The concept of TGfU was surprising to me – not because it was counter-intuitive, but because I felt that it was common sense! Play is something that comes naturally to children – it allows them to explore, to test their abilities, and to use their imagination. Children learn naturally through the process of play.
When Steve gave us the example of TGfU at the end of class, our group noticed something when we were playing the very first simple game (passing the ball to get it to the other side). We got bored fairly quickly, and started to wonder if we would be progressing to the next game anytime soon. By the time we got to the third game (trying to knock down the pin), it was complex enough to keep us excited and engaged. This made me think of what the situation would be like if it were applied to elementary aged children. From what I have observed in children, when they get bored they will invent new activities to entertain themselves. They practice problem solving skills without any prompts from their teachers!
TGfU ties in neatly with some of the IB principles. By starting with simple games and slowly progressing to increasingly complex games, students learn through scaffolding and critical thinking. Through each step of progression, students build on pre-existing knowledge and think critically about how to make the current game more fun and exciting. By adopting the concept of TGfU in teaching PE, we can encourage and motivate students to take initiative and ask critical questions to build on their own learning.