Whether you watched The Oscars this year or not, you’ve surely heard the rumblings about the historical lack of diversity in nominations and winners. This year, Michelle Yeoh won the award for Best Actress for her role in “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” and made history as the first Asian woman to win a lead-actress Oscar in the show’s history. If you do a quick search online you’ll see viral videos of kids screaming for joy when seeing characters that look like them in various animated features. Why is this important? Simply put, because representation matters. And not just in film, but everywhere.
Representation is vital in education, especially when it comes to kids. To feel validated and engaged, children need to see aspects of themselves and their experiences reflected in the material they learn and experience. Representation is also crucial in sports because it allows athletes from diverse backgrounds to feel seen and heard. Kids of all ages, genders, races, and ethnicities should have equal opportunity to participate in various sports and feel like they belong.
Hiveclass is committed to making quality physical education and youth sports training accessible to all kids, no matter their background. We make sure that our content highlights kids of different ages, ethnicities and body types instead of featuring professional athletes or trainers. When kids see athletes who look like them and come from similar backgrounds, it can inspire them to pursue similar athletic dreams. This can also help break down stereotypes and reduce prejudice, creating a more inclusive sports culture.
What are some ways in which you can provide space and support for representation in your Physical Education programs and classes? Here are a couple of suggestions to consider:
Review Your Curriculum & Content
Regardless of a student’s gender, color, ethnicity, or ability, P.E. classes should work to provide an inclusive and equitable learning environment that meets their requirements. Teachers can support students in seeing themselves reflected in the curriculum and feeling empowered to engage in activities by offering various examples and role models. Additionally, reviewing the curriculum and content helps instructors recognize and address unconscious biases and prejudices that may be reinforced by the materials and examples they use. Being aware & mindful of the content served in class ultimately helps to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment for all students.
Promoting inclusivity in P.E. makes sure that all students are made to feel seen, heard, and valued. Kids who feel accepted and included in their learning surroundings are more likely to have a positive attitude towards school, leading to greater performance.
Build Cultural Competence
Exposure to varied viewpoints and experiences helps kids develop cultural competency. By including diverse representation in education, kids learn about different cultures, beliefs, and traditions, which helps to reduce prejudice and foster empathy.
When kids see themselves represented in what they are learning, they are more likely to be invested in the topic, leading to better levels of engagement, and increased performance.
Prepare Students for the World Ahead
In our increasingly diverse society, it is essential to have a deep understanding and appreciation for differences. By exposing students to multiple perspectives and experiences, they are better equipped to understand the world around them and engage with others from different backgrounds.
Representation is crucial for kids, and frankly, the world. As educators, or role models for young kids, it’s crucial to foster an environment that represents the diversity of our communities, ensuring that every kid feels seen, heard, and appreciated. At Hiveclass, we hope to one day make it possible for kids worldwide to have equal access to quality physical education and youth sports training. How will you use Hiveclass to create access and promote representation in your school or community?