The ‘Phyz’ Project – Dr Antonio Calderon

Recently, the team represented by Dr Deborah Tannehill and myself (from the PESS Department) together with the National Council of Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA), has been successful with a request for funding through the Healthy Ireland fund. This is terrific news for all those involved in the project, but especially because of the outstanding developments in Irish physical education, and the Senior Cycle Physical Education (SCPE) framework.

The ‘project aims to track the use of a newly designed web/mobile application (Phyz), in order to better understand its impact and potential in supporting learning and assessment in SCPE. This will allow for a more comprehensive understanding of the impact of using this app to support instructional alignment in SCPE.

Overall, the Phyz project aims to:

  • Support a small cluster of physical education teachers as they familiarize themselves with the new app and integrate its use effectively into their planning and teaching practice of the curriculum models that frame SCPE
  • Build a learning community composed of these teachers where they can learn and plan collaboratively, share, reflect, and plan to improve on their teaching practice
  • Ensure that senior cycle students are key partners in the effective use of the app;
  • Share exemplification of successful practices between project schools and beyond with other schools and other stakeholders (i.e. JCT, PDST, PEAI); in particular with those schools involved in Phase 1 of the implementation of SCPE and other schools who have started to use SCPE framework and the app.


I have previously blogged on this topic, and highlighted that:

“we must acknowledge that the potential of digital technology advances applied to education is massive, and grows at a very high speed. However, its incorporation into daily school (quality) practice is not that fast and will take time” (full post here).

The transition to new pedagogical endeavour is quite complex and takes time. It is for this reason that we are starting small, but with a clear idea in mind. We firmly believe that understanding the pedagogy of the different curriculum models of SCPE is essential to developing a pedagogy of digital technology.

As our colleague, Dr Ash Casey brilliantly said:

“There is no substitute for good pedagogy. However, that now means one that uses technology to enhance the learning that occurs and take learners beyond the four walls of their classrooms. With the rapid emergence of technology, we now need to find more than just a place for it in our teaching but create a place for it in the learning of our students. To do this we must focus on its use pedagogically and find ways of bringing the world to the classroom” (Casey, 2014).

Accordingly, we have designed the ‘Phyz’ project timeline (see below).


I should say that all the people involved in this project are extremely excited. We are immensely grateful to Healthy Ireland for providing us with this opportunity to work with our colleagues in the NCCA.  Finally, we look forward to working collaboratively with Irish physical education teachers and Irish physical education, which is now experiencing extraordinary momentum.

Some Readings:

Casey, A. (2014). Developing a Pedagogy of Technology in Physical Education. Retrieved from:

Juniu, S. (2011) Pedagogical Uses of Technology in Physical Education, Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 82:9, 41-49. Retrieved from:


AntonioDr Antonio Calderon is a lecturer in Teacher Education/Sport Pedagogy in the department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences at the University of Limerick.  Antonio’s current research interests include student learning in physical education and on social media and digital technologies for learning and engagement in teacher education.  Contact Antonio via email at or view his research profile on Researchgate

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