Associate Professor at Massey University
Dr. Dennis Slade is the New Zealand representative on the TGfU International Advisory Board and author of the text: Transforming Play: Teaching tactics and game sense.
At that stage, I did not know Alan but he had seen my two presentations at this conference and in his key-note he praised what he saw – so I remained seated; But then he said, “Dennis thinks this is TGfU but it isn’t – it is Play Practice,” - the title of his text. I didn’t walk out. No one knew me and I could handle the good with the bad and the bad wasn’t that bad at all.
David Kirk brought up the ‘jet pilot’ quote again in 2016 at the sixth International TGfU conference in Cologne. And while he discussed Launder’s observation, the time constraints for his presentation didn’t allow him to offer a way to employ TGfU without the need for the equivalent of a ‘jet pilot’s’ licence, namely the need for extensive in-depth sport knowledge to employ the model.
I’ve never agreed with the ‘jet pilot’ notion. I think the practical application of TGfU, perhaps better described in its application as game centred learning (GCL), is relatively straight forward. You can learn it. Of course, you need some sport knowledge but you don’t have to be an elite coach to do so. Until recently, I would suggest being an elite coach might have got in the way of you using GCL.
I’ve tried to do something about this ‘jet pilot’ concern by developing my own model for GCL. The model, now published  sets out a way for non-specialist PE teachers to employ GCL approaches.
One with children in the 11- 13 year age group and the other in a younger 9-10-year grouping. The feedback from the generalist primary school teachers in terms of their confidence to employ GCL strategies through my proposed model has been extremely positive. Although not the primary focus of the pilot study, but thrown in for good measure, there has also been significant learning by the students as measured on a visual tactics test.
My goal is to further refine the model and present it as a way for generalist primary school teachers to confidently employ the constructivist GCL approach as David Kirk suggested was needed to make PE relevant in education.
[1) Developing a game and learning-centred flexible teaching model for transforming play