Structuring time and questioning to achieve tactical awareness in games lessons

McNeill, Mike, Fry, Joan M., Tan, Clara W.K., & Rossi, Tony (2008) Structuring time and questioning to achieve tactical awareness in games lessons. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 13(3), pp. 231-249.


Background: A paradigm shift in educational policy to create problem solvers and critical thinkers produced the games concept approach (GCA) in Singapore's Revised Syllabus for Physical Education (1999). A pilot study (2001) conducted on 11 primary school student teachers (STs) using this approach identified time management and questioning as two of the major challenges faced by novice teachers.

Purpose: To examine the GCA from three perspectives: structure—lesson form in terms of teacher-time and pupil-time; product—how STs used those time fractions; and process—the nature of their questioning (type, timing, and target).

Participants and setting: Forty-nine STs from three different PETE cohorts (two-year diploma, four-year degree, two-year post-graduate diploma) volunteered to participate in the study conducted during the penultimate week of their final practicum in public primary and secondary schools.

Intervention: Based on the findings of the pilot study, PETE increased the emphasis on GCA content specific knowledge and pedagogical procedures. To further support STs learning to actualise the GCA, authentic micro-teaching experiences that were closely monitored by faculty were provided in schools nearby.

Research design: This is a descriptive study of time-management and questioning strategies implemented by STs on practicum. Each lesson was segmented into a number of sub-categories of teacher-time (organisation, demonstration and closure) and pupil-time (practice time and game time). Questions were categorised as knowledge, technical, tactical or affective.

Data collection: Each ST was video-taped teaching a GCA lesson towards the end of their final practicum. The STs individually determined the timing of the data collection and the lesson to be observed.

Data analysis: Each lesson was segmented into a number of sub-categories of both teacher- and pupil-time. Duration recording using Noldus software (Observer 4.0) segmented the time management of different lesson components. Questioning was coded in terms of type, timing and target. Separate MANOVAs were used to measure the difference between programmes and levels (primary and secondary) in relation to time-management procedures and questioning strategies.

Findings: No differences emerged between the programmes or levels in their time-management or questioning strategies. Using the GCA, STs generated more pupil time (53%) than teacher time (47%). STs at the primary level provided more technical practice, and those in secondary schools more small-sided game play. Most questions (58%) were asked during play or practice but were substantially low-order involving knowledge or recall (76%) and only 6.7% were open-ended or divergent and capable of developing tactical awareness.

Conclusions: Although STs are delivering more pupil time (practice and game) than teacher-time, the lesson structure requires further fine-tuning to extend the practice task beyond technical drills. Many questions are being asked to generate knowledge about games but lack sufficient quality to enhance critical thinking and tactical awareness, as the GCA intends.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 93861
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Games Concept Approach, Lesson time, questions
ISSN: 1740-8989
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Physical Education and Development Curriculum and Pedagogy (130210)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 Taylor & Francis
Deposited On: 17 Mar 2016 04:18
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2016 02:03

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