Brock Centre for Sport Capacity launches free e-learning resources for secondary teachers

The Centre for Sport Capacity (CSC) has partnered with Brock students to create two new e-learning resources for teachers that integrate sport across multiple areas and courses in the Grade 9 to 12 Ontario curriculum.

“The COVID-19 pandemic presented the CSC with a unique opportunity to respond to secondary school teachers’ need for online teaching and learning resources that meet Ontario curriculum requirements,” says Director of the Centre for Sport Capacity Julie Stevens. “We know certain courses are more challenging to teach online so we are sharing sport subject matter ranging from health and sciences (biology, chemistry and physics) to history, social justice and business, which offer new and different ways for students to explore the curriculum.”

To ensure effective knowledge mobilization and outreach, the CSC partnered with Hilary Brown, Associate Dean Professional and Undergraduate Student Services in the Faculty of Education, and teacher candidates to draw on their expertise in curriculum design.

Two teams of Consecutive Teacher Education students brought together their sport experiences and knowledge of the Ontario secondary curriculum. The teams designed e-learning resources to be flexible, allowing teachers to use the entire resource or adapt specific modules to their needs.

“Our goal when creating this resource was to ease the burden felt by our whole education system, as we had to quickly pivot to an online learning format,” said team member and recent Brock graduate Rachael Holmes (BEd ’20). “During these challenging times, everyone needs a little extra support from their community. Our intention in creating this resource was to provide a small ounce of that support.”

The newly launched resources include two comprehensive units of study.

“Sport: A Connection to Health and Society covers a range of topics, including mental health, physical and social well-being, nutrition, anatomy, sexual health, privilege, fair play, sports in adulthood, peer pressure and addiction, as well as sport theory across the sciences. This resource was created by Holmes and fellow Brock graduate Gizela Gavran (BPhEd ’13, BEd ‘20) as well as Matthew Mascola, a second-year Consecutive Teacher Education student.

“Evolution and Development of Sport in Canada” outlines the evolution of Canadian sport from 1860 to the present in a changing society, with a focus on the history of sport, social justice issues in sport and the business of sport. This resource was created by second-year Consecutive Teacher Education students Laura Tober, Anna Pocrnick, Grainger Munro and Cam Dakin.

The teams were able to use some of the lessons, particularly in curriculum design, they’ve learned in the Consecutive Teacher Education program when creating the two resources.

“It was a unique opportunity to take what normally would be taught in a classroom and to open a whole new world of learning possibilities,” said Tober. “It was also a great opportunity to create cross-curricular teaching content and to practise working collaboratively with other teacher candidates, as teaching is just as much about working together as it is working on your own.”

These future educators plan to make use of the resources as teachers, regardless of the grades they will one day teach.

“On a personal level, I think we all hope to use this content in our future classrooms in some form — the concepts and related action items for students can be rearranged to suit diverse student needs,” said Pocrnick.

This initiative is one of many ways the CSC is broadening its scope by collaborating with multi-disciplinary researchers and groups on campus and a wide array of stakeholders in the community.

“I appreciate the contribution of the students from the Faculty of Education and look forward to exploring ways we can develop more teaching and learning resources in the future,” Stevens said. “We are always looking for new partners to help us innovate.”

The Ontario Curriculum E-Learning Resources are intended for English-speaking teachers and students in Grade 9 to 12. The open source, free resource is available on the Centre for Sport Capacity website.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Story by Tarryn Landman and Colleen Patterson

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