SDP and education

Authored by: Ashleigh M. Huffman , Sarah J. Hillyer , Alicia Malnati , Carolyn Spellings

Routledge Handbook of Sport for Development and Peace

Print publication date:  September  2018
Online publication date:  October  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138210486
eBook ISBN: 9781315455174
Adobe ISBN:


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As recognized by the United Nations in the declaration of the Global Goals, individuals around the world are facing serious social, economic, and health challenges (United Nations 2015). Whether it is hunger, obesity, gender equality, violence, or environmental sustainability, people are looking for answers to issues plaguing the global landscape. Educational institutions have a unique role to play in international development agendas, particularly in the sport-based academic disciplines. As noted by the United Nations, sport is a low-cost, high-impact tool to resolve global socio-political problems (Right to Play 2008). This concept, known as Sport for Development and Peace (SDP), has sparked a wellspring of newly created sport-based development programs around the world. As the field of SDP continues to grow, the demand for greater academic contribution in the forms of training and research increases – in essence, professionalization of the field (ISDPA 2010). This demand calls for faculty willing to create new courses and embrace new pedagogical methods and research techniques to properly equip the next generation of SDP practitioners and scholars. Grounded in the works of educational reformists John Dewey, Paulo Freire, and bell hooks, this chapter provides a new theoretical methodology in which to engage students and community leaders in sport for social change efforts. Using the Theory of Empowerment for Social Change, the purpose of this chapter is to explore the unique role higher education can play in the growth of SDP and to offer a framework for educators seeking to implement SDP courses within the academic curriculum.

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