If 'the medium is the message', what do students learn to do in NLP and GBAs within physical education?

Barquero-Ruiz, Carmen and Kirk, David (2023) If 'the medium is the message', what do students learn to do in NLP and GBAs within physical education? Curriculum Studies in Health and Physical Education. pp. 1-18. ISSN 2574-299X (https://doi.org/10.1080/25742981.2023.2216188)

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Building on the original work of Bunker and Thorpe and their Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) approach to physical education, there is now a proliferation of Game Based Approaches (GBA) in the research literature (Bunker & Thorpe, 1982; 1983). Unlike other approaches to games teaching and coaching which trace their roots to TGfU, Non Linear Pedagogy (NLP) has been defined as distinct from, and even an alternative to, TGfU (Renshaw et al., 2016). Although comparisons between approaches have arisen at a theoretical level, there is no comparison of the influence that these approaches have on learners. Addressing this issue, we turn to Postman and Weingartner's (1971) pedagogical use of the famous aphorism of Marshall McLuhan, that 'the medium is the message'. Deploying this concept, we ask: what is the message that the use of these approaches sends? First, we identify the main features of NLP and TGfU. Second, we compare their media with reference to two empirical studies. Third, we identify and discuss questioning and decision-making as two key differences between these otherwise similar approaches. Finally, we consider the implications of these results for teaching and learning of games under Mcluhan's aphorism.


Barquero-Ruiz, Carmen and Kirk, David ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9884-9106;