Globally-oriented physical education teachers bring games, sports, and dances from around the world, as well as non-Western practices such as yoga, tai chi, and karate into their classes. Teaching students why and how these activities developed in a particular context can enrich their understanding of the world, while developing their physical skills. Teachers can also engage students in interdisciplinary projects to help them learn about topics such as the global business of sports, nutrition practices in different regions, cultural influence on health practices, or the impact of global warming and poverty on health throughout the world.
To develop pre-service physical education teachers’ global competence, Oklahoma State University offers a three-week course in Japan about international athletic training. Students in the course learn about Japanese techniques of injury care, participate in cultural activities, attend sporting events, and visit with local students and families.
Students in physical education and health education programs at Miami University in Ohio, have opportunities to participate in several senior capstone experiences: in Nepal and Tibet, in five European countries, in Peru, or in Australia. Students learn about the role of health practices and education while focusing on cultural differences.
At Appalachian State University, health education students participated in a month-long carbon-neutral trip to New Zealand to develop their outdoor leadership skills and to explore environmental problems facing New Zealand and the United States. Students from Appalachian’s partner institution in New Zealand, Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology, joined them for portions of the trip. The university purchased green energy in the United States and New Zealand, and the students planted trees to offset carbon dioxide associated with the air and ground transportation for the trip.