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ERIC Number: EJ881189
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 70
ISSN: ISSN-1740-8989
Children's Perspectives on Conceptual Games Teaching: A Value-Adding Experience
Fry, Joan Marian; Tan, Clara Wee Keat; McNeill, Michael; Wright, Steven
Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, v15 n2 p139-158 2010
Background: Revisions of the Singaporean physical education (PE) syllabus in 1999 and 2006 included a conceptual approach to teaching games. The games concept approach (GCA), a form of constructivist pedagogy, was a distinct departure from the direct teaching methods traditionally used in the country. Following the GCA's introduction into a PE teacher education programme, a study was undertaken the use of the approach. Aims: This study evaluates the GCA from the perspective of children in lessons taught by student teachers (STs). The purpose was to determine whether or not those children saw the GCA as adding value to their PE experiences and the nature of any perceived added value. Method: The study took place in Singaporean government primary schools, where according to their usual PE teachers, the children (n = 297) had had no previous GCA teaching. The children experienced between 7 and 12 GCA lessons taught by one of seven STs. A survey was administered about those experiences at the end of the games unit. Data were collected through an open-ended questionnaire. Specifically, the children were asked to compare the GCA lessons with their prior PE (taught by their usual teacher). Their views were also sought on the perceived quality of the games unit: its focus, its most- and least-liked aspects (with explanations for those feelings) as well as specifics of what they thought they had learnt during the lessons. The survey responses were open-coded using analytical induction techniques, and then reduced through a typology of Fullan's four images of students and educational change: (a) heightened interest and engagement with learning; (b) temporary escape from boredom; (c) indifference; and (d) confusion. Results: From over 90% of the children, there were strong indications of a perceived departure from their usual PE. In terms of Fullan's framework, (a) the GCA was received with heightened interest and a perceived pedagogical shift was interpreted to add value to thechildren's PE experiences. Their perceived outcomes fell into one of three main categories: games skills, games understanding and social cohesion and each of these had a number of elements. In a minority of cases (less than 10%), the GCA lessons were experienced less favourably. In those cases, the GCA unit seemed (b) merely to give relief from the tedium of the children's "traditional" PE lessons; and/or (c) was "boring". Unfortunately, (d) some children were also unsure about the GCA's purpose and voiced confusion about aspects of the "new" pedagogy. Some children associated those indifferent lessons with their ST's lack of efficacy. Conclusions: It was found that the children generally saw that the GCA had positive impact by adding value to their PE experiences, through processes and outcomes that were seen to be different from those of their prior PE. However, there were also negative indications in the findings and these highlighted deficiencies in the way that STs had used the approach. The implications from the findings are that, from the children's perspective, the GCA is worth pursuing as a games pedagogy, but action is warranted in PE teacher preparation in order for children to experience maximum gains under the guidance of STs. (Contains 2 tables and 2 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Primary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Singapore