Current PE provision has been shown to be inadequate, with Irish children receiving on average just 46 of the recommended 60 minutes of PE a week. Quality provision of PE is also impeded by a number of issues such as inadequate facilities, lack of time and poor teacher confidence toward teaching PE. Insufficient delivery of PE contributes to inadequate skill development and low confidence in children, causing them to lose enjoyment in being active. These are key determinants for participation in physical activity (PA) across the lifespan. Worryingly, current statistics show the number of Irish children reaching PA recommendations stands at less than 20%, with girls less likely than boys to achieve them. Participation in PA also decreases as children get older, with this being especially true for young girls. This research is attempting to improve the quality of PE provision to positively impact the number of Irish children being physically active, with a focus on keeping girls involved in PA.
The aim of this project is to evaluate the feasibility of restructuring PE within primary schools nationally by implementing full-time dedicated PE teachers in an economically viable way.
Mairéad holds a Bachelor of Education with a specialism in Physical Education from Mary Immaculate College Limerick. Supervisors: Dr Kieran Dowd, Dr Aoife Lane and Dr Niamh Ní Chéilleachair.
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