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Teaching Games For Understanding

By Author: Sherry Roberts
Total Articles: 153

Introduction
Games can be an ideal way for students to acquire critical physical exercise. Physical activity limits sedentary behaviors and thus minimizes the occurrence of health complications. Teaching sports activity can enhance an active lifestyle while integrating fun and learning. The paper below reviews Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) as an effective learning strategy. The teaching model is quite effective as it integrates fun in the learning process. Children not only learn a skill but also they get to understand its importance in a game. TGfU as a learning method for games motivates children to want to play or watch games.
Critical Review
The Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) is a model of learning in facilitating student empowerment by tapping into the children’s desire to play. The model was originally developed by Bunker and Thorpe (1982), and it was based on the concept of teaching kids games by playing games. TGfU operates under six main concepts. The first concept is that games are taught through games thus the best way to teach a child a game is by engaging him or her in the game. It is through participation that the child acquires the tenets and expertise of playing the game. The second concept is that games must be broken into the simplest format to ease the level of understanding. Later, the complexity of the game can be increased as the child acquires expertise (Morales-Belando, & Arias-Estero, 2017). The third concept of TGfU is the appreciation that participants are intelligent performers in games. The fourth concept is the acknowledgment that every learner is important thus involved in the game actively. The fifth concept is that participants must be made aware of the content of the game. The last concept of the model is the need to match participant’s skills and challenge.
The mentioned six concepts have been effective in teaching games. However, recent approaches have advocated for a thematic approach to teaching games. The new approach to TGfU advocates from teaching skills and knowledge that children can apply to a wide range of sports. I believe the thematic approach is more effective that the task of teaching each sport as a unit. It is by empowering students with specific skills that they acquire knowledge that they can apply to other games. The strategy to the thematic approach of TGfU entails categorizing games into four main levels (Naimikia, & Gholami, 2016). The first level is the target games where the child propels an object. The second level is the net/wall games where the player propels an object into space thus making it difficult for the opponent to return it.
The third level of a game is the striking/field games where the player strikes an object so that it is away from defenders. The fourth level is territory games where participants invade an opponent’s territory so as to score. The thematic approach to teaching a game is most effective as it enables the child to acquire specific skills for a set of games with similar playing strategies. For example, the skills and knowledge on target games can be used to play games such as bowling and golf. Skills and knowledge of net games can be applied to games such as badminton, tennis, volleyball, and squash. Skills and knowledge of striking /fielding can be used to play games such as baseball, cricket, and softball (Jarrett, Eloi, & Harvey, 2014). Knowledge of territory games can be used to play a variety of games including basketball, soccer, and hockey.
I believe that the thematic approach to TGfU is effective as it exposes children to primary rules, fundamental skills and tactical problems associated with games that have the same structure. The skills give the children a level of literacy that allows them to play a variety of games. For example, training children on the skills and tactics needed to play territory games gives them the literacy needed to play other territory balls with minimal need for teaching (Stolz, & Pill, 2014). Once the child learns the rules and tactics to play the territory games, he or she can apply the same concept in similar structure games of the territory level. In the end, the child develops an understanding and competency skills and tactics associated with playing sports. The TGfU model is the most effective model for teaching sports activities as the child can apply the same concept to other similar sports. For instance, a child who learns the use of short passes and the concept of shielding the ball from the opponents can use the same concept to play other similar games.

Sherry Roberts is the author of this paper. A senior editor at Melda Research in online nursing papers. If you need a similar paper you can place your order for a custom research paper from legitimate research paper writing service services.

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