Dr. Joy Butler’s current research is investigating how Inventing Games (IG), a physical education (PE) program where groups of students create their own games, might support the development of principles of ethical actions in students as they learn collaboratively. IG is an extension of the Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) curriculum model which moves PE pedagogy further into democratized learning whilst sharing TGfU’s constructivist epistemology. This will examine the dimension of co-creation and co-active engagement, which we believe essential to understanding the roots of democracy and ethical action.
This research is the culmination of years of teaching workshops to students and teachers where participants have explored first hand ‘democracy in action’ by working with others to invent and organize games that are fair, challenging, and fun. Butler has been at the forefront of an international movement in educational philosophy around sport and physical education. She has organized a seminal international conference series on Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) 1) NH, USA, 2001 2) Melbourne, Australia, 2003, 3) Hong Kong, 2005, 4) UBC, Canada 2008 and 5) UK 2012 and chairs the TGfU International Task Force, which she also founded in 2002.
Most recently, Butler has drawn together 22 practicing teachers at UBC to form a unique PETE graduate cohort researching TGfU.
Butler also researches ‘communities on the move’ towards health and wellness, engaging members of various institutions in Walkabout pedometer teams that compete in virtual races. She is particularly interested in why people involved in such community programs are more likely to sustain a fitness regime than those who exercise individually.
Butler’s books and articles are widely used in teacher education in North America and in translation worldwide. She has assisted the Ministry of Education in Singapore with curriculum reform in PE and will visit China this year in a similar capacity.
Dr. Joy Butler
Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy