Invasion Games and TGFU

While being introduced to the teaching game for understanding (TGFU) model, I began to think about the assessment techniques that value performance. Why is it that we assess learners on their performance when they are able to show an understanding of everything else?! The reality is that some children are not capable of learning a formal game of soccer and may never achieve success in their outcome or performance, but may appreciate the game of soccer and fully understanding the skills one needs to play the game. Therefore, I really like that we are moving away from techniques based approaches of learning sports and to a more concept based approach. However, its important for us, as educators, to be careful to not straight up tell the participants of the strategies and techniques that are involved in any game, and instead allow learners to discover them on their own. We will then facilitate their understanding, and once we allow them to figure out these skills, we will see an increase in their performance as well. I also like that this model is very much focused on the abilities and needs of the learner. This is represented in the last stage of the model in which the game is modified to adapt to the learner. Through observation, teachers can choose to exaggerate a move to make it more difficult or simpler. Finally, this model emphasis inclusion of all participants, which was nicely demonstrated by our group teach last week, in which no one was left out and competition was taken away. Great job Sam, Krystal, and Eric !


One thought on “Invasion Games and TGFU”

  1. I agree with you that this model is an interesting way to promote understanding and to center the needs of the students. During my school practicum, I had a chance to see a great example of “teaching games for understanding” introducing children to soccer. The teacher organized the students in groups of four, each with a cone and two soccer balls. One of the four students placed the ball on a cone and acted as the defender. The other three students had to pass the other ball to each other, and try to kick the defender’s ball off the cone. When that was accomplished, the defender became one of the attackers and the student who had made the ball roll off the cone became the defender. Through this game students could practice passing to each other, had the opportunity to think strategically about how and when to pass the ball, and could learn defending a space. This game can help students learn some movements and strategies important for soccer. The teacher also circulated between groups and offered feedback and suggestions, and could modify the exercise if needed. Seeing the kids play this game helped me to better understand the advantages of the “teaching games for understanding model”.

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