Sport Pedagogy

Sport Pedagogy is the joining of education and sport. In its broadest context sport pedagogy includes physical activity, physical education, wellness and sport for all age groups. It is evidenced-based and practice-focused, built on a foundation of effective teaching and coaching, and aimed at promoting participants’ learning. Sport Pedagogy encompasses three dimensions, 1) knowledge in content, 2) learners and learning, and 3) teachers/teaching and coaches/coaching.


Sport Pedagogy in PESS

The world-class expertise in sport pedagogy in PESS has been central to the University of Limerick being named as the top outstanding university in the field of sport pedagogy, as determined by a 2017 study (Dong et al., 2017) that reviewed almost 3,000 sport pedagogy-related publications. Interestingly, the second and third ranked universities, Ohio State University and Loughborough University respectively, are institutes in which four of the current / past PESS sport pedagogy community have previously worked, illustrating the consistent international profile of those appointments. PESS sport pedagogy is also central and highly respected with regards to its involvement in providing leadership to physical education professional bodies, and research in the associated areas of assessment, curriculum and instruction in the Irish school physical education context. There are four areas of research or themes of interest for the sport pedagogy group: (1) Physical education curriculum, (2) Physical Education Teacher Education; (3) Movement, play co-curricular sport; and (4) Effective pedagogies for teaching and learning.


Key Contacts in Sport Pedagogy in PESS and areas of Research

Prof. Ann MacPhail ( – Young people’s voices; communities of practice and continuing professional development; self-study

Dr. Daniel Tindall ( – Adapted physical education and physical activity 

Brigitte Moody (  – Self-study; dance pedagogy

Dr. Antonio Calderon (  – Pedagogical models; digital learning

Ursula Freyne ( – Curriculum and assessment in physical education

Dr. Elaine Murtagh ( – Physical activity and physical education

Dr. Brendan O'Keeffe ( – Pedagogy of health-related fitness; school-based health

Dr. Ian Sherwin ( – Pedagogy of coaching

Dr. Phil Kearny ( – Human motor movement; youth sport; coaches' knowledge and practices


Sport Pedagogy Publications (click on link)