International partnership in practice: East China Normal University students study at UNT

From the left, front row: Dr. Tao Zhang, Weichao Du, Dr. Allen Jackson and Dr. Xiangli Gu
Back row: Shengbin Lu, Shuai Yang, Qiang Guo and Peng Ye
Last semester, Chinese students visited the Michael Johnson Performance Center with KHPR lecturer Jeanette A. Krzewinski-Malone (far right) to learn about improving elite athletes’ performance.

Four undergraduate students from East China Normal University (ECNU), a leading university in China, studied at UNT last fall as part of an ongoing student exchange partnership between ECNU and UNT's College of Education.

The four students studied in Sport Pedagogy at ECNU. During the fall semester they took several physical education (PE) teaching methods classes at UNT and observed PE classes in local elementary and middle schools in Denton ISD.

Weichao Du is a senior student who participated in the exchange program mainly to improve his fluency in English. He feels that his English has improved greatly, despite first having difficulty with the accents of various students.

Shengbin Lu is preparing for an entrance exam for a master's program for Sport Pedagogy at ECNU. He came to UNT primarily to explore the teaching methods used in schools in the United States.

Shuai Yang's first goal while at UNT was to learn English, and he intends to become a high school PE teacher after graduation. 

Peng Ye plans to become a PE teacher in China. While at UNT, he has focused on language and culture, including how American students study, but still found time to play basketball at the Student Recreation Center.

In addition to the four visiting undergraduate students, a doctoral student from ECNU was studying and conducting research projects at UNT. Qiang Guo was the first Sport Pedagogy visiting scholar from ECNU to do so, and his goal was to learn research methods for his study of physical activity levels of children.

The Department of Kinesiology, Health Promotion and Recreation (KHPR) at UNT offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in Kinesiology, including concentrations in Sport Pedagogy. The international student exchange program between UNT and East China Normal University (ECNU) began in 2014.

Tao Zhang and Xiangli Gu, both assistant professors in the department of Kinesiology, Health Promotion and Recreation, lead the international student exchange effort with support from department chair Allen Jackson. There are plans for two KHPR Sport Pedagogy students to visit China this summer to complete a four-week student teacher program through ECNU.

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By Jessie Laljer, UNT's College of Education Development and External Relations Office
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