Examining the Impact of a Teaching Games for Understanding Approach on the Development of Physical Literacy Using the Passport for Life Assessment Tool

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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of an 8-week after-school intramural program that adopted a Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) approach to facilitate the development of elementary-school-aged children physical literacy. Methods: Using Physical and Health Education Canada’s Passport for Life tool, 22 participants took part in a battery of assessments consistent with characteristics of physical literacy. These measures were (a) active participation, (b) living skills, (c) fitness skills, and (d) movement skills. Each category of assessment included three submeasures for a total of 12 indicators of physical literacy. Participants were assessed at the beginning of the PlaySport Intramural Program and then 8 weeks later following participation in a series of after-school TGfU lessons designed using the PlaySport program. Results: Of the 12 indicators of physical literacy, the majority of participants reported higher scores at the end program for 10 of the indicators. Significant (p < .004) improvements were seen in balance and stability skills, cardiovascular endurance, participation in diverse environments, and interest in participating in diverse activities. No improvements were seen in kicking skills and interacting with others. Discussion/Conclusion: These results provide support for the hypothesis that the use of pedagogical approaches such as TGfU can be effective at facilitating certain components of children’s development of physical literacy.

Mandigo and Lodewyk are with Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. Tredway is with the Ridley College, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.

Address author correspondence to James Mandigo at jmandigo@brocku.ca.
Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
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