JOPERD Table of Contents
Developing Cultural Competence in Elementary Physical Education
In today’s globalized society, developing critical thinking,
communication, socioemotional and language skills among preK–12 students is critical to equip them with the competencies to
effectively collaborate with people from different cultural backgrounds, namely cultural competence (Sue, 1998; United States
Department of Education [USDoE], 2018). It is within this environment that there are growing expectations for public schools to
address cultural competence in directed manners. The USDoE (2018)
demonstrated commitment to prepare all U.S. students to succeed
globally through international education and engagement and
defined cultural competence. The USDoE (2018) defined cultural
competence as the ability to understand and appreciate other parts
of the world, religions, cultures and points of view.
To provide further guidance, the USDoE (2018) created a framework for developing cultural competencies to advance equity, excellence and economic competitiveness for pre-K–12 learners. In this
framework, the USDoE identified four main competencies for elementary students: (a) fostering socioemotional skills (e.g., empathy, conflict resolution and seeing different perspectives); (b) developing
rudimentary skills in another language; (c) instilling global awareness through constant exposure to different cultures, histories, languages and perspectives; and (d) engaging learners in developmentally
appropriate civics and learning.
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