Practitioners should consider four initial phases to help establish how effective their efforts will be in becoming more culturally responsive. The COPE Inventory asks practitioners to Contemplate, Originate, Plan, and Engage.
Contemplate– a phase in which individuals first come to terms with thoughts and attitudes which may determine their commitment to teaching diverse learners. This phase is the most important because if practitioners are not willing to ask and answer these questions, they will never be able to fully immerse themselves in the next three phases. Some questions which need to be answered are:
-What are my biases in respect to teaching?
-Who are the learners that I am likely to focus on and why?
-Who are the learners that I am likely to not focus on and why?
-Why do I think I need to be a more responsive teacher for all learners?
-How can a focus of this type be beneficial for my students?
Originate is the next phase of the inventory which allows for people to brainstorm ideas which can help meet the needs of their learners. Origination should record observables- things which have been done in the past to help learners, current happenings, and what could happen in the future.
After we contemplate and originate, it is time to plan. An individual plan for a class should be based around a set of specific goals for learners using ideas from the origination phase. Teacher should make plans for their classes with administrators as a system of “checks and balances”. Administrators who are involved with long term strategic planning for a school, county, district or state should plan using a multiethnic team made up of community stakeholders who represent the areas where students are attending school.
Engagement is the final phase of COPE. This involves following through with the plan along with appropriate and ongoing assessment for improvement. Some considerations include:
• Assessment using methods which are easy to analyze
• Creating simple tools which combine written and numerical measures of data collection
• Assessing appropriately enough so that practitioners have time to make changes
• Having determination of goals being met done by health and physical activity professionals along with individuals who understand the unique nature of these classes and culturally responsive pedagogy
• Not making decisions on job performance solely on whether practitioners meet goals related to culturally responsive practice
• Taking into account availability of resources, existing curriculum, school structure, school location, demographics and school culture
• Making results available for individual practitioners, schools, and districts to determine whether progress is being made toward goals