Physical Education Teachers’ Use of Digital Game Design Principles

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year subscription

USD  $63.00

1 year subscription

USD  $84.00

Student 2 year subscription

USD  $119.00

2 year subscription

USD  $156.00

Purpose: The research applies a multidisciplinary perspective to create knowledge and insight about the opportunities that digital game design principles offer to physical education (PE) pedagogy. Methods: Data were initially collected through an appreciative inquiry (AI). AI offers an alternative research perspective to critical theory that has dominated the investigation of the work of PE teachers. This study uniquely used AI with a narrative approach and multidisciplinary analysis to examine two teachers’ use of digital game design pedagogy in PE. Results: It was found that the teachers were motivated to use digital game design principles to provide students with means to solve problems, manage learning motivations, evaluate progress, and gain control over their learning in ways that are not normally associated with the common PE method. Conclusion: The two examples provided illustrate the generative potential of AI research combined with a multidisciplinary perspective directed at examples of pedagogical change in PE.

Pill is with Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia. Hyndman is with Charles Sturt University, Albury-Wodonga, Australia. SueSee is with The University of Southern Queensland, Springfield, Queensland, Australia. Williams is with the University of Canberra, Canberra, Australia.

Pill (shane.pill@flinders.edu.au) is corresponding author.
  • Armour, K. (2006). The way to a teacher’s heart: Narrative research in physical education. In D. Kirk, D. Macdonald, & M. O’sullivan (Eds.), The handbook of physical education (pp. 467–485). London, UK: Sage.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Armour, K., & Cheng, H.-H. (2012). Narrative research methods: Where the art of storytelling meets the science of research. In K. Armour & D. Macdonald (Eds.), Research methods in physical education and youth sport (pp. 237–249). London, UK: Routledge.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Australian Curriculum and Assessment Authority. (2018). Health and physical education—Key ideas. Retrieved from https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/f-10-curriculum/health-and-physical-education/key-ideas/

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Barker, D., Barker-Ruchti, N., & Pühse, U. (2013). Constructive readings of interactive episodes: Examining ethics in physical education from a social constructionist perspective. Sport, Education and Society, 18(4), 511–526. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Baur, N., & Ernst, S. (2011). Towards a process-oriented methodology: Modern social science research methods and Norbert Elias’s figurational sociology. The Sociological Review, 59(1 Suppl), 117–139. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bloyce, D. (2004). Research is a messy process. A case study of a figurational sociology approach to conventional issues in social science research methods. Graduate Journal of Social Science, 1, 144–166.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bushe, G.R. (1995). Advances in appreciative inquiry as an organizational development intervention. Organisation Development Journal, 13(3), 14–22.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bushe, G.R. (2011). Appreciative inquiry: Theory and critique. In D. Boje, B. Burnes, & J. Hassard (Eds.), The Routledge companion to organizational change (pp. 87–103). Oxford, UK: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chang, Y.K., Chen, S., Tu, K.W., & Chi, L.K. (2016). Effect of autonomy support on self-determined motivation in elementary physical education. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 15, 460–466. PubMed ID: 27803624

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cooperrider, D.L., & Srivastva, S. (1987). Appreciative inquiry in organizational life. In R. Woodman & W. Pasmore (Eds.), Research in organizational change and development (Vol. 1, pp. 129–169). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cooperrider, D.L., Whitney, D., & Stavros, J.M. (2003). Appreciative inquiry handbook. Bedford Heights, OH: Lakeshore Publishers.

  • Cothran, D.J. (2001). Curricular change in physical education: Success stories from the front line. Sport, Education and Society, 6(1), 67–79. doi:

  • Davis, E.A., & Miyake, N. (2004). Explorations of scaffolding in complex classroom systems. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 13(3), 265–272. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dunning, E. (1992). Figurational sociology and the sociology of sport: Some concluding remarks. In E. Dunning & C. Rojek (Eds.), Sport and leisure in the civilizing process: Critique and counter-critique (pp. 221–284). Basingstoke, UK: Macmillan.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dunning, E., & Sheard, K. (1979). Barbarians, gentlemen and players: A sociological study of the development of rugby football. Oxford, UK: Martin Robertson.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Elias, N. (1987). Involvement and detachment. Oxford, UK: Basil Blackwell.

  • Elias, N. (1991). The society of individuals. Oxford, UK: Basil Blackwell.

  • Elias, N. (1994). Reflections on a life. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.

  • Elias, N. (2009). Figuration. In N. Elias (Ed.), Essays III: On sociology and the humanities (pp. 1–3). Dublin, Ireland: University College Dublin Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Elias, N., & Dunning, E. (1986). Quest for excitement: Sport and leisure in the civilizing process. Oxford, UK: Blackwell.

  • Enright, E., Hill, J., Sandford, R., & Gard, M. (2014). Looking beyond what’s broken: Towards an appreciative research agenda for physical education and sport pedagogy. Sport, Education and Society, 19(7), 912–926. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Evans, J., & Davies, B. (2010). Family, class and embodiment: Why school physical education makes so little difference to post-school participation patterns in physical activity. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 23(7), 765–784. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fiorentino, L.H. (2012). Positive perspectives on the profession: Reframing through appreciative inquiry. Quest, 64(4), 209–228. doi:

  • Gee, J.P. (2007). Good video games and good learning. New York, NY: Peter Lang.

  • Gee, J.P. (2009). Deep learning properties of good digital games: How far can they go? In U. Ritterfeld, M. Cody, & P. Vorderer (Eds.), Serious games: Mechanisms and effects (pp. 67–82). New York, NY: MacMillan.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Goudsblom, J., & Mennell, S. (1998). The Norbert Elias reader. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishers.

  • Green, K. (2000). Extra-curricular physical education in England and Wales: A sociological perspective on a sporting bias. European Journal of Physical Education, 5(2), 179–207. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Green, K. (2006). Physical education and figurational sociology: An appreciation of the work of Eric Dunning. Sport in Society: Cultures, Commerce, Media, Politics, 9(4), 650–664. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Green, K. (2014). Mission impossible? Reflecting upon the relationship between physical education, youth sport and lifelong participation. Sport, Education and Society, 19(4), 357–375. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Harland, T. (2003). Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development and problem-based learning: Linking a theoretical concept with practice through action research. Teaching in Higher Education, 8(2), 263–272. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hattie, J. (2008). Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. New York, NY: Routledge.

  • Jaakkola, T., & Watt, A. (2011). Finnish physical education teachers’ self-reported use and perceptions of Mosston and Ashworth’s teaching styles. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 30(3), 248–262. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jones, R. (2007). Coaching redefined: An everyday pedagogical endeavour. Sport, Education and Society, 12(2), 159–173. doi:

  • Kirby, S., Byra, M., Readdy, T., & Wallhead, T. (2015). The effect of the practice and inclusion styles of teaching on basic psychological needs satisfaction and self-determined motivation. European Physical Education Review, 21(4), 521–540. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kirk, D. (2010). Physical education futures. London, UK: Routledge.

  • Kulinna, P.H., & Cothran, D.J. (2003). Physical education teachers’ self-reported use and perceptions of various teaching styles. Learning and Instruction, 13(6), 597–609. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Liu, J., Xiang, P., Lee, J., & Li, W. (2017). Developing physically literacy in K-12 physical education through achievement goal theory. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 36(3), 292–302. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mosston, M., & Ashworth, S. (2008). Teaching physical education: First online edition. Spectrum Institute for Teaching and Learning (United States) [E-Book]. Retrieved from https://spectrumofteachingstyles.org/index.php?id=16

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Oliver, K.L. (1998). A journey into narrative analysis: A methodology for discovering meaning. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 17(2), 244–259. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Open University. (2019). Multidisciplinary study: The value and benefits. Retrieved from www.open.edu/openlearn/education-development/multidisciplinary-study-the-value-and-benefits/content-section-0

    • Export Citation
  • Penney, D., & Chandler, T. (2000). Physical education: What futures? Sport, Education and Society, 5, 71–88.

  • Pill, S. (2014). Game play: What does it mean for pedagogy to think like a game developer? Journal of Physical Education Recreation & Dance, 85(1), 9–15. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pill, S. (2016a). Exploring the challenges in Australian physical education curricula past and present. Journal of Physical Education & Health: Social Perspective, 5(7), 5–18.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pill, S. (2016b, June 8–11). Appreciative inquiry: A strengths based perspective for identifying and creating positive change in the design and enactment of physical and sport education. Paper presented at AIESEP International Conference, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pill, S., & Hyndman, B. (2018). Gestalt psychological principles in developing meaningful understanding of games and sport in PE. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 37(4), 322–329. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Reiser, B.J. (2004). Scaffolding complex learning: The mechanisms of structuring and problematizing student work. The Journal of the Learning sciences, 13(3), 273–304. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rottensteiner, C., Tolvanen, A., Laakso, L., & Konttinen, N. (2015). Youth athletes’ motivation, perceived competence, and persistence in organized team sports. Journal of Sport Behavior, 38(4), 1–18.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rowley, J. (2002). Using case studies in research. Management Research News, 25(1), 16–27. doi:

  • Ryan, R.M., & Deci, E.L. (2017). Self-determination theory: Basic psychological needs in motivation, development, and wellness. New York, NY: Guilford Publications.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Schwarzer, R. (2014). Self-efficacy: Thought control of action. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis.

  • Scottish Qualifications Authority. (2012). National 3 physical education course specification (Scotland). Retrieved from www.sqa.org.uk

  • Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE America). (2014). National standards and grade-level outcomes for K–12 physical education. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stolz, S.A. (2013). Phenomenology and physical education. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 45(9), 949–962. doi:

  • Stolz, S.A., & Pill, S. (2016). A narrative approach to exploring TGfU-GS. Sport, Education and Society, 21(2), 239–261. doi:

  • Stowell, F. (2013). The appreciative inquiry method—a suitable candidate for action research? Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 30(1), 15–30. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Strauss, A., & Corbin, J. (1990). Basics of qualitative research: Grounded theory procedures and techniques. London, UK: Sage.

  • SueSee, B., Edwards, K., Pill, S., & Cuddihy, T. (2018). Self-reported teaching styles of Australian senior physical education teachers. Curriculum Perspectives, 38(1), 41–54. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SueSee, B., Edwards, K., Pill, S., & Cuddihy, T. (2019). Observed teaching styles of senior physical education teachers. Curriculum Perspectives, 39(1), 47–57. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sullivan, M. (2004). The promise of Appreciative Inquiry in library organizations. Library Trends, 53, 218–229.

  • Swedish National Agency for Education. (2011). Curriculum for the compulsory school, preschool class and the leisure-time centre. Retrieved from www.skolverket.se/publikationer

    • Export Citation
  • Syrmpas, I., Digelidis, N., Watt, A., & Vicars, M. (2017). Physical education teachers’ experiences and beliefs of production and reproduction teaching approaches. Teaching and Teacher Education, 66, 184–194. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Taylor, I.M., Ntoumanis, N., & Standage, M. (2008). A self-determination theory approach to understanding the antecedents of teachers’ motivational strategies in physical education. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 30(1), 75–94. PubMed ID: 18369244 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tierney, W.G. (1993). The cedar closet. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 6(4), 303–314. doi:

  • Tinning, R., Macdonald, D., Wright, J., & Hickey, C. (2001). Becoming a physical education teacher: Contemporary and enduring issues. Frenchs Forest: Pearson Education.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Van den Berghe, L., Vansteenkiste, M., Cardon, G., Kirk, D., & Haerens, L. (2014). Research on self-determination in physical education: Key findings and proposals for future research. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 19(1), 97–121. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wallhead, T.L., Garn, A.C., & Vidoni, C. (2014). Effect of a sport education program on motivation for physical education and leisure-time physical activity. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 85(4), 478–487. PubMed ID: 25412130 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wass, R., Harland, T., & Mercer, A. (2011). Scaffolding critical thinking in the zone of proximal development. Higher Education Research & Development, 30(3), 317–328. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Watkins, J., & Mohr, B. (2001). Appreciative inquiry: Change at the speed of the imagination. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer.

  • Williams, J., & Pill, S. (2019). What does the term ‘quality physical education’ mean for health and physical education teachers in Australian Capital Territory schools? European Physical Education Review, 25(4), 1193–1210. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 246 246 37
Full Text Views 13 13 4
PDF Downloads 8 8 2