Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Tactic

During my last post I discussed a very valuable curriculum model that served as the building block for elementary physical education. While this curriculum model is certainly valuable especially to young students today we will be discussing a different curriculum model that is used primarily in both middle and high school physical education. The model we will be discussing today is called the Tactical Approach. Personally, the tactical approach is my favorite model and the model I use most in my classroom. As we discuss first its proper implementation and then its benefits, I will show how this model certainly has a positive effect on a students learning outcome.

The way this model is structured is the teacher presents a game, followed by a skill, and then the reintroduces a game. While this may sound straight forward, in order for it to be effective much more needs to go into its implementation. When a teacher presents the first game or activity they are supposed to limit their instructions to allow critical thinking and problem solving to take place. For example, if my focus of that day was passing I might ask the students to pass the ball four times between their team successfully. In these instructions I would leave out using the instep of the foot, game strategies such as the give and go all in hope that the students will use these skills on their own. After the students participate in the activity a discussion must make place to see how the students went about solving the problem. After the discussion it is up to the teacher to introduce the skills necessary to participate effectively. In this case the focus would be on passing with the instep of your foot and using the give and go to create open space. After the class has done their skill work it is up to the teacher to reintroduce the game and have the student’s use the skills practiced in class and carry them over into game play.

As you can see the Tactical Approach certainly benefits student learning because of the emphasis on appropriate timing and skill practice. What I like most about this model is the ability to teach student’s skills, tactics, as well as rules for game play all in the confines of a lesson. By applying game related motor skills and movement concepts students feel confident participating in activities not only in physical education class but for the rest of their life. If students do not understand the game as well as the skills involved then their ability to identify and execute the correct technique is impaired. Knowledge is power and by using this model educators are allowing their students to be successful by teaching them all the necessary skills for participation. I speak from experience when I say this model truly benefits student learning outcomes.

Here is a great article on the Tactical Approach. Please let me know your thoughts about the Tactical Approach and if you find it effective or not.


  1. I am also a big fan of using the tactical approach in my teachings. It is always exciting when you present the task and every student has a different way of completing it. It also leads to a really good discussion on what the best way to complete the task is. I think it's a really good strategy to use when you are first introducing a game, especially if it's a game the students haven't played before.

  2. I think that the tactical approach is a great teaching model to use in the classroom. I think that anytime the students are able to learn through doing by physically and mentally completing the task is more effective than a lot of other teaching models or theories. Students who come into the classroom and gain exposure to this style of teaching have the ability to learn and self discover different methods and skill sets that can be beneficial and tailored for their individual success. In my teaching experience I have found that certain skill sets need to be instructed in a certain manner so that the form and technique of the task is performed correctly, however some students benefit from having the leeway to discover what works best for them as individuals. I think that this type of learning leads to a deeper thought process and allows for students to have high success rates. I think that the goal of every classroom throughout the country should be to have the students succeed, after all when students are able to succeed they develop more self confidence and a positive correlation with success and physical activity.