Joni Kuokkanen is a University Teacher of Sport Pedagogy at the Abo Akademi University in Finland. After completing the master´s degree in Teacher Education program for Physical Education from University of Jyväskylä in 2010, he was a physical education and health teacher working at the primary to upper secondary level (ages 9 to 18) during 2010 to 2015 before moving to an academic career since 2015. While educating trainee teachers who aspire to become classroom teachers in primary school, Kuokkanen has been a part time doctoral student working on his Phd thesis at the Abo Akademi University under Dr. Jan-erik Romar´s supervision. Currently, the doctoral dissertation is subject to preliminary examination, and if everything goes according to plan defended in a public examination in late spring 2022. His research interest surround student athlete wellbeing and adjustment in dual career contexts through the lens of Urie Bronfenbrenner´s socioecological theory. The results of his research has been presented at international conferences including AIESEP and ECSS. Kuokkanen´s teaching has focused on providing future classroom teachers with a broad range of practical, pedagogical and didactic tools for physical education as part of the compulsory course in the master´s program in education. Additionally, a part of his teaching responsibilities includes teaching game-based approaches for classroom teachers specializing in physical education at the bachelor´s and master´s level.
As only one university provides teaching in sport sciences at the master´s and doctoral degree-level, there is a limited but merited number of researchers with an interest in physical education and sport in Finland. In addition, teacher candidates can choose physical education as a minor subject that complements their major subject (i.e., education) as part of classroom teacher programs in several universities across the country. Although teaching of game-based approaches and TGfU is given some consideration in physical education programs at these universities, there has been considerably less interest in terms of related research. Consequently, the country lacks a pronounced strategy for teaching and research in relation to TGfU at the university level, and thus cannot optimally support and provide adequate tools for future teachers to implement teaching of game-based approaches as part of their daily teaching practices. As a member of the IAB for TGfU representing Finland, I plan to contribute to the TGfU community stepwise:
Stage 1 - Teaching TGfU approaches for undergraduate and graduate students at my own university.
Stage 2 - Networking and summoning a core group of people representing different contexts who are interested in developing the TGfU approach in Finland.
Stage 3 - Bringing together Finnish researchers and practitioners and create a holistic plan for promoting TGfU
Stage 4 – Facilitating research on TGfU approaches at different educational and sport contexts
Stage 5 – Distributing knowledge and research about TGFU approaches to Physical Education teachers at different levels within the Finnish educational system