Hello everyone and welcome back to the series on creating a vision for meaningful development. If you missed out last post where we explored why you should be crafting a vision, you can always check it out here! It explores some of the issues that our programs are facing, why we should create a vision and the potential outcomes of having/not having a crafted vision.
In todays post, it is all about exploring the first part to creating your programs vision for meaningful development. Creating a purpose that will drive everything that you/your team will do with your program and how it will impact the learning and development of your students/athletes!
Revisit the 30000 Foot View
Before we get into the first step of the process, let’s revisit what your potential vision could look like. Remember, this is a “big picture” view of your entire program!
Did you notice something about the first section of the program? Maybe a certain question that needs to be answered? Everything that you do in your program should answer one question: WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? As adults, if we do not find importance or value in something we are doing we usually will not enjoy or even do it. So why would we expect students/athletes to do something if they do not understand the importance and the purpose?
Full disclosure, sometimes the purpose looks short and sweet, but creating it is far from that. Your purpose and the work behind it is almost like an iceberg…
Establishing a Clear Purpose
The first thing about creating a clear purpose is very simple, but might be tricky. The first rule is it must focus on the people who are participating in your program! You need to put them at the center of your purpose! They need to be the focal point from the very beginning and this will help keep them in focus as you progress developing your vision.
Now that you have your stakeholders in focus, how would you expect them to answer the question “why do I need to do this?”. What is at stake if they do not take part in this? What kind of issue or problem are you trying to solve with your program? For many Physical Education programs, we want to develop the skills and understandings so that our students can be healthy and well for life. If we do not accomplish this task, we may run the risk of inadequately supporting our students for the future where they will not have teachers or parents telling them how to do things.
Depending on your community, your goals and potential outcomes may be slightly different. Maybe you are a highly competitive athletics department who is known for developing top tier athletes who move on to college sports teams? How does your goal and potential outcomes change? Your purpose needs to identify and lay things on the line in a way that is clear and easy for your focus group to support and become a part of.
Supporting Your Purpose
It’s one things to create a purpose, its another things to have a purpose that is supported. Now that you have a clear outcome established what are some big ideas that you can use to support your purpose? This is where you may need to do some research!
In the above example you see the terms “Activity and Movement“, “Physical and Sport Literacy“, and “Health and Wellness Literacy” placed in a neat Venn Diagram with descriptors underneath. These values were selected to not only support the goal and the stakes that were outlined in your purpose, they were selected based on current research behind quality physical and sport education. These values will guide the development of your day-to-day lessons as pedagogical anchors. In every lesson, participants would be taken through and experience these values as they learn and progress. If one area is missing in a lesson, then we have missed the opportunity to create a learning environment that is connected to your purpose and vision. It is also a great way to support ourselves and colleagues and keep up accountable to providing some
So, the question is what values can you connect to your purpose? How are they supported by best practice and research? How can they be used to create quality and meaningful learning experiences? This is something that you may need to explore and reflect on with your team.
Tips for Creating Your Purpose
When you are creating your purpose, do not do it in isolation. If you are looking to bring this into your program have others involved! Not only will you fill the room with great ideas and honor everyones point of view, but you now have people who will help support and sell your purpose to the community! When people are part of the process, they will always like to support and promote the hard work that they are proud of!
That is it for now! In our next post we will be exploring how to create the guiding principles that you would use to support your students/athletes as they explore and navigate your program! Stay tuned for the how next time!