Deakin University

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The (mis)alignment between young people’s collective physical activity experience and physical education curriculum development in Ireland

journal contribution
posted on 2022-09-29, 23:01 authored by M Coulter, Dylan ScanlonDylan Scanlon, Ann MacPhail, W O’Brien, S Belton, Catherine Woods
Major curriculum changes have recently occurred in Ireland, including redeveloping the primary curriculum and the enactment of the Junior Cycle Framework (DES, 2015). Positive and negative experiences affect the attitudes which contribute to determining the quality of curricular experiences. Framed in the work of Fullan, M. (1991. The New Meaning of Educational Change. Toronto: Teachers College Press) and Dewey, J. (1997. Experience and Education. New York, NY: Touchstone), this study aims to understand how young people’s experiences of collective physical activity can inform physical education curriculum development and enactment. Focus group interviews were conducted in three primary and three post-primary schools. The young people’s experiences reflected the features of meaningful physical education: fun opportunities, preferably outside; to socially interact with friends; provision of activities that are both competitive and non-competitive; activities focused on team sport and alternative forms of movement such as yoga; differentiated activities and teams and choice, beyond choosing between team sports only. We argue that the young person’s voice has the potential to inform policy and practice, as well as enforce and advocate for policy and practice that positions young people at the centre of the learning experience.



Curriculum Studies in Health and Physical Education






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