My name is Eliza Herter, and I am graduating from Brock University’s Concurrent Education program in April 2022 with a Bachelor of Physical Education (Honours) and a Bachelor of Education. I am a Health and Physical Education Specialist, with a second teachable in Biological Sciences at the Intermediate/Senior level. A foundational aspect of my personal teaching philosophy is working to foster a positive sense of community through building relational connections, as it provides a strong sense of belonging- a key ingredient in fulfilling experiences in physical education. I am a firm believer that if us as educators can create meaningful connections within and to physical education, students will be more inclined to maintain their involvement in activity, translating to developing a generation that engages in healthy decision making across the lifespan. Building a sense of community is greatly driven by the relational aspect of being physically active and feeling connected to those around them and oneself, a key component of the IA4L Program.
I became involved with the IA4L Program during it’s second phase, where I had the opportunity to implement the InterActive Function2Flow Model in my teaching practice. I was able to see first hand how this model translated to increasing student awareness of their connection in a variety of aspects (teacher to student, student to student, student to self). Being aware of these connections through interactivities helps to boost student learning, participation, and enjoyment- all contributing factors in not only their success and enjoyment, but continual involvement in physical activity across the lifespan. I have maintained my involvement within the project though taking on the role of a research assistant.
My involvement with the IA4L Program has enriched my knowledge as a teacher and I am excited to continue to explore other ways to enhance social emotional connection through movement into my career!
We are so familiar with the phrase, “walking in someone else’s shoes.” Last week, in an IA4L exploratory workshop we attempted to match the posture and pattern of walking of another person, and then had them attempt to do the same. I personally found it so fascinating and difficult. Having quite short legs myself, a 28”inseam on a tall day, I was paired with a partner with long legs and a slight heel, while I was barefoot. She felt restrained by attempting to match my stride behind me. I found I could not have my hips move like hers and match her stride. I also could not determine where her foot really would strike within the confines of the shoe. We don’t often consider that, the articulation of the foot against the ground, how this moves up the knee joint, to our hips, and how our core, spine, and shoulders absorb this impact and move our bodies. So much of who we are and how we exist in this world, we have unconsciously developed, and yet the primacy of cognition in learning persists.
A major aim of these workshops is become more aware of ourselves through forming and fine tuning relational connections to others in and through movement. This focus dispels the Cartesian divide, the sense of compartmentalization between mind and body or self and other. Often in sports we compete against each other, and we respond to one another in that capacity, so we have developed how to be adversarial, but not so much a sense of relational sensitivity, attunement to one another. How do we have a kinesthetic sense of self that is responsive to another, in an immersive experience? How would our lives be transformed if this was a common experience, rather than isolated and infrequent? How could this affect how we inter-act with each other in each moment? How would it affect how we “read” and respond to the people we come across in a day? In this way we took a common idiomatic metaphor and played with the effects of living it. For me, I find it deeply meaningful to cognitively, kinesthetically, and emotionally ponder how our postural alignment and way of moving through the world affects our experience and understanding of it.
Since her arrival at the Faculty of Education, Professor Rebecca Lloyd has raised the profile of the university’s educational community well beyond the walls of Lamoureux Hall. Her enthusiasm and drive has led this researcher, who focuses on phenomenology and movement awareness, to maintain excellent working relations based, above all, on cooperation. She is often innovative in connecting experimentation and phenomenology, leading to a rethink of educational planning, applications and evaluation. Her winning personality has earned her a reputation as someone to emulate among her work colleagues and students.