What is a ‘Modern’ Approach to Development?

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What is a ‘Modern’ Approach to Development?

What do you think of when you hear about a ‘modern’ approach to development? Is it just another buzz word for the latest trend or can it remind us as leaders to remain present with our learner’s needs and their context.

GAME PLAY LEARN promotes a modern approach to the development journey to serve as a continual reference to embrace the new day of a lifelong journey - the uncertainties, challenges and new discoveries. We move forward with experience, aligned with the latest evidence, to extend support to others on their learning quest be it the sporting context or beyond.

“An important challenge is to develop pedagogical approaches which harness experiential knowledge gained through years of personal experience, complemented by knowledge from ongoing empirical research to ensure that unsubstantiated opinions or historical precedence (‘we have always done it this way’) do not bias learning designs in sport and physical education (Greenwood et al., 2012, 2014).”Excerpt From: Jia Yi Chow. “Nonlinear Pedagogy in Skill Acquisition: An Introduction.” iBooks.

Learn from History, beware of tradition

History is useful to understand where we’ve come from. But if left alone, tradition can hold us back.

Carol Black so poetically yet unapologetically reveals the history of our education system in ‘The Wildness of Children’ which was built upon the need for industrial order therefore creating a tradition of “the structure of modern schooling –– with its underlying systems of confinement, control, standardization, measurement, and enforcement –– that today they are accomplished even without our conscious knowledge or assent.”

If we acknowledge the history of our culture and remain conscious of emerging constraints and needs of our learners, we can provide a sense of security for them to evolve - gradually moving forward rather than allow tradition to hold us all back.

Yes, there are still benefits of looking back and problems emerging going forward.

Remember the world without technology, without a heightened fear of risk, where kids had the freedom to navigate the world around them?


A modern approach to development along with the latest evidence and empirical research, respects yesterday’s experience and considers tomorrow’s emerging constraints.

What we need to do is shift away from “historical precedence (of) reproductive styles, isolated drills and decontextualised practices”  and continue to allow the Skill Acquisition Scientists to move us forward:

“Traditional pedagogical styles tend to prevent individual learners from exploring and discovering their own functional movement solutions to a performance problem. Finding their own solutions is a more appropriate characterisation of learning in sport and physical education (Davids et al., 2014). Successful performance in sport involves the individual learner being challenged beyond mere repetition and imitation of a putative classic action. Instead, as a result of learning, individuals should be able to critically interpret patterns of play, make their own decisions, and create functional actions that can be adapted to solve competitive performance challenges (Renshaw et al., 2010). Student-centred, inquiry-based styles of pedagogical practice, such as the constraints-led approach, Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) and its Australian variation Game Sense (den Duyn, 1997), offer viable approaches for the development of the learner’s cognitive and affective dimensions.” Excerpt From: Jia Yi Chow. “Nonlinear Pedagogy in Skill Acquisition: An Introduction.” iBooks


  • Uphold the individual

    Along with acknowledging context and cultural needs and constraints, a modern approach upholds the individual and recognises diversity. Thus a learner-led approach fits as well, as the individual becomes empowered to be the expert of their own journey.

  • Individual learning cartoon

“We do not coach every kid like the non existent average kid, but rather meet each individual where they are and create a strategy WITH them to help them explore their potential. Lastly I would say that modern coaching is athletes centered, with the coach taking a back seat or maybe simply watching the car drive by.” Loren Anderson @RiseVolleyball

Remaining Modern

If today is tomorrow’s yesterday, how do we remain ‘modern’?

Remember, we remain present with our learner’s needs and their context.

  • Keep our learners needs at the forefront of our motives
  • Acknowledge the history of our culture
  • Remain conscious of the environment’s emerging constraints
  • Steer clear of ‘historical precedence’
  • Move forward with empirical research
  • Uphold the individual


  • Facilitate a Modern Approach

    Learn more on How to Facilitate a Modern Approach joining GAME PLAY LEARN and receive our FREE Introductory E-booklet

  • Introductory E-Booklet

    GAME PLAY LEARN Introductory E-Booklet

    A 13 page compact summary of The GAME PLAY LEARN Approach

2 Comments on “What is a ‘Modern’ Approach to Development?”

  1. Pingback: The PE Playbook – January 2017 Edition - drowningintheshallow

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