On Tuesday and Wednesday 2015 I attended the West Virginia Department of Education Kid Strong Conference. It had approximately 1000 attendees in total with an aim to service school health, physical activity and physical education. I was asked to present in the physical education track about the Tactical Games Model, and my recent work linking this to physical activity levels.
Our presentation was first thing on Wednesday morning, the 17th June 2015, and the slides from the presentation can be seen at the bottom of this blog. We began by overviewing the tracking of physical activity in physical education and the policies surrounding this before we gave an overview of the Tactical Games Model. After this, we conducted a practical demonstration of a three part lesson based around the Tactical Games Model similar to the generic invasion game of Harvey (2007) seen in the references section below. We played the games with a gator ball in areas of about 25 x 15 yards. Due to having slightly larger numbers of participants we ended up playing x2 5 vs. 5 games and then we broke off into four 3 vs. 1 skill practices before returning.
During the session, we programmed accelerometers for six out of the 20 participants to wear, 3 male and 3 female. While David taught the lesson, I observed him using the System for Observing Fitness Instruction Tim (McKenzie, 2012). I took record of the lesson context (i.e., management, knowledge, skill practice and game play) and also the level of physical activity (i.e., sedentary, walking or vigorous). To collect these data we use a 10 second observe and a 10 second record protocol, so in one minute we have 3 data points. In total we had 72 intervals recorded, which equates to a 24 minute lesson.
Over the course of the session we can see that the majority of time was spent in game play, (42%), with a total of 60% of time in moderate to physical activity (MVPA), which is the addition of the percent of time spent walking and vigorous. This MCPA would have been higher but for David engaging the groups in questioning which increased the time spent in knowledge, where the participants were more likely to be sedentary. In terms of the accelerometer results we can see some difference to the System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time data. This time the percent spent in MVPA is much lower, at only 29.04%. While this is only half of what we recorded using the System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time, what is kind of remarkable is the amount of vigorous activity generated by some of the participants and then the ratio of vigorous physical activity to moderate physical activity. Nearly 30% of moderate physical activity is vigorous and in terms of System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time we observed 21% of time in vigorous activity which comprised of a third of the total MVPA.
This session was well received by the participants, many of which requested further insights into the Tactical Games Model, which I would contest is not widely practiced here in West Virginia. The data we generated clearly shows the benefits of the Tactical Games Model, particularly in providing opportunities for vigorous levels of physical activity due to the increased time spent in game play. Having said that, not everything in the land is rosy. We focused on invasion games, so there may be differences in physical activity levels in say, net/wall games. Additionally, when examining the data by sex there are some slight differences, so teachers need to be aware of how to differentiate instruction to include all participants in the Tactical Games Model. Finally, teachers need to be aware of how their behavior and how they set up the lesson context can affect physical activity levels. In this particular session, time of cognition and discussion was used by the teacher which took away from potential for participants to be engaged in game play. It is my contention that setting purpose questions which learners can explore during game play, interspersed with short, 30second-1min discussions between bouts of game play can reduce this knowledge time, but still retain a focus on learning. One guideline to follow would be for 10% management time, 20% knowledge time, with the rest of the time focused on practice time in game play or skill practice, with the majority of this practice time (40%) spent on game play. Teachers can use a stopwatch to keep track of practice time to ensure they meet 70% practice time and therefore afford learners the opportunity to accumulate the 50% levels of MVPA recommended in West Virginia policy documents.
Harvey, S. (2007). Using a generic invasion game for assessment.Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, 78(4), 19–50. http://doi.org/10.1080/07303084.2007.10598002
Also found at: http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ795561.pdf
McKenzie, T. L. (2012). SOFIT. System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time. Overview and training manual. San Diego, CA: San Diego State University.
Mitchell, S., Oslin, J., & Griffin, L. (2013). Teaching sport concepts and skills: A tactical games approach (3rd ed.). Champaign: IL: Human Kinetics Publishers.
Found at: http://www.humankinetics.com/products/all-products/teaching-sport-concepts-and-skills-3rd-edition
I just wanted to put up a post to say thank you to everyone that participated in my (with David Robertson, a GA at WVU) session on questioning at the 2015 SHAPE National Coaches Conference. I give a synopsis of the session below before providing links to the slides from the presentation. I have also posted videos showing the three mini-sessions we conducted below.
The session began with outlining the three aims we set out for the session in the abstract we submitted. We quickly moved through the background of the session and then moved onto the practical demonstrations. We conducted three demonstrations using shielding the ball in soccer. We felt this was a decent choice as this is quite a technical skill and out aim was to show how questioning can be used not just in games, but to also teach the technical skills of activities and sports. As is usual in the workshops I usually do I like to get some people active and demonstrate the theory behind what we are doing practically., Thus, we conducted the three mini-sessions as a way of linking to the ideas we wanted to get across the the participants. Some participants joined in physically and others were asked to collect data on how much time I spoke (as I led the demonstration sessions). The observer started and stopped a stopwatch when I spoked and stopped it when I stopped talking. We also had observers collect data on the types of questions I used (what, when, how, why, etc.) and who I directed them to (team, small group or individual). However, in what follows I will simply review the time-based data and the data from the recipient of the question. One last point was that we were not too focused on the variability of the practice, we simply wanted to have the participants play so we could get our messages across.
This session lasted just over six minutes. I did a pairs based activity where one person had to shield the ball from a peer from about 10-15 seconds, a diagram of which can be seen on slide 7. This mini session was delivered in a direct style of teaching where I led the session and, although I asked questions, these were focused on the IRE/F exchange, where I initiated (I) a question, got a response (R) and then evaluated (E) or gave feedback (F) on it (i.e., by saying 'excellent' or 'that was what I was looking for, yes). While I did ask questions my main aim was for the discourse to be very direct as I said above. Having said that, I did get over some of the key concepts of shielding the ball, such as low body position, getting the ball on the off defender foot and getting the arm out (with a clenched fist) to hold off the defender. Some of the questions can be seen on slide 9.
At the end of the session we reviewed the data and I spoke for about 2 and a half minutes of the activity, so about 35-40% of the time. I also asked most questions to the whole group. Before starting session two I also showed the participants which questions I used (see slide 9) and spoke about the IRE/F exchange.
This session lasted about 10 mins and 30 seconds. In this session a feeder fed the ball into an attacking player situated in a box guarded by a defender, a diagram of which can be seen on slide 10. Initially, the aim was the for the attacker to simply use skills to keep the defender away from the ball, but then it was progressed to allow the attacker to beat the defender to get the ball across the line opposite from the feeder. Players rotated after three attempts after each role. In this session I made sure I stepped back, and I began to use some of the pre-planned questions I had made (see slide 14) which I had generated using the question starters on slide 13. I also split the groups. In the first practice I stooped the whole group of six players. This time I placed the players in their groups of 3 (we did not have much space for the activity which was why the participant numbers were small) and then asked one question, and gave them 30 seconds for them to discuss this. I then had the play again. When the played again, this is when the progression was added and we then paused half way through and I asked them to discuss agin in small groups ideas. After a final bout of game play, I asked each group to demonstrate one way they felt was effective for getting the ball over the line at the opposite side the the feeder. One group demonstrated a spin move, where you spin off the defender when they over commit to one side when you are shielding the ball. The other small group went over how they bumped the defender (used the defenders body weight) to face them up and go 1 vs. 1 with them.
In this session I spoke for about 3 minutes, so about 30% of the time. However, the participants monitoring this noticed how some of this talk was in smaller groups and this was supported by their now being more questioning directed at the small groups where I listened to them and then probed the participants for more information about what they were explaining to each other. Thus, in my opinion, the discourse had changed dramatically from the first session, May I also note that I was purposefully refraining from giving 1 vs. 1 feedback (either positive or corrective) albeit I did give some. After going over the data we spoke about the information on slides 11-16, which included going over the 6 P's framework of questioning, Purpose, Play, Pause, Prepare, Probe, and Plan.
In the final mini session we played the 2 vs. 2 game on slide 17 and the session lasted about 9 mins and 30 seconds. In this session I wanted to demonstrate the use of the GROW model outlined on slide 19. I therefore set the purpose (1st P) question or goal before the session, and then had the participants play (second P). After about 3 minutes I stopped or paused (3rd P) the activity (after not saying too much and just observing) and asked the participants to get in small groups of 3 and discuss the goal of the activity and the reality (4th P about prepared questions), which I listed and probed (5th P) where necessary. After this they spoke about their options, where I again probed (5th P) if necessary before asking them to define an action plan for the next bout of activity. The participants played again and we repeated the 6 P's cycle focused on the GROW model structure. At the end of the session we reviewed again using questioning and asking participants to demonstrate individual experiences. This did digress a little into whole group teaching but was still learner focused.
In this session I spoke for about 2 mins 30 seconds, so a little less than 30% of the time. Again, most of my questioning was small group-based with some individual questioning and the odd one to the whole group. I then went over the information on slides 18-22 with the participants and then I spoke about relevant theory (I will elucidate this on another post), and then linked questioning to aspects of becoming a transformational leader/coach (http://drstephenharvey.weebly.com/blog/coaching-transmission-or-transformation) before closing with some recommendations for coach questioning.
You can review videos for the above sessions as I have posted them in this blog post. I appreciate how this was a 'controlled' environment, but I hope you can see how the discourse changes fundamentally when you utilize a questioning approach. This is something I am still working on in my own teaching/coaching and I finding the journey very difficult (i.e., catching myself wanting to say something or give feedback when I should be quiet or just ask a question). Moreover, I have to make sure I give wait time (longer than 5 seconds is needed to get people to answer) and I have also used questions such as 'tell me more about that' or 'can someone else explain...' to get more discussion going beyond one word answers and to make sure more than one participant talks. Using small groups also helps and I monitor these and use the probes I just outlined to make sure all people are involved. And if I do use questioning in larger groups I have been using student nomination where the first person to answer nominates the next person to build on that answer, etc. The basic tent is I talk less and the participants talk more to work out problems. They may also need to play more to work these out, so this is important too.
If you were a participant in this session, then please make some comments on the comments section below or if you were not in the session, please also feel free to let me know your thoughts. Good luck with your questioning.