An Inclusive Approach

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An Inclusive Approach

  • What’s the difference between beginners to professional players in relation to their learning needs?
  • Does an elite environment have to look different to a grassroots one?
  • What if we could provide for all needs in the one context?
The GAME PLAY LEARN Approach is an inclusive approach which offers a guide to uphold the needs of all learners at all levels of their journey.

    1. AUTONOMY: The need for ownership, choice and support throughout the ups and downs of a non-linear journey.
    2. RELATEDNESS: The need to interact and adapt to varying interpersonal, task and environmental (including socio-cultural) relationships within a community.
    3. COMPETENCE/MASTERY: A place to grow a love for playing, opportunity to build competency and seek mastery in performance.
The INCLUSIVITY of the approach is that we can provide a space whereby all learners, regardless of ability or experience, are invited on a learning journey together; To explore their own world of potential within a diverse community.The GAME PLAY LEARN Approach

The benefits of diversity are limitless with an inclusive approach. Inviting all manner of difference to the learning journey adds an almost spiritual element to learn from and appreciate each other’s differences.

But the majority of contexts in sport and education separate learners into commonalities of age, ability and/or level of competition. What can start out as good intention to serve the individual, can distort into an exclusive focus on serving the competitions or lauding certain contexts over others.

How about turning that on it’s head? Johan Fallaby’s mantra is a wonderful inclusive solution to those distracted from the needs of all,

“As many as possible (DIVERSITY), as long as possible (JOURNEY), in the best environment possible (COMMUNITY).”

Thankfully, we can see evidence of a move towards an inclusive approach such as the above ‘Quiet Revolution’ at Swedish club AIK:

“…a decision was made for a change of focus on the activities in child-youth football 8-12 years in AIK. The club will delay its academy selection until the age of 13. There will be no selection process in this age group. Instead training groups will be formed with increased support from AIK through a deliberate investment in resources to support the coaches working within this age group.”

Managing a diverse group of learners then becomes a challenge.  But from children and beginners, to grassroots and professional environments, it’s a win:win with The GAME PLAY LEARN Approach.  The inclusive approach  supports coaches with…

…Learning Design > (Design the GAME)

…Group Dynamics > (Let them PLAY)

…Our Role as Facilitator > (Watch them Learn)


Design the GAME

We become Learning Designers and create games with our Learners to suit the context and their needs.

From No Design Needed,  to a Constraints-Led Approach, the differences in Learning Design then comes back to considering the context and complexity of the task to suit the learner, yet all learners can benefit from the variability of all games.

The benefits of separating learners into certain contexts for e.g. ‘Beginner’,  ‘Child’, ‘Professional’ or ‘Grassroots’  impacts the complexity of our GAME Design to cater more towards individuals, but again, all learners can benefit from the variability principle of experiencing all games with a diverse group of learners.

Let them PLAY

Giving the Learner freedom to explore new boundaries, express imagination and grow a love of playing.

PLAY brings about fascinating group dynamics.  This is the valuable yet unpredictable nature of PLAY. There is a reason ‘players’ are called players. PLAYers PLAY. Yet play is still underestimated with it’s value in learning and performance.

Are professionals exempt from freedom and imagination? And dare we say FUN?

There’s still a contentious issue for some in competitive settings that think getting serious and winning is the answer, leaving fun behind.

Here’s a couple of guys who have another view:

Watch them LEARN

Enable a natural learning process through experience and playing independently of any teacher. We take a back seat and become ‘The Observing Presence’.

A Facilitator Approach may be welcomed in a grassroots context, but what about a top level professional environment, or an ‘elite’ talent development setting. Surely coaching means instruction, direction and correction from the leader?

Actually, it’s observation, facilitation and allowing players to ‘participate’ in the learning experience that creates a powerful learning journey.




One Comment on “An Inclusive Approach”

  1. Pingback: The PE Playbook - June 2017 Edition - drowningintheshallow

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