‘How does TGfU work?’: examining the relationship between learning design in TGfU and a nonlinear pedagogy

TAN, C K W, CHOW, J Y and DAVIDS, Keith (2012). ‘How does TGfU work?’: examining the relationship between learning design in TGfU and a nonlinear pedagogy. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 17 (4), 331-348.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17408989.2011.582486
Link to published version:: 10.1080/17408989.2011.582486


Background: In the last few decades, conceptions about teaching and learning in physical education have evolved from a teacher-centred approach to a more student-centred approach where learners are encouraged to develop problem-solving skills, critical thinking and autonomy of thought. A popular model advocating this approach in physical education, Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU), has attracted widespread attention. Although advocates of TGfU have provided some empirical and anecdotal evidence to support the ‘tactical over technical approach’ to games teaching, recent work has highlighted that to date, the question ‘Does TGfU work?’ has remained largely unanswered. Therefore, there is a need to research the intuitive assumptions about how students learn to play games and to understand how the TGfU approach might work for games teaching and learning.

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to provide insights to further our understanding of the possible processes underpinning the pedagogical principles of TGfU in games teaching. In this regard, we outline how a Nonlinear Pedagogy approach could provide a theoretical rationale to explain how the principles of TGfU might support learning design for games teaching. To achieve this aim, we examined the viability of the four key pedagogical principles of the TGfU model and highlighted the theoretical and practical implications of Nonlinear Pedagogy, considered with some empirical evidence from the motor learning literature.

Findings: The theoretical ideas emanating from an ecological dynamics perspective, such as constraints manipulation, importance of maintaining information-movement coupling and harnessing movement variability, can underpin a Nonlinear Pedagogy approach. It has been proposed that research evidence from the motor learning literature can provide a suitable theoretical grounding to support the viability of the four main pedagogical principles of the TGfU model (i.e., sampling, tactical complexity, representation and exaggeration) and can contribute insights to the possible processes of TGfU in games teaching.

Summary: A Nonlinear Pedagogy approach has the potential to provide researchers and physical educators with an understanding of the theoretical and practical work on TGfU, in association with its pedagogical principles. Understanding the underlying processes linked to the key pedagogical principles in learning design is critical for addressing pedagogy and curriculum concerns in physical education to enhance student learning. The ideas raised in this paper provided some rationale for the efficacy of the model, and also a platform for researchers and practitioners to more effectively engage students using the TGfU model.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Centre for Sports Engineering Research
Identification Number: 10.1080/17408989.2011.582486
Depositing User: Carole Harris
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2013 13:25
Last Modified: 02 Oct 2013 13:25
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/7396

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