Research Impact: The issue of who is best placed to deliver high-quality physical education in primary schools has been the subject of considerable debate. In Ireland, a PE specialism was introduced into two primary level initial teacher education (ITE) programmes when the Bachelor of Education degree was extended to a four-year course in 2012. The PE specialism allows generalist teachers to develop subject-specific PE expertise during ITE . This study investigates the influence of undertaking the PE specialism on teacher attitudes and beliefs, and the practices and roles undertaken by PE specialism graduates in primary schools. Findings suggest that this ITE model presents opportunities to develop content knowledge, engage in practical opportunities, and enhance pedagogical skills. PE specialism graduates are confident that they can deliver high-quality PE. However, existing structures and norms within schools may be reducing the potential impact that PE specialism graduates could have on physical education at a school-wide level.
Cillian Brennan, Richard Bowles & Elaine Murtagh (2021) The best of both worlds? The impact of the initial teacher education physical education specialism programme on generalist teachers’ self-efficacy, beliefs, and practices, Education 3-13, DOI: 10.1080/03004279.2021.2001557