Teacher Education Goes Global
Jennifer Fisette Course
Course Name: PEP 15010 - Introduction to Physical Education, Fitness, & Sport
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Reflection: When I first sat around the table with the initial Internationalizing the Curriculum Study Group (now the Global Learning Study Group), I felt overwhelmed, lost, confused, and wasn’t sure if I should be a part of this committee. I did not know how to begin integrating global perspectives into my intro course. Since I am a teacher educator, I first looked over the learning outcomes and assessed how these outcomes were already a component in the course or had the potential to be incorporated into the curriculum. I was unsure as to whether I should include a global learning unit or infuse global perspectives throughout the entire course. I decided that I did not want to teach a unit on global learning to say I completed the requirement; rather, I wanted students to become more knowledgeable, understanding, and accepting of global perspectives. Furthermore, I wanted the global learning objectives and outcomes to be integrated with the two primary goals in the course: (1) for students to become critical consumers of physical education, fitness, and sport and (2) for students to be able to understand and critique research.

I am a firm believer that before I could teach students about global perspectives, I first had to create a context that allowed the students to reflect on their own selves: who are they, how do they identity, what kind of life experiences have they had that has contributed to their belief system? We discussed social issues, social identities, diversity and cultural competency, experiences where they were privileged and marginalized, along with other topics the students raised in class. For many, they had never engaged in such discourse in their lives – I believe, because they were never given the space to do so.

Teaching first year students how to find and understand research is rather challenging, but I feel it is so important to have them read research early on in the program so it is less daunting as they take upper level courses. I had the students complete a 12-step to understanding research assignment on a self-selected topic under the broad categories of: (a) Educational standards and physical education curricula, (b) Laws, policies, and program initiatives that represent the infrastructure currently in place to support physical activity and healthy lifestyles, (c) Sporting cultures and expectations. Their first research article had to be based in the U.S.; however, mid-semester they were placed into groups and assigned a country in which the group would conduct research on the same topic so they could compare and contrast the physical education, physical activity, or sporting experiences in other countries to the U.S. As the semester has gone on, I had students compare the issues in the U.S. to other countries throughout the world. Although it took some time to get students to talk about global perspectives and social issues, they are currently starting to make connections and feel more comfortable with the content.

There is so much more for me to learn about global learning and how to integrate it into the curriculum. At this point, students are engaging with scholarly work, but not with individuals who identify and engage in a culture different from the students. I am excited to learn about different technology and communication tools that will allow a deeper understanding and knowledge-based of global perspectives.
Thank you for posting quickly on this site. Your thoughts are helping me with how to make my class for first semester freshmen more global. I too have debated on one learning module or infused throughout the class. We seem to be encountering similar challenges and you example is greatly helping me. Take Care, deb clark


I first implemented this module in Fall 2011. At the conclusion of the course, especially after they conducted their group presentations on their research findings, I realized that the 'researched' a topic in a particular country, but they did not necessarily learn anything about the 'culture' of the country. This semester, Fall 2012, I revised the Phase III portion of my module. Instead of having them find 2 research article and complete two 12-step reports, I had them find 5 references, 2 of which had to be empirical-based and peer reviewed, on their topic in the assigned country, and 2 references in the U.S., for their comparative analysis. They also had to do a cultural exploration of the country and incorporate those findings into their paper and PPT. In their PPT, the had to display their findings and ‘tell a story’ about their topic and country. At the end of the PPT, through video, pictures, artwork, written text, or any other medium, they had to demonstrate/respond to the following:

--‘Show’ what cultural diversity means to you.

--‘Show’ what global perspectives means to you in relation to physical movement.

Their projects are due on 12/5 and will present their group projects on 12/13.


Although I am not a person who always appreciates physical education, I would very much like to take this well-constructed course. This module reflects Jennifer’s efforts to facilitate global learning in a course for the physical education teacher education program. In particular, I concur with Jennifer that teachers’ self-knowledge is the key to engaging in global learning. It is why I believe that “Assignment #1: Physical Activities Autobiography” will raise professional educators’ awareness of how their cultures shape their engagement in physical activities. The 12-Step Research Report is especially helpful for today’s pre-service teachers who, to a certain degree, rely upon Google and Wikipedia for research. This research endeavor definitely will facilitate collaboration between practitioners and researchers. --Huey-li Li