Globalization of Sport Psychology: The Need for Service-Learning in Academic Curricula
Meredith Whitley, Adelphi University, USA
Theme: Teaching sport and exercise psychology
Poster Number: 144
Program ID: POS-2
Presentation: October 4, 2013 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
There has been growing interest in and pressure for universities to provide meaningful global experiences for their undergraduate and graduate students, as evidenced by the increasing number and popularity of study abroad programs. When this trend is viewed in connection with the growing global interest in and use of sport, exercise, and health psychology for a variety of lifelong outcomes (e.g., performance enhancement, exercise adherence, mental well-being, life skill development), it becomes clear that university sport, exercise, and health psychology programs need to respond to this demand with meaningful global experiences for their students. Global service-learning programs answer this call by providing students with “hands-on” learning experiences around the world. For example, students take part in a month-long service-learning program in the Dominican Republic where the students collaborate with community members in the delivery of a sport psychology program and then reflect on their experiences. This is just one example of a global service-learning program, where global service is connected with student learning. This lecture will begin with an introduction to global service-learning, with the focus quickly shifting to global service-learning programs in the fields of sport, exercise, and health psychology. Through the use of an evidence-based theoretical framework, the basic steps to designing, implementing, and evaluating these programs will be presented, along with short-term and long-term student outcomes. There will also be a discussion of why these programs are invaluable to sport, exercise, and health psychology programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The target audience for this presentation includes the following groups: (a) program directors, professors, and others who may design, implement, and evaluate these programs and (b) undergraduate and graduate students who will learn the personal and professional benefits of global service-learning programs in the sport, exercise, and health psychology fields.