Within the game

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The current study discusses games within physical education programs as an important tool to promote life skills development (E.g. Communication, cooperation). Through a literature review, a review of historical events and life experiences, an ethnography was done in order to provide a better understanding of the major advantages and difficulties while conducting such approach.
The research analyzed its content based on the concept that games offer a common language that allows the communication among different people regardless their origin, culture, race or history (Freire, 2005). The ping pong tournament that allowed Americans into the Chinese territory in 1971 which was subsequently known as “the ping pong democracy” is a good example to illustrate this point of view.
Sport history is also discussed to provide a context to better understand the potential negative impact of games when competiveness is taken to the extreme. This seems contradictory to Physical Education as an Educational discipline whereby it plays a role to encourage students to think about their own attitudes while engaged in physical activities. For example, the development of life skills through games can be viewed through such an educational lens. Life skills can be viewed along a continuum from an introspective perspective that focuses on self esteem to the promotion of communication and democracy among peers. This presentation discusses the constraints placed upon games and the tension that often exists from an educational perspective of the role that they play within Physical Education to foster the healthy development of groups and individuals.

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Within the game

  1. 1. Within the game Ma. Mauro André Dr. James Mandigo
  2. 2. What is the essence of thegame?
  3. 3. What is the essence of thegame?Is it a natural instinct?The „second gestation‟ would be accomplished within social relationships and playing activities that provides the development of rituals, habits, education and culture (Geertz,1989)In the ancient era, Greeks and Romains would attribute the game with religion and artistic values, considering it as sacred as a ritual (Brougère, 1998)
  4. 4. What is the essence of thegame?Piaget (1986) studied how chimps would play different kind of „make believe‟ gamesHuizinga (1964) would also suggest that animals do play while observing puppies So how can we explain the purpose of the game for animals?
  5. 5. What is the essence of thegame?If animals as irrational creatures are able to play, they must be more than mechanical living thingsIf men play and they know that they are playing, they must be more than rational beings, once play is irrational (Huizinga, 1964)
  6. 6. What is the essence of thegame?The game can be a natural instinct, a cultural construction or even a spiritual element, and most likely it can be an integration of all three elements.Most importantly, physical educators should have a broader understanding of what can the game do.
  7. 7. WHAT CAN THE GAME DO?Ping pong diplomacy –1971“A small ping pong ball,like a small butterfly,eventually helped to alterthe pattern of history” Hong & Sun, 2000: 430More recently…South Korea and NorthKorea agreed to competeas a unique team in the:Asian Games in Doha(2006) and in the BeijingOlympics (2008) (Merkel, 2008)
  8. 8. WHAT CAN THE GAME DO?“Sport has the powerto change the world,the power to inspire,the power to unitepeople in a way thatlittle else can. Itspeaks to people ina language theyunderstand” (Final report IYSPE, 2005: 90)
  9. 9. What can the game do?In 1973, the Humanistic Physical Education approach was first presented relating physical activity to the development of self-esteem, self- actualization, self-understanding, interpersonal relationsThe model intended to shift the dominant idea of „education of the physical‟ to the „education through the physical‟
  10. 10. What can the game do?1980‟s - Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) was presented with a student-centered paradigmBesides developing students‟ motor skills, TGfU was also proposed to improve relationships and metacognitive skills (Mandigo and Corlett, 2008)TGfU was proposed as an effective form to introduce value orientations such as democracy and inclusion (Butler, 2006)
  11. 11. What can the game do?Sport Education model presented by Daryl Siedentop had a more holistic learning of sportTasks would include: refereeing, keeping score, compiling statistics, publicizing team performance, coaching, managing, and of course, performing.The idea is that students would be engaged to a single team for at least a whole season (single sport). ◦ Obtaining broader learning (multiple roles) ◦ Affiliate to a group (working together towards a common goal)
  12. 12. What can the game do?“Sport for Peace” (S4P) promoting the in the learning process and positive interactions.Life skills such as trust, respect, sharing responsibility and even sense of family (Ennis et al., 1999)Football for Peace (F4P).soccer to promote the approximation of Jewish and Arab children in the region of Galilee, Israel. (Sugden,2006)
  13. 13. But, what else can the gamedo? In 2007, Iraq was the unexpected champion of the Asian soccer cup providing a rare moment of national joy The excitement was even able to unite religion rivals to celebrate the national team accomplishment
  14. 14. But, what else can the game do?On March 14th 2009 in the The incident may be city of Hilla (100km from interpreted as an isolated Bagdad) case of violence that represents the many years of war in which thisA professional soccer country has lived. player was shot by a fan when he was found in a scoring situation that Negative outcomes can would tie the match in the also be originated from closing moments. playing games of diverse levels and from many different places.
  15. 15. But, what else can the gamedo? (Lewis, 1996) (Kerr, 2005)
  16. 16. But, what else can the gamedo?It has become the Physical Nevertheless... PE has Educator duty to been majorly used as a promote discussions of form to reinforce the the sports, games and values on how sports physical activities values became popular in our and attitudes in order to society. develop a reflexive viewer that is able to have a critic perspective Sports have been used in education within an (Betti, 2004) ideological conquest of capitalism, i.e. it promoted competitiveness, aggressive behaviour and individualism (Gems, 1999)
  17. 17. But, what else can the gamedo?The declining According to Clarke participation on (2006) boys physical activity successful among youth in US participation in team society may have games provide a part of its origin due valued and to gender, race and reinforcement in their social class peer groups, differences, which whereas girls are not have not been as celebrated by properly considerate accomplishing the in the physical same achievement. education curriculum.
  18. 18. “I love this game”However, does love Games may only promote provide... goodness? trust, teamwork andHave you ever heard caring about passionate crime? rate, segregation and individualism Games are not inherent good
  19. 19. So, who will your studentsbe? ?
  20. 20. So, who will your studentsbe?The country would be filled with both sadness followed by pride and happiness followed by embarrassment.Terry Fox and Ben Johnson ◦ same sport ◦ same place (country) ◦ same time periodRegardless of cultural differences fantastic and awful outcomes may have its origin in games and sports.
  21. 21. So, who will your studentsbe?PE and many other physical activities runs in every social-economical standard. As physical educators our goal must go beyond the game.There are two other hidden stories that we do not know much about: ◦ Bob McGill (Terry‟s PE teacher) ◦ Charlie Francis (Ben‟s Coach).How were their influences over these two personalities?Which path would you rather promote?
  22. 22. Thank you for your attentionMy e-mail: mauro_ha@yahoo.comMa. Mauro Andre

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