Reflecting Back and Looking Forward: A TGfU Graduate Cohort

Publication Date


Document Type



The purpose of this session is to share the conceptualization and implementation of a teaching games for understanding (TGfU) graduate cohort at 1 university. The presenter will discuss features of this program, reflect on how this cohort served as a vehicle for a community of practice among educators in the state, and provide insights for possible future directions. In the summer of 2014, Bridgewater State University admitted its 1st cohort of students into the Master's of Science in Physical Education, TGfU concentration. The program was designed to have a powerful face-to face component to develop a community of practice and allowed graduate students to develop a deep understanding of the theoretical, philosophical, and practical dimensions of a constructivist approach to teaching and learning in physical education. Through engagement with the current literature in education, reflection on their own practice, and engagement in the research process, students explored the impact of applying student-centered approaches on teaching and learning in K-12 physical education. The 2014-2016 cohort began with 5 physical education teachers who had completed an initial licensure program in physical education, and current enrollment for the 2016-2018 cohort is projected to be 8 students. Some of the lessons learned include the impact of peer-to-peer support, the benefits and challenges of integrating noncohort students in classes with the cohort, the challenge of recruiting and retaining students, and the financial strains of completing a program in 2 years. For the 2016-2018 cohort, the next steps include changing the admission criteria and process, rethinking the curriculum to better support research proposal design, and a continued focus on the Summer Institute, which features a TGfU conference to engage students in a broader community of practice.

Original Citation

Richardson, K. P. (2016). Reflecting Back and Looking Forward: A TGfU Graduate Cohort. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 87(Sup1), S51. https://doi.org/10.1080/02701367.2016.1200446