UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Mindful physical education : factors that facilitate physical educators’ implementation of Teaching Games for Understanding into their teaching practice Russell, Emma Margaret


In recent years, some academic scholars have advocated for change within Physical Education (P.E.) and promoted an alternative, Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU), a teaching method grounded in social constructivist theory. Even though TGfU has met with some success, Butler (2005) suggests, it is still a challenge to transition the TGfU methodology into the practical teaching world. To establish those factors that help the implementation of TGfU into their teaching practices, this researcher interviewed five physical educators enrolled in a Master’s TGfU focused cohort, at the University of British Columbia. Following the completion of their Master’s summer institute, the participants were interviewed twice, at the beginning of the school year and then five to six weeks later. The participants were also asked to complete three Teaching Perspectives Inventories (TPI), one before and one after the summer institute, and a third one month after the start of the school year. The TPI is used to measure the teaching orientation of educators by organizing answers to teaching belief-specific questions into five teaching perspectives. Understanding that implementation of new initiatives requires support from other stakeholders, the researcher interviewed the participants’ primary colleagues and principals. Four main factors emerged from the research findings: transparent communication between stakeholders, teacher and student motivation, time, and professional development. It has become increasingly clear through the research findings that successful implementation is not simply one individual working alone to implement change but rather a complex network of different interrelating factors and stakeholders. When implementation of a curriculum innovation such as TGfU, is viewed as an interrelated entity it can be examined through the lens of complexity thinking. The complexity thinking characteristics of self-organization, feedback loops, decentralized control and complex networks, affects the manner in which new initiative are successful. Therefore, for implementation to be successful the type of complex network that is created is paramount. As Davis and Sumara (2008) suggest, a decentralized network – where stakeholders connect (transparency in communication) and collaborate (motivation) where its goal is to become collectively smarter (professional development) – can be seen as the blue print of a knowing and learning system.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International