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Ann MacPhail and Therese Hartley

The purpose of this study is to explore the extent to which beginning and experienced teachers differed in their perceptions of shaping school forces and their being shaped by school forces. The findings allow the authors to examine the link between teacher socialization research and practice in a physical education teacher education (PETE) program and to consider the practical (and institutional) changes that may improve the quality of teacher education. Six beginning physical education teachers (BTs) (in their first year of teaching) and six experienced physical education teachers (ETs) (who had been teaching for six years) took part in interviews and completed prompt sheets throughout the duration of a school year. The paper discusses ways in which one PETE program has attempted to use, and plans for future use of, BTs’ and ETs’ accounts of socialization to inform how best to prepare PSTs for the reality of teaching in schools.

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David Kirk and Ann MacPhail

Bunker and Thorpe first proposed Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) in 1982 as an alternative to traditional, technique-led approaches to games teaching and learning. Despite interest from teachers and researchers, there has been no attempt to review the TGfU model. This is an oversight, given the important advances in educational learning theory and ecological approaches to motor control since the early 1980s. The purpose of this paper is to present a new version of the TGfU model that draws on a situated learning perspective. The paper describes the TGfU approach, overviews recent research on TGfU, and outlines a situated learning perspective. This perspective is then applied to rethinking the TGfU model. The intended outcome of the paper is the provision a more robust and sophisticated version of the TGfU model that can inform future directions in the practice of and research on TGfU.

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J.T. Deenihan and Ann MacPhail

How preservice teachers (PSTs) learn and deliver Sport Education (SE) (Sieden-top, 1994) is an area researchers believe warrants further investigation (Stran &R Curtner-Smith, 2009a). This study explores one PST’s experiences delivering SE during a school teaching placement after undertaking a practical SE module in his Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) program. Data were collected through pre, mid- and postteaching placement interviews, along with weekly visits by the first author where observation reflections and interviews were used to investigate his experiences delivering SE. Data were triangulated and analyzed using thematic coding. Occupational socialization (Lawson, 1983a, 1983b) was used to determine the factors which influenced his delivery of SE. Results showed his SE season was influenced by his teaching orientation, sporting experiences, PETE program and school context where he was teaching. Although he encountered difficulties, he valued SE’s benefits and continued to use it during his subsequent career as a qualified teacher.

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Jeremiah T. Deenihan and Ann MacPhail

Research investigating teachers’ and preservice teachers’ (PSTs) experiences delivering Sport Education (SE) necessitates further attention (Glotova & Hastie, 2014). Research that has been conducted to date has shared varied findings, with some teachers finding it difficult to teach SE in its entirety (Curtner-Smith, Hastie, & Kinchin, 2008). This study investigated seven PSTs’ delivery of SE during their teaching placement in the final year of their physical education teacher education (PETE) program. Data were gathered through pre- and postteaching placement interviews and midteaching placement focus groups, which were analyzed using thematic coding and constant comparison (Miles & Huberman, 1994; Thomas, 2009). Occupational socialization (Lawson, 1983a, 1983b) was used as the framework to analyze the factors that influenced their learning and delivery of SE. Findings show that PSTs encountered specific difficulties related to teaching SE on teaching placement and that their cooperating teachers played a significant role in their delivery of SE.

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Ann MacPhail, David Kirk, and Gary Kinchin

The development of feelings of identity, the sense of belonging to a team, and the growth of social skills are experiences that sport, if properly conducted, is well placed to offer (Siedentop, 1994). Evidence suggests that some characteristics of traditional, multiactivity forms of physical education work against realizing these goals (Locke, 1992). Siedentop’s Sport Education (SE) model is one attempt to overcome this shortcoming by recasting units as seasons and maintaining persisting groups as teams throughout the season. Extended units intended to foster team affiliation while promoting affective and social development are common objectives in physical education. We report on a 16-week SE unit that includes over 70 Year-5 students (9- to 10-year-olds) from one UK school. Our findings show that the opportunity to become affiliated with a team was an attractive feature of the pupils’ physical education experience and that, under the framework of SE, there was an obvious investment made by the Year-5 Forest Gate students in relation to their sense of identity and involvement as members of a persisting group.

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Ann MacPhail, David Kirk, and Linda Griffin

In this article, we were interested in how young people learn to play games within a tactical games model (TGM) approach (Griffin, Oslin, & Mitchell, 1997) in terms of the physical-perceptual and social-interactive dimensions of situativity. Kirk and MacPhail’s (2002) development of the Bunker-Thorpe TGfU model was used to conceptualize the nature of situated learning in the context of learning to play an invasion game as part of a school physical education program. An entire class of 29 Year-5 students (ages 9–10 years) participated in a 12-lesson unit on an invasion game, involving two 40-min lessons per week for 6 weeks. Written narrative descriptions of videotaped game play formed the primary data source for the principal analysis of learning progression. We examined the physical-perceptual and social-interactive dimensions of situated learning (Kirk, Brooker, & Braiuka, 2000) to explore the complex ways that students learn skills. Findings demonstrate that for players who are in the early stages of learning a ball game, two elementary, or fundamental, skills of invasion game play—throwing and catching a ball—are complex, relational, and interdependent.

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Mats M. Hordvik, Ann MacPhail, and Lars T. Ronglan


In this study, we articulate and share our knowledge and understanding of teaching and learning Sport Education in physical education teacher education (PETE): (a) How did the PETE faculty member experience teaching about teaching Sport Education? and (b) How did the PSTs experience learning about teaching Sport Education?


One PETE faculty member (the first author) and twelve PSTs took part in a university Sport Education unit. Data were collected through the PETE faculty member’s open-ended reflective diary and focus groups with three PST teams.


The PETE faculty member and PSTs experienced various challenges such as bridging theory and practice when learning about teaching Sport Education and articulating the “what”, “how” and “why” when teaching about teaching Sport Education.


Sport Education is a complex curriculum and instructional model, encouraging further interrogation of the theoretical implications of the model.

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André Moura, Ann MacPhail, Amândio Graça, and Paula Batista

Purpose: Improving students’ learning is dependent on students’ participation, meaningfulness, and value of the teaching–learning process. This study explores students’ learning experiences when undertaking the role of co-constructors and co- and self-regulators in a cooperative learning environment. Methods: The study included 110 school students aged between 15 and 18 years from four physical education preservice teachers’ classes. Data were collected through student focus group interviews, a postteaching units’ survey, students’ class reflections, and the researcher’s field notes. Results/Discussion: Data report that (a) having access to learning goals and assessment criteria was essential for the co-construction and co- and self-regulation processes, (b) there is a positive reciprocal relationship between students’ involvement in co-construction and co- and self-regulations, and (c) co-construction and co- and self-regulations were strengthened by students’ involvement in cooperative learning and vice versa.

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Eva Guijarro, Ann MacPhail, Sixto González-Víllora, and Natalia María Arias-Palencia

Purpose: To examine the impact of undertaking roles in Sport Education on responsibility levels of elementary school students. Method: Forty-one fifth- and sixth-grade students participated in a 15-lesson season. Students undertook five different roles into the Sport Education season and presented differing initial perceived responsibility scores. Results: Results in this study convey students’ responsibility improvements for both personal and social responsibility during a season of Sport Education. There are differences in students with low perceived responsibility depending on the role they undertake, whereas students with high perceived responsibility do not present any difference according to the role they perform. Conclusion: In the physical education context, the teachers have to consider the personal characteristics of the students in the process of mapping students to roles.

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Eva Guijarro, Ann MacPhail, Natalia María Arias-Palencia, and Sixto González-Víllora

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to establish any difference in terms of game performance and game involvement using Sport Education (SE) or a combined use of SE and Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU). In a bid to facilitate future implementation of these models, the study provides a rich description of the pedagogies arising during both interventions. Method: The participants were 85 fourth- and fifth-grade students (aged 9–11) from four physical education classes within one elementary school. The content was a 15-lesson season of basketball taught through the principles of SE or a combined use of SE and TGfU. The game performance assessment instrument was used in a systematic observation of video recordings of students’ game behavior. Results: In terms of decision making, support, overall game performance, and game involvement, a combined use of SE and TGfU unit overtakes the scores in SE. Conclusions: There is evidence that supporting the use of combined models in the physical education context can improve students’ game performance and game involvement.