Publication Details

Pearson, P. J., Webb, P. I. & Mckeen, K. (2006). Teaching games for understanding - 10 years in Australia. In R. Liu, C. Li & A. Cruz (Eds.), Teaching Games for Understanding in the Asia-Pacific Region (pp. 1-9). Hong Kong: The Hong Kong Institute of Education.


TGfU was introduced to the Australian sporting community in 1996, through workshops presented by Rod Thorpe who was visiting from Loughborough University, England. Now, 10 years on, with the concept having been the focus of many coaching workshops and professional development sessions for physical education teachers and sports coaches, one would expect that TGfU would be well known and utilised among these groups.

This paper reports on the knowledge, understanding and experience that first year physical and health education students at an Australian university have on TGfU. Seventy students were surveyed by questionnaire and then actively engaged in a variety of games that demonstrated the concept and the type of questioning that is prominent in the approach.

The students surveyed had studied physical education during their primary and secondary schooling, and many had been involved as players and coaches in a wide range of sports. Consequently, one would expect that these students would have had prior exposure to Teaching Games for Understanding. However, findings confirmed that this group of students had poor knowledge, understanding and experience of TGfU, thus questioning the extent that the approach has been adopted by Australian coaches and teachers of games over the last decade.

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