A crisis of confidence and leadership: Key challenges for Physical Education Teacher Education

Presented by Professor Mary O'Sullivan

There is a widely shared view globally that we need to improve teacher education to meet the challenges of the 21st century. In Europe, as in the southern hemisphere, teacher education is viewed as a major policy lever to improve school and teacher quality. Those engaged in Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) programmes are not immune to the impact of these policy agendas. Many academics delivering PETE programmes are not seen as key teacher education program players at their universities, nor has their doctoral training been as teacher educators.

Professor O'Sullivan will discuss key challenges for PETE, including its differentiation as a field of study, the intensification of the research audit culture of universities, and the practicum turn in teacher education with increasing expectations for Physical Education teachers as teacher educators. Professor O'Sullivan will explore the crisis of confidence and/or leadership in PETE and implications for the field and for Physical Education in schools.

This lecture is hosted in partnership with the Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER) Victoria.

Mary O'Sullivan

Professor Mary O'Sullivan

Mary O'Sullivan holds the Professorship of Physical Education and Youth Sport in the Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences (PESS) at the University of Limerick, Ireland.  She established the PE PAYS Research Centre there in 2005 and led the development of the centre for ten years.

She has recently completed two terms as Dean of the Faculty of Education and Health Sciences at the University of Limerick and is now focussed on researching teacher education, physical education teacher education and teacher professional development from both a policy and curriculum perspective.