A narrative approach to exploring TGfU-GS

Steven Stolz, Shane Pill

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    21 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper uses a narrative approach in the form of a fictional dialogue between a physical education teacher educator (PETE) and an enquiring physical education teacher (EPET) in order to both contextualise the problem posed by Almond, that Teaching Games for Understanding-Game Sense (TGfU-GS) has been better accepted in academia than in the ‘natural setting’ of physical education (PE) teaching, and to intentionally provoke change about how TGfU-GS is positioned as a highly conceptualised ‘instructional model’ for games and sport teaching. Drawing on research by Green that PE teachers operate from ‘everyday philosophies’ and not necessarily from highly conceptualised curriculum or pedagogical models, this paper proceeds from the premise that competing descriptions of PE teaching found in the literature and its applications are problematic to the PE teacher because teachers do not necessarily see or want to see the same boundaries between pedagogical models as researchers do as theory generators. It is argued, that the tension suggested by Almond exists in part because of contextual and operational differences leading to each viewing the teaching of PE differently. The EPET is concerned about the praxis of teaching that is theoretically informed by pedagogical knowledge and made real through the experience of teaching; whereas, to the PETE, PE is viewed with a more nuanced interpretation of the complex, non-linear dynamics of the classroom, nature of learning and the need for theoretical informed practice. However, some similarities exist between the EPET and PETE which revolves around bringing order to the essentially unpredictable learning environment by adapting the environmental and task characteristics so that learning may occur. Consequently, we argue that the tension between the EPET and PETE is inevitable because each privilege certain ‘everyday philosophies’ about the design and enactment of PE teaching.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)239-261
    Number of pages23
    JournalSport, Education and Society
    Issue number2
    Early online date2016
    Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2016


    • Fictional Dialogue
    • Game Sense (GS)
    • Narrative Inquiry
    • Pedagogy
    • Physical Education
    • Teaching
    • Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU)


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