Developing effective questioning in Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU)
Posted by Dean Holden at July 28th, 2013
by Dr. Phil Pearson and Dr. Paul Webb, 2008
Excerpts below taken from the article, found in it’s entirety here.
The use of questioning is often used to enhance the teaching of games utilising the Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) approach. However, for questioning to be effective, it needs to be planned and specific to the outcomes that the teacher/coach requires from the participants. A process has been developed to assist teachers and coaches to construct effective questions. The process involves the teacher/coach analysing the categories of games: invasion, striking/fielding, net/court and target games and then choosing a sport from one of these categories. Following this the teacher/coach determines the elements to be an effective player using the subcategories: technical, tactical/strategic, cognitive and rules. Games are then designed around one of the subcategories or a combination. Questions are then designed in each of the subcategories listed above.
Effective questioning is a move away from the traditional teacher-centred model of teaching to a more student-centred approach as questioning provides opportunities for the students to think for themselves. In doing so, situations are created whereby the students learn skills and tactics inferentially through being placed in circumstances for them to apply these skills.
The use of a questioning protocol (what? where? when? why? with whom? how?) is a key pedagogical tool in TGfU (Griffin & Butler 2005). In virtually every game or practice teachers need to look at the scenario and ask students the following questions: What is going wrong?, Where does the problem occur?, When does the problem occur?, Why does the problem occur?, Who owns the problem?, How can it be fixed? Mitchell, Oslin and Griffin (2006) reinforce that the quality of your questions is critical and these questions should be an integral part of your planning. They propose that questions fall into three categories:
· Time. ‘When is the best time to?’
· Space. ‘Where is or where can?’
· Risk. ‘Which choice is safest and which is most risky?’
Teaching Games for Understanding is player centered where the player has to take control and make decisions. This in turn empowers them and makes them responsible for their learning process. However, if questions are not challenging, then this learning process breaks down. It is essential that practitioners and students have practice and feedback given to them on their questioning technique. Effective questioning should promote reflective thinking, decision-making
and communication. The gradual progressions involved in TGfU pedagogy benefit all learners, whether they are high or low achievers, as the games and questions can be tailored to suit. Teaching games for understanding requires the learner to make the connections that lead to successful outcomes.
A process for sport analysis and developing questions in TGfU
1. List the elements to be an effective player in a sport. Pick a sport from invasion, striking/fielding, net/court or target games.
2. How did you determine which elements were needed to play the game effectively?
3. Place each of the elements into one of the subsets listed below
4. List some games that you would use to develop the elements in each or in a combination of the subsets.
5. Under each element list questions that would develop understanding in the sport. Give examples of the four types ie recall, convergent, divergent and value.
Questioning is an integral part of the TGfU approach and it is essential that coaches and practitioners have a process that enable them to provide appropriate and challenging questions. This paper has analysed a process by determining the elements to be an effective player before embarking on effective questioning to enable players to become more effective in what they are doing.
Practitioners must have deep knowledge and understanding of concepts and ideas and for players to be challenged and be engaged in critical thinking and problem solving. The learning environment needs to be structured to support learning and involve the players in the process. To achieve significance in learning outcomes, students need to see and understand the relevance of what they are learning.
It is vital for TGfU practitioners to develop and use such questions in a meaningful way. Adopting a planned questioning process will provide opportunities for players to gain a greater understanding of the game and develop tactical and technical skills. By questioning and challenging players, the teacher/coach creates an atmosphere of thinking and problem solving, developing inquisitive players who usually make the best tacticians and playmakers (Den Duyn, 1997).