TGfU in NZ
There is a growing and ready acceptance of TGfU approaches to game instruction in New Zealand from junior to elite level sport. New Zealand’s premier sport, rugby, in which we are one of the dominant world teams (All-Blacks, World Champions) use game based methodologies with an emphasis on an empowering (Kidman, 2001 & 2005; Kidman & Lombardo, 2010) approach.
Various junior sports in New Zealand (Football, field hockey, rugby) have moved to modified and small-sided game approaches to the initial game experience for young people. This approach has had a positive effect in many quarters re the style of teaching and coaching required though it would be optimistic to suggest that TGfU methods are widely employed by volunteer coaches
Several academics in New Zealand have published TGfU literature. For example, Barrie Gordon, Victoria University Wellington, Lynn Kidman, AUT, Auckland, Alan Ovens, Auckland University, Clive Pope, Waikato University, Chris Button, Otago University and Dennis Slade, Massey University to mention a few.
Dr Button, received national television exposure with an extremely innovative research programme incorporating an understanding approach, for Water Safety New Zealand
There is extensive TGfU material available for teachers in New Zealand. TGfU is part of the National Assessment Curriculum for senior secondary school programmes and the National Curriculum Authority provides links http://ncea.tki.org.nz, to official sites that provides in-depth information for teachers.
The up-coming AIESEP World Congress 2014 in Auckland and the TGfU Symposium the day before the conference proper starts, will provide a strong academic focus for New Zealand researchers in this field
Teacher training curriculums
Although not formally chronicled, almost all of New Zealand’s pre-service teacher institutions (Universities) include in their game teaching curriculums TGfU. In addition there is a strong demand at the PENZ conferences for on-going workshops in the genre.
Sadly, of more concern for many in New Zealand pre-service education, is the change in the preparation of teachers. There is a much reduced emphasis on curriculum studies outside of numeracy and literacy and many graduating new teachers will have had a bare minimum exposure to physical education in any form and in some instances almost nothing in game teaching that might resemble a TGfU approach. PENZ has been lobbying the New Zealand Government for over two years on trying to rectify this situation, though, again sadly, without conspicuous success.
On a positive note, Sport New Zealand is undertaking a pilot study to integrate sport into the secondary school subjects of English, Mathematics and Physical Education. SNZ is also aligning clusters of primary schools to secondary school specialist physical education departments to promote professional development in primary and intermediate schools. The objective is to try and reduce the ‘drop-out’ rate of young peoples participation in sport, between the three school types in New Zealand, primary, intermediate and secondary and on leaving school (http://www.sportnz.org.nz).