Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Webb, P, Pearson, P & Forrest, G, Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) in primary and secondary physical education, ICHPER-SD International Conference for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Sport and Dance, 1st Oceanic Congress, Wellington, New Zealand, 1-4 October 2006. Original conference information available here


Recent changes in teaching syllabuses and pedagogy have implications for practising teachers in relation to both content and teaching strategies traditionally utilised in the teaching of games. There has been a move towards a Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) approach over the last decade with a growing number of books, journal publications conferences and professional development workshops specifically devoted to TGfU. Teaching Games for Understanding places an emphasis on the play, where tactical and strategic problems are posed in a modified game environment, ultimately drawing upon students to make decisions. This differs from the technique-based approach that uses drills out of the context of games with the teacher/coach telling the students what to do. This paper outlines the theoretical base for the TGfU model and reviews the literature of the approach and other related theories. Practical examples will be given of the four categories of games, that is, invasion, net/court, striking/fielding, and target following three different teaching approaches (full-sided, small-sided and games for outcomes) to offer physical educators some practical examples to include in their lessons.

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