Investigation of Pupils' Levels of MVPA and VPA During Physical Education Units Focused on Direct Instruction and Tactical Games Models


  • Stephen Harvey West Virginia University
  • Lindsey Smith University of Derby, UK
  • Stuart Fairclough Edge Hill University, UK
  • Louise Savory East of England Multi-Professional Deanery, Cambridge, UK
  • Catherine Kerr Oxford Brookes University, UK



We investigated the moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and vigorous physical activity (VPA) levels of pupils during coeducational physical education units focused on direct instruction and tactical games models (TGM). Thirty-two children (11-12 years, 17 girls) were randomly assigned to either a direct instruction (control) or TGM (intervention) group. Children wore RT3 triaxial accelerometers over 6 physical education lessons focused on field hockey to measure time spent in MVPA and VPA objectively.The System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time (SOFIT) was also used during each lesson to examine pupil physical activity, lesson context, and teacher behaviors. Results from accelerometry show MVPA and VPA were significantly higher in the TGM class compared to the class taught using direct instruction. SOFIT lesson context data show the TGM teacher spent less time managing and more time in skill practice and game play. The results of this study indicate that a shift in games pedagogy to TGM, in which the central aspect is participation in modified/conditioned games, is more likely to provide pupils the opportunity to achieve current physical activity guidelines stipulated by the Department of Health (2011) and the Institute of Medicine (2013).