The university students' referred to above had limited prior experiences of teaching tactics, for example, only during game play portions of sport education units and/or during direct instruction units where games were played after technical skill learning. While the students all responded positively to the TGfU approach in principle, some were considerably challenged when having to plan units of work that prefaced 'situated learning' tasks and designing lesson sequences that enabled the tactical aspects of play (the chicken) to come before and/or alongside the technical aspects (the egg).
Turner (2005) recommends that teachers of TGfU follow a lesson sequence, say in a soccer lesson, of:
- Initial game form, i.e. a 3 vs.3 modified 'representative' game
- Questioning period
- Situated task - tactical focus, i.e. 3 vs.1 'piggy in the middle' task - with appropriate deductive questioning and teacher feedback
- Situated task - technical focus, i.e. passing the ball to each other in pairs to 'refine' technique - with appropriate deductive questioning and teacher feedback
- Game form - either return to initial game form or participate in modified 'exaggerated' game form, i.e. team scores points for both possessions that include 5 passes and extra points for goals that come after 5 pass possessions - again with appropriate deductive questioning
By focusing the lesson design on leading with the game, followed by questioning and the tactically focused task, this ensures that teachers simply do not default back to isolated 'drills' after the initial game form, as well as miss the questioning period that follows the initial game form, which allows for a Segway to the first tactically focused situated task. Thus, this permits the pupil to develop 'understanding' (the chicken) before the technical skills (the egg), which come later and/or when needed. Moreover, the teacher has at their discretion the ability to modify any of the tasks by changing either the size and/or space of the playing area, the equipment being used, the attacker/defender ratio, the conditions or rules of the task/game, etc. These adaptations therefore make playing the game and/or situated task easier so that 'understanding' (the chicken) is developed in advance of and/or alongside the technical skills (the egg).
As I wrote on a previous post, task design in physical education is very important and in TGfU lessons the importance of good task design is multiplied because of the need to connect tactical understanding (the chicken) with the technical skills (the egg). That said, teachers need to be well versed in the content to be taught (in this case soccer) but also possess (or at least be willing to try to learn by doing) the pedagogies supportive of the TGfU approach, which include following the sequence of tasks laid out above. Resolving potential conflicts between the chicken and egg at a conceptual level is a difficult but necessary step in teaching with TGfU, because without an understanding of the chicken and the egg, teachers will be unlikely to offer the pupils they teach an authentic experience of games.
Turner, A. P. (2005). Teaching and learning games at the secondary level. In L. L. Griffin & J. L. Butler (Eds.), Teaching games for under-standing: Theory, research and practice (pp. 71–90). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.