Name: Michelle Grenier
Title: Associate Professor
What is your research about?
I work with teachers and students (both with and without disabilities) in the physical education setting, examining how teacher practices can enhance student learning across social, physical and cognitive domains. I also examine teacher practices that shape students constructions of disability and their efforts to dismantle a static understanding of the term “ability.”
How would you explain what you do to someone unfamiliar with your field?
I work in the schools researching the ways in which physical education teachers enable all students, including those with disabilities, to access the curriculum and meaningfully engage with peers.
What draws you to your work?
I work with passionate teachers who believe that all students have a right to learn with their peers. The teachers themselves are committed to social justice, diversity, and equitable opportunities for each and every one of their students.
What's your favorite course to teach and why?
KIN 781/881: inclusion in physical education. As a part of the course content, students enrolled in the course work directly with individuals with disabilities who are significantly impaired. The class offers students the opportunity to examine their own biases, fears, and concerns in regards to working with individuals who have a disability. This direct contact is a powerful tool for helping the students break through some of their own barriers and recognize that teaching physical education is basically understanding that any skill can be broken down or enhanced to accommodate students’ needs.
What do you wish others knew about what you do?
Physical education is an important part of the student curriculum that can impact students’ attitudes and behaviors towards physical activity throughout their lives.
If you could share one piece of advice with students, what would it be?
Take a risk and try something that might make you a little uncomfortable. Most of the time, you never regret the challenge.
So far in your career, what do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
The impact I have had on my students and how they, as health and physical education teachers, will work to promote physical activity for every single one of their students.
Finally, if you weren't doing this, what would you be doing?
Travelling to “parts unknown”.