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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Pre-service teachers’ influences, beliefs, and barriers to implementing Teaching Games for Understanding in England

Gambles, Ellen-Alyssa, Anderson, Steven, Leyland, Sandra and Ling, Jonathan (2023) Pre-service teachers’ influences, beliefs, and barriers to implementing Teaching Games for Understanding in England. In: TGfU SIG 40th Anniversary Conference, TGfU SIG, 2023, Online.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)


While there has been extensive research focusing on the implementation of Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) with pre-service teachers (Li & Cruz, 2008; Wang & Ha, 2009, 2012), there are limited UK studies underpinned by Occupational Socialisation Theory (Lawson, 1983a, b). Therefore, this study examined the socialising influences which affect UK pre-service teachers in their understanding and practice of TGfU. The study utilised semi-structured interviews to identify the teacher’s influences during the three phases of Occupational Socialisation Theory (acculturation, professional socialisation, and organisational socialisation) and the barriers to implementing TGfU. 10 pre-service teachers (four male, six female) enrolled on teacher education courses in England, each participated in a 30–45-minute interview in May to August 2021 and data were thematically analysed. Two major Occupational Socialisation influences in the findings were early work experiences and the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the participants’ teaching development and practice. Early work experiences prior to enrolment on a teacher education course provided socialising influences which affected their perceptions of the requirements of being a teacher. The COVID-19 restrictions had a detrimental impact on the participants’ development of becoming teachers due to placement school closures and changes to online teaching, and their ability to engage with TGfU in schools. The main barriers to the teachers implementing TGfU were lack of knowledge, lack of understanding, lack of time within lessons, lack of support from mentors and colleagues, reluctance to change, fear of loss of control and lack of confidence with GBAs. Key recommendations to overcome the barriers were suggested across each phase of Occupational Socialisation Theory including early exposure to TGfU in childhood and in teacher education programmes, increasing PE provision in Primary initial teacher training with greater opportunities to embed TGfU and an increase in the number of PE specialists in primary schools. Additional recommendations were provision of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses, support from colleagues/mentors with delivery of TGfU and the availability of reasonably priced resources. Continued explorations of the socialising influences in teachers’ lives is necessary because of the development of UK teacher training routes and changes within school educational systems. An understanding of the main barriers to TGfU in the UK will aid teacher educators and teachers in how to adapt their practice to best implement game-based approaches in schools.

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More Information

Depositing User: Steven Anderson


Item ID: 15745

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Ellen-Alyssa Gambles: ORCID iD
ORCID for Steven Anderson: ORCID iD
ORCID for Sandra Leyland: ORCID iD
ORCID for Jonathan Ling: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2023 10:23
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2023 11:15