RC Grant Findings: Effects of Teaching Games for Understanding on Game Performance in Middle School Physical Education

Article excerpt

Most students arrive at game-focused physical education (PE) with neither the skills nor the tactical knowledge to be successful (Metzler, 2000). Although the Teaching Games for Understanding (TGFU) approach can enhance both on- and off-the-ball skills in game play performance (Griffin et al., 1995; Harvey et al., in review, Harvey 2003; Mitchell et al., 1995) results from previous research examining TGFU's effectiveness in PE settings have been equivocal. The present study was conducted to assess whether an 11-13 lesson unit of soccer taught using the TGFU approach could improve the Game Performance (GP) of grade 6 physical education students (ages 11-12 years), across skill levels, and class periods. Three students (a higher, moderate, and lower skilled) were randomly selected as the unit of analysis from four different grade 6 PE classes (n = 12). Students were followed over an 11-13 soccer unit taught using the TGFU approach. Data were collected on eight measures of GP using the Game Performance Assessment Instrument (GPAI). Elements of GP were formulated into four GP indexes: Decision Making Index (DMI); Skill Execution Index (SEI); overall GP Index (GPI); and Game Involvement (GI). The GI Index was divided further into appropriate/inappropriate on-and off-the-ball actions. All GP data were plotted graphically and analyzed using standard visual analysis tactics. …