Assessment in physical education in Ireland – Ann MacPhail

Current assessment discussions in Ireland revolve around teachers being responsible for assessing their own students’ work. This paper explores the subsequent impact such a perspective is having (or not) on the delivery and assessment of physical education in Ireland. This discussion is particularly timely given the very recent endorsement for the introduction of the new Leaving Certificate Physical Education as a full optional subject. The paper explores (i) assessment in Irish primary and post-primary schools, drawing attention to the limited Irish assessment-related research being conducted in both contexts, and (ii) assessment developments related to Irish primary physical education and post-primary physical education and the extent to which such developments are limited in comparison to international assessment interests and practices in physical education. The impact of the work is to prompt consideration on how we can most effectively alter the balance of assessment purposes and uses in Irish schools.

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MacPhail, A. and Murphy, F., 2017. Too much freedom and autonomy in the enactment of assessment? Assessment in physical education in Ireland. Irish Educational Studies, pp.1-16.

Ann MacPhail is a Professor of Physical Education in the Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences. See Ann’s profile here.  or on twitter @AnnMacPhail1 

Ann can be contacted at 


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