As September approaches we welcome the 3rd cohort of PME students while saying goodbye to the 2nd. At the same time we honour the 1st cohort of students who graduated in August 2016. The first PME class is successfully teaching and working in schools both Ireland and abroad. Paula McCarthy, who is currently teaching in the United Arab Emirates, received the for the highest QCA of the group and graduated with a 3.72 QCA.
This group of students was the first to submit a thesis in partial fulfilment of requirements for the degree and Alison O’Connor’s thesis was one of two selected from the entire cohort of UL 75+ PME students to be showcased in the Teaching Council Student Teacher Research E-Zine published in Spring 2017.
Alison’s thesis was selected to highlight the quality and depth of student work on the PME programme. Alison’s thesis entitled, Fostering fundamental movement skills in adolescent females, explored the impact of a fundamental movement skills (FMS) programme for first year students, with a view to assessing and enhancing the students’ current FMS through a four-week FMS enhancement programme. The project also sought to investigate perceptions of meaningful activity in determining what might be required to create and sustain a FMS enhancement programme. The aim of this study was to explore the impact of a fundamental movement skills (FMS) programme for first year students. Specifically, this action research project sought to assess and enhance the students’ current FMS through a four-week FMS enhancement programme, and explore perceptions of meaningful activity in determining of what might be required to create and sustain a FMS enhancement programme. Participants were one intact first year class of thirty students, all female, and twelve to thirteen years of age. Qualitative and quantitative data were gathered during physical education class. Qualitative measures included pre- and post-FMS programme focus group interviews, and pre- and post-FMS programme photo-elicitation. Quantitative measures included a pre- and post-four-week FMS programme skill assessment. Analysis of qualitative data revealed three themes reflecting perceptions of meaningful engagement: the relevant nature of the activity; the influence of others on participation, and participants’ valuing of the programme. The quantitative data revealed that each skill in the programme significantly improved. Results from this study indicate the positive effect a FMS programme can have in increasing participants’ FMS. It also identified what participants found meaningful when designing such a programme. The overall conclusions of the study indicate that participation in physical activity relates to FMS proficiency, and that the inclusion of a FMS programme in physical education can contribute positively to students’ involvement in physical activity in and beyond physical education class.
Melissa (Missy) Parker is a Lecturer and Course Director of the Professional Master of Education (Physical Education) here in the PESS Department at the University of Limerick. View Missy’s profile Here!
Missy’s Email: firstname.lastname@example.org