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Abstract Details

Abstract Title

Promote Cultural Awareness by Engaging Students in Sport and Performance Activities

Abstract Theme

Sport pedagogy

Type Presentation


Abstract Authors

Chi Zhang - China West Normal University (School of Physical Education) - CN
Presenter Hongwei Guan - Ithaca College (Department of Health Promotion and Physical Education) - US
Mary Bentley - Ithaca College (Department of Health Promotion and Physical Education) - US
Hongjun Fan - China West Normal University (College of Physical Education) - CN

Presentation Details

Poster Exhibition Site (Local): Gray - 15        Date: 2 September        Time: 8am to 7pm        Presenter: Hongwei Guan

Abstract Resume

Background: With the trend of globalization, cultural competence is becoming critically important for young students to be prepared as future global citizens for this diverse world.
As an educational effort to create more opportunities for students to have an international experience, many colleges and universities have established global partners. One of the common institutional
goals is to help students understand different cultures and promote diversity. More and more study abroad programs have been developed to allow students to have an immersive global learning
experience. However, it is impossible for every student to travel abroad because of language barriers, financial and other limitations. While some students do take opportunities of participating in
study abroad programs, it is an important and challenging task for institutional leaders and faculty educators to create effective and meaningful learning experiences for both vising students from
abroad and local students on hosting campus. This paper is based on a successful education program between China West Normal University (CWNU) and Ithaca College of USA. Case presentation: With
institutional support from both CWNU and Ithaca College, a short-term program was planned and implemented in summer 2015. While a group of 14 students led by two faculty leaders studied abroad in
China, CWNU hosted the group and involved 300+ CWNU students from School of Physical Education, School of Music, and School of Journalism and Communication in a series of cultural exchange actives
purposefully according to their majors. Students from the US and China were mixed and immersed together during their Tai Chi learning and practice, volleyball competition and collaborative music and
dancing performance activities. The volleyball competition and collaborative concert were observed by 3500+ students, faculty and staff. Discussion & Conclusion: Diverse cultural
exposure allows students an incredibly heightened level of insight into different ways of doing things, both professionally and personally. Based on reflection papers and discussions after the
program, transformative learning has been attested and observed from both CWNU and Ithaca College students. Students expressed stronger interest in the other culture as well as language. The program
allowed students to taste foreign cultures and question different cultural assumptions. Students from different countries with diverse cultural background share common values in sport and music
performance. Mutual respect has been established with better understanding of each other. As a result, students become key actors in the integration of culture, sport and communication. The program is
a strong evidence that one of the best ways to establish friendly relations between young people of different cultures is to engage them in sport and collaborative performance activities.

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