Students' Misconception of Teaching Games for Understanding in Relation to
Sultan Idris Education University, Malaysia
Phil Pearson, Greg Forrest and Paul Webb
University of Wollongong, Australia
At the Australian university where this study took place, it was assumed by the physical education lecturers that final year students should be familiar with Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) because they had already satisfied course program requirements and that they would therefore be able to benefit from the teaching of games content during teaching practice. The lecturers also assumed that as students progressed through their studies at university, what they learnt in TGfU modules studied at Year 2 would prepare them for Year 3 and, finally, Year 4. However, when collectively reflecting on lecturers’ teaching experience, what they have frequently observed is that merely satisfying course and module does not ensure an understanding of TGfU concepts among students. This study represents a preliminary investigation to track the prevalent misconceptions about teaching games for understanding of fourth year students in Physical and Health Education program at an Australian university and its relation to their self-efficacy. The misconception instrument with reliability of KR-20=.52, consists of 20 dichotomous questions with true/false answers (Bond & Fox, 2007: Applying the Rasch model: Fundamental measurement in the human sciences (2nd ed.), 15-27, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers: Mahwah, New Jersey London). The self-efficacy questionnaires (a=.86) consists of 20 items of 5-point Likert-type scale (Bandura, 2006: Guide for constructing self-efficacy scales, Self-Efficacy Beliefs of Adolescents, 307–337, Information Age Publishing: Charlotte, North Carolina). The questions were constructed from researched literature and mostly worded as statements from the texts. Fifty-seven fourth year students enrolled during class session were asked for their consent prior to completing the misconception and self-efficacy questionnaires in the fourth week of their spring semester. Descriptive statistics for misconception variables were examined, and correlation analysis was conducted to evaluate the relationship between misconceptions and self-efficacy. Of the 20 questions related to conceptualisation of TGfU, four misconceptions appeared to be prevalent among the fourth year physical education majors. It was found that 71.93% (N=57) students conceptualised TGfU, ‘as having four categories with similar concepts and tactical problems across all four games categories’. Other misconceptions variables that did not score more than 70% with correct answers are as follows; 45.61% students conceptualised TGfU, ‘as teaching tactics and not teaching skills’, 57.89% ‘in which students play games in order to further understand the importance of skill progression and skill practice’, and 40.35% ‘approach is that a teacher needs to know all of the intricacies (technical and tactical) of each game to teach it to students’. The self-efficacy test related to TGfU was analysed and it was found that five out of ten questions that students scored more than 80% on agreement of their belief and perception about TGfU. Eight out of ten questions, students scored more than 80% of their capability in teaching related to TGfU. Correlation between misconceptions and self-efficacy were also examined and the results demonstrated were not significant with a very weak relationship between misconceptions and self-efficacy [r (57) = .09, p = .517]. Gaining insight into the way in which students view TGfU may help better inform lecturers about their students’ cognitive barriers. Results acquired by this study may assist in preparing lecturers to be located within the curriculum and associated with relevant teaching strategies if TGfU is to be made useful for students.