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ERIC Number: EJ816023
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Nov
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 22
ISSN: ISSN-1740-8989
A Social Semiotic Analysis of Knowledge Construction and Games Centred Approaches to Teaching
Wright, Jan; Forrest, Greg
Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, v12 n3 p273-287 Nov 2007
Background: Games centred approaches (GCA) such as TGfU, Game Sense, and Tactical Games are widely promoted as alternatives to traditional forms of teaching games within physical education. These approaches are promoted on the basis of their capacity to engage students in meaningful and enjoyable physical activity and to promote problem-solving and decision-making. There is now a growing body of empirical research investigating the outcomes of such approaches in terms of tactical knowledge, enjoyment and motivation to play games, and a considerable theoretical literature that explains and develops models of practice. Questioning is promoted as a key learning strategy in negotiating tactical understandings and assisting students in decision-making. Examples of questioning sequences are frequently modelled in papers explaining how to teach games centred approaches. While there are considerable examples of how to teach games centred approaches there is a notable absence of research that investigates such approaches in the practice of actual lessons. Purpose: To argue for the value of a social semiotic approach for an analysis of lessons taught using a games centred approach. To demonstrate how a linguistically motivated social semiotic analysis provides the tools to test many of the assumptions and claims made for GCA by investigating practice "in situ". In this paper this was illustrated through an analysis of the structure of questioning sequences as modelled in GCA literature and teaching resources. The purpose of the paper was also to argue that a social semiotic perspective allows for an analysis that goes beyond the immediate context of situation to ask how games centred approaches have wider social and cultural impacts, for example, in terms of whether they (re)produce or disrupt limiting notions of femininity and masculinity; extend opportunities for developing abilities to all students; and challenge traditional hierarchical power relations in physical education classes. Conclusion: A social semiotic analysis of the questioning sequences, as modelled in GCA literature and teaching resources, demonstrated how such sequences followed an initiation-response-evaluation (IRE) structure that expects one right answer to the questions and closes down opportunities for debate and for negotiating meaning. Such a pattern of interaction seems counter to claims of a student centred approach and increased student control over knowledge. Research is required that examines both the claims that proponents of GCA make about learning outcomes "and" the knowledge and social relations being constituted in GCA lessons from a broader social perspective. It is argued that a social semiotic analysis can do both: it provides the means to reflect on and critique the quality of learning that takes place in terms of situated knowledge; and it provides the tools to analyse the ways social and cultural meanings about games and sports, about teachers and learners, and their relationship, and about physical education are being constituted. (Contains 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia; New Zealand