficient technique or movement, that's, that doesn't sound too farfetched to me and that’s' just, it's phenomenal.
Jarrod Robinson: Not at all and quite personalized too. I mean
[00:28:00] we're really subjective with a lot of the stuff that we do related to that. This wouldn't be, it'd be objective and it would be personal and it would be all the things that we talk about as being good practice. But we'll have a tool to augment that. I had a podcast interview recently about 3D printing which I think was tremendous example of the ten/twenty years away from here where this whole idea of ordering sports equipment and having it delivered to you and the sports equipment is not really custom it's sort of designed for a general market, it could be quite obsoleting that you could print on demand the equipment to match with the learning stage of your student that was relevant to the weight that they could use and we could craft these experiences much more deeply than what we do now.
Carl Condliffe: I think it's, it's a really interesting time to be a teacher and seeing some of these technologies emerge I've, I almost wish I was a teacher maybe in another, I'd started my career in another
[00:29:00] five to ten years where I'm going to get the benefit of all this technology as it's emerging, but yeah we'll see, we'll see what happens in that space and what comes from it and how teachers choose to embrace it.
Jarrod Robinson: I mean for the most part a lot of the tech, I mean people are going to be skeptic, like that's fine. And the reason they can be skeptic is for the most part all these tech have existed for a long time, 3D printers 1980 they came out, virtual reality 1980, but they've been so minimal power and so small opportunity that they've been mostly disregarded, they're deceptive, they've been sitting in the background slowly building in capacity and we've just ignored them because they haven't really done much. Same with robotics, I mean robotics we look at them, they're not very smart but each year they get more powerful, they get more capable and eventually you reach a point where they supersede the fact that they could do stuff much better.
I love the Kodak story
[00:30:00] as just an example of how these things change. You know Kodak was this enormous company in the early 1800s and into the 1900s and they did obviously print, film cameras and that was their thing. They had an in-house technician build what would become the first digital camera and they presented it to the board and they said we can do this and this can be our thing and we can own the rights and it got dismissed and it was because at the time it took a 0.1 megapixel photo and why would you need like when you have these beautiful prints that come out really crystal clear. But each year that tech kept getting better and better, exponentially increased to a point where Kodak is now bankrupt. So there's going to be a lot of Kodak moments, a lot of tech that we look at now and think that's, could never possibly impact education. It will, it absolutely will. So smart teachers will look at ways they can embrace it to be better.
[00:31:00] Carl Condliffe: Yeah, yeah and we need to. It's just, I just Googled Kodak just then and they've just launched the camera phone which is interesting and the title is Kodiak the iconic camera company that famously failed to adapt to the world of digital and smart phone cameras.
Jarrod Robinson: They did, yeah.
Carl Condliffe: They might be a little bit late to market though I think. Last question, you're a pretty big gamer much like myself, just not as good. What are you playing right now?
Jarrod Robinson: Couldn't help myself I didn't get the new Call of Duty Infinite Warfare. Big, big fan of the series, always keep up to date with it and play it and I just know that if I, if I get sucked back into the game, the multiplayer thing I might lose some hours in my day but a just sort of testament to how well-crafted these game experiences are. It's easy to dismiss them if you don't play them but wow they're immersive. They encapsulate so
[00:32:00] much of what we should hope to aspire in our classrooms. That's why I like them because they really do immerse in whatever the game is about and I think that's a lesson for us.
Carl Condliffe: Yeah. Yup, I'm a big fan and I actually, I remember being a lot younger and thinking man wouldn't it be cool to one day. I used to play a lot of the basketball games, wouldn't it be cool to one day just be able to play someone from America, someone who's lived basketball their whole life and it didn't take that long for that to become a reality but they are immersive and I think teachers can learn a lot from video games. I've got a gamification presentation that I do and try to encourage teachers to be more accepting of games and they're coming around and once they see some of those game mechanics and how they have applications in teaching and they're more willing to embrace those.
Look I really want to thank you for stopping by. I've
[00:33:00] gotten to know you over the last four/five months and you've been a big support and help to what I've been trying to achieve with some of things I'm doing on the side and I really appreciate that, you've changed the way I look at a few things and you've been really helpful and you've also changed I think phys ed teaching for a lot of people around the world and I don't know too many people that have had a really big impact on education and I think you're one of them and we owe you a lot for everything you've done. So keep it up, keep innovating and again I really appreciate you stopping by to have a chat and I'll put some of those links around Monsuta Fitness and Connected PE community and all that I'll put that in the show notes. So listeners make sure you check some of that out. But Jarrod thanks again for coming along.
Jarrod Robinson: Absolute pleasure, any chance to talk tech and games and anything, I'm just going to be all over it. So yeah keep up the work that you're doing, I look forward to having you on my podcast soon.
Carl Condliffe: Alright mate, cheers.
Jarrod Robinson: See you.

NZPETeachercast Episode 8 – Socio-critical thought in practical PE

In todays episode we hear from Cam Smith from Scots College as he discusses socio-critical thought and its practical applications in junior and senior PE. We also spend some time talking about his Masters in Education as well as making some bold predication’s about the All Blacks.

Cams slide deck from PENZ Conference 2016.

The PE Gear Shed on Facebook.

Music by Bensound.

Read Full Transcript

Episode 8- Socio-critical Thought in Practical PE
Duration: [00:31:04] Cameron Smith: For me social-critical thought is basically sociological issues that relate to movement and it's kind of things how I use it as I look for issues around sociology to do with my boys in PE, so that's really towards them. So to think critically and think about assumptions but also take action.
Carl Condliffe: You're listening to the NZ PE Teachercast! A podcast sharing some of the inspirational stories from amazing health and physical education teachers.
Today's episode is sponsored by My Study Series, an online learning platform by New Zealand PE teachers for New Zealand PE teachers
[00:01:00] and their students. Check it out now at
Kia Ora everyone I'm here with Cameron Smith from Scots College in Wellington. I've just turned up with some coffee from Roxy's Cinema and had a look at their bell tower which was, had a bit of spray paint on it from a local school this morning, but it's been taken down, so quick to action there. It's the last day of senior's so we're having a few pranks left and right and center. There's been a few cars cellophaned at my school so hopefully it doesn't get any worse than that. So welcome to the podcast Cam.
Cameron Smith: Thanks man.
Carl Condliffe: Just before we get started, can you tell us a little bit about your teaching background and experience and a couple of tidbits about your school and the students you teach?
Cameron Smith: Yeah sure, I've been teaching, well kind of only
[00:02:00] for seven years. So first five and a half.
Carl Condliffe: Not 19 like Celia.
Cameron Smith: No, not 19, not at same school now. So five and a half with Mary Lambert over at HC and I've been here at Scots for one and a half years now. Extremely different schools, HC obviously co-ed mid decile. Scots being decile ten private all boys when I turned up I was like what the hell is this. So academies all over the places, football, cricket, full time coaches. Weird feel at first, actually the whole private school, it felt like a business and I wasn't 100% sure about it. But I love it now. So yeah, no I really enjoy it. I'll give Scots a little bet of credit, even though the place looks like Hogwarts it's actually quite for a boys' school quite progressive and they're not as results driven and stuff and they're not afraid of change which is, it's cool.
[00:03:00] Going into the interview I probably had my assumptions about the place but I was pleasantly surprised.
Carl Condliffe: Did you expect just how different it would be coming in? Did you a fair about what that was, what the differences would be like?
Cameron Smith: Obviously all boys being different but I had no idea about private school. So I'd never even been in a private school or anything like that before. So I had no idea what it was like and it was, it was a big shock just in terms of how it ran. It was like a business, I guess it is a business.
Carl Condliffe: High expectations from parents?
Cameron Smith: Massive.
Carl Condliffe: How does that rear its head? Emails or phone calls and--?
Cameron Smith: Yeah emails usually, although to be honest with you I don't know if their perception but as a PE teacher I don't get a lot, so I haven't had any parents challenging grades or anything like that. But you definitely hear a lot from the parents and they do put, not so much on the teachers I found but they put a lot of pressure on their kids when they send them there, obviously pay a lot of money
[00:04:00] and they really, which at least it keeps kid honest but it does put a lot of pressure on them, academically.
Carl Condliffe: Money aside it's kind of good to see parents taking a real strong interest in the kid's achievement.
Cameron Smith: That's probably the most thing I like about the place is there a value for education. The kids are actually, the boys are really, really nice and stuff but they do actually value learning, which is nice.
Carl Condliffe: I've just noticed, I've plunked the microphone down on this resource that I haven't seen for about ten years.
Cameron Smith: This isn't mine mate, this isn't mind. This is my HOD's.
Carl Condliffe: For those of you, it's hard to describe over a podcast but a big huge ring binder with segmented sports with lessons and there must be about twelve different sports in there, sixteen different sports with lessons and everything. I used this a lot when I was a beginning teacher, it's quite good. I think it, I'd probably still use it now
[00:05:00] if I could find it.
Cameron Smith: That's my HOD's, I don't know if he uses it or it's a book weight or what.
Carl Condliffe: That's pretty big.
Cameron Smith: Next time I'll have to, yeah it's something, isn't it?
Carl Condliffe: So if you had a specialty per say I would assume it would be social critical thinking relating to PE, that's I guess what you're known for I think. So can you explain what this term social critical thinking is and how it guides your teaching?
Cameron Smith: Yeah sure. To be honest if you asked me this question two and a half years ago I would have said what the hell is social-critical thinking and I was probably pretty results driven kind of a little bit of sport driven and stuff like that and probably didn't change, probably all changed when I wanted to teach scholarship, so I went into my old year twelve tutor teacher Mr. Mead down in Prime and my seventh form--
Carl Condliffe: Oh you, you're a Prime boy.
Cameron Smith: Yeah, he was my seventh form football coach as well, yeah so I was a Pram boy and he was my, he never taught me but he was my form teacher so
[00:06:00] I went back there and he'll probably hate that because it'll show how old is, because I'm not that back and --
Carl Condliffe: I don't know if he listens, I don't know if he listens to the podcast. If he does then we'll know that now.
Cameron Smith: So went back and kind of had a really big yarn to him about what scholarship were about and the importance of this because I taught year thirteen but beside from kind or reading on paper and maybe what I learned at university and at teachers college, I didn't know a hell of a lot about it. So went back and kind of the masters of reading around it when I started that, I know you're going to talk to me about that later.
But for me social-critical thought is basically sociological issues that relate to movement. It's kind of things, how I use it is I look for issues around sociology to do with my boys in PE, so that's really towards. So kind of to think critically and think about assumptions but also take action. My big push is often, and I'll talk about it later, but old Sally Heart's research about
[00:07:00] which interview people that it was, a lot of people thought it was done through theory. I mean it is predominately hard to get your idea, so it was just kind of coming up with ideas and applying the old critical analysis process, so it's nothing new. It's just I've adapted it and stuff like that and presented on it.
Carl Condliffe: No, I like what you said about people assuming that it has to be done through theory and that's why I went along to your, and we'll talk about that in a sec, your presentation at PENZ this year because I thought what the hell, I didn't even know you then, I thought what's this bloke going to talk about, getting social critical thinking into practical decision. I think you demonstrated that really well at PENZ, but you'll talk about that soon. You're doing your masters of education. How are you managing to link that socio-critical thinking to what you're doing in your masters and then how are you going to, or how do you blend the two into your approach to teaching PE? And health, we've got to mention the health side of things.
Cameron Smith: Yeah, yeah. So yeah, as I said before it
[00:08:00] was probably the masters and starting to teach scholarship that kind of got me into thinking about this rethinking back about that curriculum that probably sat in my drawer first two years teaching and forgotten about. So I had some really awesome lectures when I've been doing that online at Waikato so Kirsten Petri really kind of challenge my thought identified why it was so important.
So I already knew about it, but there was, that whole paper that I did was around in issues in health and PE in New Zealand and really make me think about what was important if kid's walk away in terms of PE, in terms of learning. So for me that was quite an important one. So yeah, kind of did that and I also looked at the overuse of sport in PE, with a guy called Clive Pope which was really interesting.
So that got me thinking and Kirsten challenged me to think this is important but how do you do it and keep moving. How do you keep our subject practical? So I look for examples
[00:09:00] but then come up with my own ideas and brought it back. So example was the old Ginger Astaire type, one of the most basic ones where you play a game of tag and you yell out move like a boy or move like a girl and then you reflect using that critical analysis process, that type of thing.
Now my big push was also units that were made around inquiry rather than the context, student-centered and things that are really applicable to the students. We're an all-boys schools and all the boys are decent in accepting diversity, they're not so great at gender stereotyping and stuff though. That's, they need to work.
Carl Condliffe: That task, the one you just described about, that you also did it at the PENZ conference, we were running around and then run like a girl and run like a boy and that sort of thing. Even for me as an experienced health and PE teacher even that opened
[00:10:00] my eyes to a few things that probably I took for granted. So for a kid, student I should call them to go through that I think it's pretty eye opening. I haven't yet done it with my students which I should have but next year definitely. I want to try it with some junior kids too. I think it's, I think you're right, we do need to start thinking about the stuff more than PE because we don't and I think, who was it, maybe in our chat with Matt brought it up, that we as physical educators tend to avoid the social-critical stand that's because they require a lit bit of thinking and they do. But if we can take them into a practical context then that's a little bit easier for us I think to convey that message around those issues.
Going back a couple questions you were saying that uni that doing masters that got you thinking or they encourage to think about student issues and those that might be
[00:11:00] impacting your students. What in your perspective what's the biggest issue facing our community or society or our kids these days?
Cameron Smith: In terms of PE? In terms of movement context or--?
Carl Condliffe: No, in terms of that socio-critical area, sociological.
Cameron Smith: I think we get also bombarded by media, like media dictates kids about what movement should be, it dictates the appearance, my old man would come back and I think I told him that I was presenting at the national conference he said oh you just going to teach the other teachers how to get more fit, and that's that old belief and stuff like that and so it's, yeah, the media's a lot to blame with that, but sometimes you can't blame those people because that's what they grew up with, even that. So the whole fitness misrepresentation and what's fit, our stereotyping around movement.
Even us
[00:12:00] stereotyping around sports and money and things like that. Getting kids to take a bit more action for social justice. So yeah, that's why I see it to be important no one, especially coming here to an all-boys school you do notice it quite a bit. Trying to break that cycle, that PE sport. I had a really good one recently, a boy came in and did [00:12:27] (unclear) that isn't doing senior PE, he's a smart kid.
Carl Condliffe: Good on him.
Cameron Smith: He's a year twelve boy and at the end he really thanked me and said sir I didn't know that PE was that deep. I didn't know you could actually think like that about topics, about sports. So that was a cool thing, actually him going for that critical process was cool and acknowledging that the subject had more than just learning to hit a hockey ball.
Carl Condliffe: I think the media, you're right, they've got a lot to answer for, but I think our students don’t' really, that perception around media
[00:13:00] in New Zealand because it's, I don't know whether because it's not as dominant but I don't think we tend to think of media in that way too much. But thinks like the elections, the presidential elections in the U.S. that are happening at the moment and they're really exposing our students and us to just how powerful they can be in terms of influencing thought and stuff like that. I guess it is a way.
Cameron Smith: You touched on a really good point like we got, sounds all political now, but we got a government that likes to box subjects, for economic gain or for jobs and stuff and I've heard from all these idiots in the politics that have come out and said like the PE and obesity thing where they all say oh PE needs more responsibility or more PE hours just so our kids get fitter. It's that misconceptions about what PE is and it's a bit of a danger as well. If they get hold of that and all of sudden in the
[00:14:00] next couple of years, I watched that obesity debate the other day on Periscope.
Carl Condliffe: Oh did.
Cameron Smith: Yeah, yeah, yeah and they did a really good part where England and even Ozzie now the PE teachers, I might be completely wrong but someone said this, the PE teachers are getting almost standards around what they have to get kids to in terms of BMI and that kind of rubbish, this is a joke. So that's dangerous. There's great things out there but you touched on it as well that sometimes as PE teachers we don't help ourselves, that you can walk around and just see someone teaching the skill to every sport and at the end of the day how can you justify that if you're just teaching a sport. And how that is an area that's important where the ones that probably should be going to conference are probably the ones that aren't.
Carl Condliffe: I think we're quite lucky with what our curriculum provides us, all the flexibility in how we can teach context and we don't have to teach sport and we're encouraged to do that. I think we're really lucky. Going and moving onto
[00:15:00] PENZ conference and you've mentioned this already, but you discussed an over-emphasis on sport performance in the bar of physical and PE for us by teachers and even some disengagement with other strands of the curriculum, which I agree with. But can you elaborate and give us some, well maybe some potential solutions to this issue which is seemingly quite common across the board, this whole avoidance of sociocultural standards and stuff like that.
Cameron Smith: Yeah see I was probably one of them before looking into this two and a half years ago when probably at HC was probably looking at cutting those sociocultural critical standards three years ago because of the results, I didn't really know. Learning a lot more about them has helped me big time and I mentioned Sally Hart's thesis earlier which is a decent read about went to interview a couple of teachers and thinking that it's all done in health or it's not done practically. The big part is and what her
[00:16:00] research shows was that teachers nearly two-fold would choose the biophysical ones like your 2.2/2.3 over the socio-critical and the big thing was that they were practical in that they were actually easier for the kids and a bit more measurable when posed as social critical. A lot of the time from what I've seen through a bit of research and stuff is the social critical is taught all in theory and it doesn't really have that end and through movement part [00:16:31] (?) which can kind of box that area.
So yeah and now the bio-physical tend to be put around sport, I mean even you look at the examples in NZQA and the distinct thing about that is if it's all around sport then you exclude quite a lot of kids. Sport, don't get me wrong, sport's fantastic when it's used properly but if it's used just everything about sport it excludes a lot of kids and PE is where we use sport
[00:17:00] to teach them things, it's not all about sport.
Carl Condliffe: Yes Celia mentioned last week in the podcast that we were talking about charter schools and stuff like that, we got onto that subject somehow and we were talking about if you could create your perfect school and we had talked about a sporting school but she was saying no, no we shouldn't, it's not sport, sport is good but it's about well-being and all the order and all the dimensions, working together and strengthening each other. So your potential solution is teaching it a more practical sense I guess, which is what you demonstrated.
Cameron Smith: Yeah, that's yeah, that's applicable to your kids. Like we did here, what we did this year for level two's, we have a lot of sports people so if we're to use sport we're really critical about it. So we looked at high school sport, you got a lot of boys here on scholarships and stuff and we're critical about so they participate in different scenarios and reflect on that to be critical about that kind of situation.
Carl Condliffe: What sort of example scenario?
Cameron Smith: Basically going back and they all played netball, so they played what we deemed as girls’ sports high school. So I put all the skirts on and that type of thing and then we reflected how that changes our attitudes towards it and why we don't, what would you say if a boy went and played netball here at Scots and the boys really came out that kids should be able to choose what they want to do and we shouldn't have to judge them in that type of thing. So thinking outside the square.
Carl Condliffe: I was thinking of you the other day because I had an order from Hart Sport and they sent the wrong thing and they sent some bibs and those bibs were, I'm at a boys' school and I was like oh should I keep these but I'm not going to use them so we didn't keep them but thinking back maybe I should have and maybe we should be playing netball. We don't have any netball hoops but netball's a great sport.
Cameron Smith: Yeah.
Carl Condliffe: Yeah.
[00:19:00] Cameron Smith: It's that whole thing as well, if we start cutting out those, we shouldn't be driven by achievement standards but if we start cutting them out we've got to narrow stuff down and that whole curriculum about when a PE student walks away that they should be able to think about these things and that really ties into me, I kind of think of it as year ten students never going to take PE again, what can they, and I'm coming back to juniors, but what can they walk away with like so many junior PEs around a mini NCA, where if a kid can walk away with a bit of critical thought about something they can later on in life, they can see something and think about well what's the good about this, what's the bad, what am I missing here in terms of thinking of going and take cross fit or they're going to join a club or something like that. So it's about walking away with thinking rather than--
Carl Condliffe: Well no that was the next question anyway, so should be looking at socio-critical elements in the junior school.
Cameron Smith: Absolutely mate, start young. A lot of my year eight boys
[00:20:00] we do a lot of work around, being critical around competition because they immediately say they suck about basically competition and about them, how they treat females and things like that through movement. I think yeah, it's them being critical about well-being topics is a quite a big one. I definitely think for those juniors about things that are applicable to your students. I just basically rip off the cap as we know it and kind of simplify it. McBain and Gillespie's a really great resource.
Carl Condliffe: What's, what's one thing that -- actually I'm going to hold off on this question. You mentioned something earlier about back when you're at Heretaunga that there was, they were going to pull the socio-critical standards because of the results. Whose decision was it? Was that coming from up top or is that an HOD decision?
[00:21:00] Cameron Smith: Yeah that's a big pressure from that whole reaching that, using the data and data's important to use but when you look at a, this is going back quite a way, that those were those ones that had less pass rates and stuff like that. So as teachers we were reviewing the courses and back then I would have been one of the first ones to say yeah, take it away. Rather thinking about the results rather than what actually students walk away in terms of learning was probably where I was going wrong there.
Carl Condliffe: Yeah you kind of get put in a hard place where you're getting this pressure from upstairs and you're forced to make decisions that are not really in the student's best interest. I mean credit totals is another example in relating to student well-being. If you're being told that the ideal number of credits for your course to offer is 24, your kids can't manage that. Well what are we supposed to do? Do we not offer 24 credits and then we get a knock on the door toward the end of the year going well
[00:22:00] where's, it makes it really difficult for us.
Cameron Smith: That was the beauty in doing the masters, it was getting my head out of the school again. You get so trapped in results, results, results, this, this and that and that you kind of forget about what's important for a kid to learn and take away. So that's, that's why I think that we should have a bit of socio-critical, bio-physical leadership, well-being it should be all in there rather than just taking away one thing. It's kind of that, that kind of results driving from the schools of course comes from the ministry as well. It puts a lot of pressure.
Carl Condliffe: Yeah so it's not fair to blame it on the principal or senior management because they're getting it from--
Cameron Smith: Yeah, it's where it's come from and it's not fair on the HOD's because they're under the pump to, they'll be answering if they didn't get for standards, why didn't they pass this or why have you still got this here. Yeah, so I'm a bit disappointed that whole push for results.
Carl Condliffe: One thing a PE teacher could do right now PE/Health
[00:23:00] teacher could do to incorporate more of the socio-critical elements into their teaching.
Cameron Smith: Cool think about some issues that lie around their school or related to the students, something like that.
Carl Condliffe: Needs to link into the students, huh.
Cameron Smith: Yeah needs to link in for them to take action and read "The Critical Analysis" was it McBain and Gillespie and adapt it. So basically have them participate in a scenario that is naturally unjust, either one team's advantaged something like that. Then have them feel that injustice and see that and reflect on it. So set up that practical scenario and reflect on it and then come up with ideas on how to take action and do it.
Yeah, definitely think read more and stuff like that about that kind of areas, there's some cool stuff out there it's just another ways of showing how it's done practically and that's something we don't want to lose as an area. You don't want to lose your practical nature. I think you raise one with Mattie that I
[00:24:00] actually was going to ask you about, that whole name change and you're 100% right about the assumptions that we have from parents, from kids and that but the point is that I think education now, a name's really important but it does carry that baggage.
Carl Condliffe: I hadn't thought what you just mentioned there, the importance of our name physical education and that does hold some value. I'm still a bit lost with that process and where I'm at that, I don't know. I think, I'm interested to see how next year goes for us with a few different changes that we're trying to implement which might make things a little bit different, but to be honest I don't know and people have tried this and that and changing this and seeing how that works for them and it seems like sometimes the same issues are still there regardless of
[00:25:00] what it is. So obviously it's much deeper than just a name change, it's a culture of assumptions that comes with that.
Cameron Smith: Do you think, I mean part of it is still, I mean as I said earlier like usually the teachers that want to find about more stuff go conference, the ones that don't are probably the ones that are still rolling the ball out or something like that. You don't want to mandate anything but PE teachers need to be a bit more accountable for how they teach.
Carl Condliffe: Yup, well if PE was, if all PE teachers were operating at a level that you and I probably think PE should operate at then maybe these assumptions wouldn't exist. The fact that they're still there, there are obviously PE teachers that still whether that is how they want to teach or rather it's just a little bit of ignorance or lack of understanding I don't know, but it must still be happening for these assumptions to still exist. So it's a bit of a worry but
[00:26:00] it's the same I talked about getting parents to parent teacher evenings that you need to there and they don't come. It's like if a person doesn't want to take the first step then how are you going to meet them.
Cameron Smith: Good point.
Carl Condliffe: What's one piece of technology that you can't do without in your teaching and it doesn't have to be PE related.
Cameron Smith: Easy, YouTube.
Carl Condliffe: YouTube.
Cameron Smith: Yeah, YouTube is gold I reckon for teaching. I reckon there's a day goes by I don't use YouTube somehow.
Carl Condliffe: I still hear from schools who have YouTube, it's locked, locked up.
Cameron Smith: Yeah I'm waiting until, and it won't happen here and stuff, we hope it won't because I'll throwing the toys but that's just stupid. Like seriously, YouTube is I mean flip for the OS, even for differentiation, like kids that want to work ahead and there's links to the videos and we have Wi-Fi so they just kind of work on what kind level they're at. There's so much out there as well, there's only so much you can talk about as a teacher where
[00:27:00] there's only so much more you can show and things like that. YouTube is, and keep fit as well. If you have good Wi-Fi it helps. Yeah.
Carl Condliffe: What are the YouTube thing, like one of the best speakers I've heard is a guy called Will Richardson and he discusses, well he mentions that the curriculum is just our best guess at what our kids should know. A fraction of all of the knowledge and information in the world, our curriculum is just our best guess at what our kids should know. Then we go and say know I'm the best person to teach that to you.
We lock our kids within four walls and say this is how you're going to learn this stuff. In all honesty I'm not an expert, I'm an expert on some things but not everything. It's about empowering our students to go and seek answers elsewhere and be able to interpret information and pull out the good from the bad and decipher what
[00:28:00] that means for them and their context. That's what some of the power that YouTube has, it opens up a whole other world where these kids can be learning.
Cameron Smith: That's fantastic. You look now with the technology teachers don't have to teach content, it's all there. Kids can go away and like the flipped classroom can learn that in their own time. It's us to use that understanding they have to make them think harder. That's why I love YouTube, there's gold everywhere on there.
Carl Condliffe: I think you're probably the first teacher I've heard say that they love YouTube because people are reluctant to say that they use YouTube because they feel that they're the expert. I don't know.
Cameron Smith: No, I'm definitely not.
Carl Condliffe: When did YouTube kick off, like I can't remember teaching without YouTube?
Cameron Smith: I don't know, I'm just trying to think back even seven years ago I was using YouTube and we just, I teach a humanities class as well and we just did this whole thing on globalization and we looked at YouTube and where it started and I can't remember.
[00:29:00] Yeah, not quite sure. It's not too long ago.
Carl Condliffe: No, it's good. I can't imagine how many hours of content goes up goes up every second, that's phenomenal. Last question, All Blacks, by the time people hear this they would have either broken the record or not broken the record, 18 wins on the trot. Are they going to beat Ireland this weekend?
Cameron Smith: Easily.
Carl Condliffe: And how long, what they've got after that, they've got France, who else they got?
Cameron Smith: I don't know who they're playing next, do you?
Carl Condliffe: But they're going to be about four, two against Ireland, France and there's one other team.
Cameron Smith: They're not playing England.
Carl Condliffe: Not playing England, they're not playing Wales.
Cameron Smith: They're just in Chicago at the moment, I was off [00:29:38] (unclear) day so I watched the Cubs in the final that was great. Chicago'll be partying.
Carl Condliffe: Yeah, well that's their first one in 97 years or something or something like that.
Cameron Smith: 100 and something like that.
Carl Condliffe: So how long's this All Black streak going to go for?
Cameron Smith: I can't see anyone beating us.
Carl Condliffe: Not this year anyway.
Cameron Smith: Not this year, maybe next year.
[00:30:00] I don't like to give [00:30:01] (unclear) too much credit though, I like to wind them up. But yeah, you've got to love the All Blacks.
Carl Condliffe: Yeah, oh good. Alright Cam I really appreciate you letting me stop by and have a chat, I think this whole concept of getting the social critical aspects of thinking into a practical context within PE and Health is a good way forward. I think listeners should really have go at some of the things you mentioned about how we can just immediately incorporate in the social critical dimensions into PE. So I really encourage you to do that. I will put in the show notes your Twitter handle so people can Tweet you some stuff, maybe your experiences so they give some of these a shot. So I really appreciate you having a chat today.
Cameron Smith: Yeah, have a look at maybe my PE Shed as well.
Carl Condliffe: Yes, PE Shed, so there's some really good information going out there. A lot of social critical stuff too might I add. So I appreciate you
[00:31:00] taking the time out.
Cameron Smith: Cheers mate.