Intercultural learning through sport

From a pedagogical perspective, Grimminger (2011) argues that intercultural learning in sport or physical education requires an “educationally selected, accentuated or even modified type of sport”. Expanding on this, Gieß-Stüber (2010) proposes some mechanisms through which such intercultural learning can be generated through sport and physical activity:

Strangeness as a starting point for education

The encounter with strangeness can be produced by integrating new, unfamiliar movement forms, games, or activities within sessions. This allows commonalities and differences to be made visible and allows students or athletes to constructively engage with strangeness, leading to greater acculturation over time.

Team tasks as challenges

Tasks that have to be solved creatively in teams allow conflict-management skills to be developed. Here, sport games can be developed, and students or athletes can actively be part of shaping the rules of those games. Ultimately, by providing novel, collaborative challenges, strengths are recognised and deployed, and weaknesses accepted.

Reflection on the experience of strangeness

Reflecting on activities and experiences plays an important role in developing intercultural competence. Techniques such as Motivational Interviewing or Reflect-Connect-Apply play a key role.

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