TGfU Task Force and AISEP
The original TGfU task force was formed after the first TGfU conference (2001), where at a crowded town meeting, the conference organizers asked the international delegates where they thought they wanted to go from that point forward. The response was a resounding endorsement of Butler’s proposal that an international committee be established to harness the groundswell of energy apparent at the conference. A proposal for the task force was welcomed by AIESEP, and a meeting was held at the 2002 AIESEP Convention (La Caruna, Spain).
A group of ten members were elected to this task force, and ultimately, the group created spaces for five more seats to obtain broader international coverage, encompassing 5 continents and 12 countries. These members in alphabetical order included:
The International TGfU Task Force evolved into the first Special Interest Group (SIG) of the Association Internationale des Ecoles Superieures d’Education Physique (AIESEP) is a vital first step in developing a global awareness of TGfU.
The TGfU SIG and its alliance to AIESEP will help to sustain interest and ensure the maintenance of high level research into the teaching and learning of sport related games as they relate to TGfU.
The TGfU Task force mission statement was written in 2002 (identified in bold) and developed by the TGfU Special Interest Group Executive in 2009.
The mission of the AIESEP TGfU Special Interest Group is to establish a globally representative group of institutions and individuals committed to the promotion and dissemination of scholarly inquiry around ways of knowing, learning and teaching through games centered approaches. One of our major goals is to broaden international cooperation and understanding among teachers, coaches, researchers, students and institutions of the world through best practice, critical educational and research collaborations and exchanges. This group will allows us to address global challenges such as language, terminology, practical interpretations, philosophical and theoretical differences, and the dissemination of information through national and international organizations.
The summary below outlines the task force’s objectives, action plan and their results. At the 2006 AIESEP congress in Finland, the TGfU Task force decided that the movement had become large enough to handle a general membership with an executive group to help conduct affairs of the membership. AIESEP agreed to take on its first Special Interest Group (SIG) and the policies and election process was developed. The transition of Task Force to SIG was formalized at the TGfU conference in Vancouver.
Currently, the SIG executive consists of 5 (Past Chair: Joy Butler, Chair: Dinant Roode, Chair Elect: Tim Hopper, Secretary: Steve Harvey and Treasurer: Jamie Mandigo) and began Skype meetings in January 2009.
The final part of the summary outlines the work that the SIG Executive Board has started as a beginningstrategic planning process.
Summary of AIESEP’s TGfU SIG
Strong and evolving international networks generated by regular international seminar conferences (every 4 years) and 1 day symposium and workshops prior to the AIESEP Congress. These also occur every 4 years, but are spaced evenly between the TGfU seminar conferences, thereby producing international venues every 2 years.
An organizational structure that supports conference planning and promotion in the form of a TGfU Task force, extant from 2002-2008, which has since evolved into a Special Interest Group of AIESEP
A number of publications (e.g., 5 books -- one in press), on-line proceedings, and three special journal editions (PE & Sport Pedagogy & 2 editions of HPE, Canada) related to conference proceedings.
TGfU has become a significant movement in physical education and gained global momentum as a viable approach. Almost three decades after the Bunker and Thorpe article (1982) outlined a model for the teaching of games in secondary schools, teachers and coaches are embracing the notion that the TGfU philosophical underpinnings align more closely with humanistic, child-centered, and constructivist ideals. Motor development research tells us that there is a ‘sensitive time’ or ‘window of opportunity’ for learning new skills and concepts quickly and efficiently. Perhaps there is a similar time period in which a profession can effectively respond to new curricular approach? It takes time - for the reflection necessary to examine the merits and demerits of a ‘new’ approach and, by necessity, for a comparison of the new and old assumptions. As teachers begin to understand that the approach offers cross curricular connection, sound pedagogical logic, and efficient integration with the mission and goals of schools that focus upon democracy, perhaps that time has come.
Please see TGfU...Simply Good Pedagogy: Understanding a Complex Challenge for more in-depth historical and cultural accounts of ‘Game-centered approaches’ as the TGfU approach has been adapted in various pockets of the globe.
The Teaching Games for Understanding Movement is experiencing what we hope is the period before its peak or crescendo. Once the approach becomes a common part of teachers’ repertoires, it will have served its purpose- to improve games teaching and learning. TGfU has provided many of us with a catalyst for discussing the nature of good teaching/coaching and learning, allowing us to consider the values and beliefs that underpin such approaches, and their place in both physical and general education. In the process of considering a new approach such as TGfU, teachers and coaches have been led to consider their existing frameworks for conceptualizing games and to reflect deeply on how their values and beliefs structure the way they teach and think about students’ ability.
If TGfU is to become a movement that will broaden the scope of the physical education and coaching ethos, it must be anchored in sound research through a community of inquiry focus upon the exploration of ideas. The Curriculum and Pedagogy Department Chair at UBC, Dennis Sumara, gave a rousing speech in support of the conference’s goals and the need for education in general to go in this direction. Likening the TGfU Movement to that of the Whole Language Movement of the 80’s, he cautioned TGfU advocates to avoid the mistakes of the WLM, and to anchor TGfU in sound research. We believe that TGfU has built a strong community of practice, which has led to an international organization. We hope that this organizational structure can help support research collaborations through global networks, connect research with practice, and maintain and promote TGfU international conferences.
(Much of the above is included in the introduction of the Edited More TGfU: Moving Globally book 2010, written by Joy Butler and Linda Griffin.)