Teng Tse Sheng started his teaching career in June 2000 at Serangoon Junior College (SRJC). He was the PE Head of Department from 2009 to 2011. During his time at SRJC, Teng coached the college football team for 11 years, and was also the assistant coach for the Singapore Schools Under-17 Football Team in 2005 and 2006. He joined the Physical Education and Sports Teacher Academy (PESTA) as a Programme Manager in 2012. In 2014, Teng was awarded the MOE Postgraduate Scholarship to pursue his Master of Education at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada. Teng has a keen interest in games-teaching pedagogies, in particular the Game Centred Approach and the Inventing Games Model. He studied under Dr Joy Butler during his master’s programme at the UBC. Upon his return from his studies, he started a Game Centred Approach Community of Practice, where a group of teachers practising this approach meet regularly to share ideas. Teng was appointed as Master Teacher in 2016, and has been working closely with schools to investigate how games can be taught more effectively and meaningfully. Over the years, he had the opportunity to work closely with Dr Tim Hopper, Dr Steve Mitchell and Dr Linda Griffin during their stint as PESTA’s Visiting Fellows.
Other than a keen interest in Game Centered Approaches, Teng also believes that ‘teachers can learn a lot from their students, and that students are our teachers as well’. It is this belief that led him to conduct the research with teachers from both the Primary and Secondary Schools on how students perceive PE. He believes that by giving students a voice, teachers will understand their students better and enable teachers to design a more student centric PE lesson. Students are also empowered to co-create a more meaningful and enjoyable learning experience. This focus on student centricity led him to successfully modify the shuttlecock to slow down its flight, using Dr Hopper’s 4R framework as the design principles. This first-of-its-kind innovation makes learning to play badminton easier for the low progressed learners.
At PESTA, Teng works closely with PE teachers to deepen their understanding and competency in the teaching of games, and learns from them in the process. He has conducted numerous workshops and presented in numerous conferences in Singapore on Game Centered Approach and the teaching of games for Physical Education teachers. In addition, he has also conducted workshops on Teaching Beliefs, which is another interest of his.
Teng is currently working with schools to adapt Dr Joy Butler’s Inventing Games Model to Singapore Schools’ context. He has designed an Inventing Games Unit during the remote learning period, and is currently working on refining the unit for a 2nd trial in 2021. He believes in the potential of Inventing Games in not just teaching students about playing and appreciating the game, but also the opportunities for social emotional learning and the learning of important 21 century competencies that will help them become a better student, player and person in the society.
The TGfU journey in Singapore started in the 1990s with a shift in Singapore’s education focus to develop students’ critical thinking skills and to nurture problem solvers. Game-centered teaching approach was introduced to the PE fraternity in 1999 by Dr Stephen Mitchell and Dr Judith Oslin, and Singapore's version of TGfU, the Games Concept Approach, was developed in the early 2000.
The PE syllabus in Singapore is games heavy (about 60 percent of the syllabus is devoted to the teaching of games). It is, thus, important, for teachers to have in their teaching repertoire, a good understanding of the game centered approach.
I am currently a Master Teacher with the Physical and Sports Teacher Academy. We are a branch within a division in the Ministry of Education looking after the professional development of in-service PE teachers. As professional development providers, our work involves conducting workshops and collaborating with teachers in schools. We conduct action research, try out innovative pedagogies and share the findings with the fraternity. A game-centered approach Community of Practice (CoP) was set up five years ago. It is a twice-a-year gathering of GCA practitioners to share best practices and discuss ideas and challenges in the teaching and learning of games.
As a member of the TGfU IAB, I aim to use the opportunity to connect with TGfU practitioners and experts around the world to continue to deepen my knowledge in the use of game-centered approach. With the current role I am playing as a Master Teacher, I will be able to share the most up-to-date research findings and guide teachers in the PE community who are implementing the game-centered approach. It is my wish to see more teachers in Singapore are knowledgeable in game-centered approach and are able to use it confidently in lessons.