Introducing Physical Education Teachers to the Teaching Games for Understanding Model: Challenges and Outcomes of a Professional Development Program

By Aspasia Dania and Katerina Zounhia.

Published by The International Journal of Sport and Society

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The aim of the present study was to examine physical education (PE) teachers’ experiences during their participation in a practice-based professional development program, which introduced them to the Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) model. During a period of two months, three PE teachers from a primary school in Athens, Greece engaged in a spiral process of planning and implementing the TGfU model, four times per week within their PE curriculum (twenty-four units per teacher). Qualitative data analysis was conducted on TGfU lesson plans, video annotations, and reflective journal entries in order to identify emerging themes and concepts concerning teachers’ views of the program. From the results, it was found that PE teachers value the TGfU model as a rewarding standpoint for the design of professional development initiatives that promote pedagogy reflection and student learning. In alignment with their underlying epistemological beliefs and workplace structures, the greatest challenge of the program was teachers’ need for continuous feedback and support throughout the process. The present paradigm results further confirm the necessity of envisioning PE teacher professional development as an ongoing process of skill and knowledge updating, informed by notions of students’ holistic development and progress.

Keywords: Physical Education, Professional Development, Teaching Games for Understanding, Teaching Models

The International Journal of Sport and Society, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp.51-60. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 344.764KB).

Dr. Aspasia Dania

Research Associate, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Science, University of Athens, Ilion, Athens, Greece

Aspasia Dania is a research associate at the laboratory of Sport Pedagogy of the Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Science in Athens, Greece, where she received her Master degree in 2009 and her Doctorate degree in 2013 in dance pedagogy. Her research interests and publications focus on physical education curriculum development, instructional methods and teacher education.

Prof. Katerina Zounhia

Professor, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Science, University of Athens, Athens, Greece