About us

Dr Manolis Adamakis

Manolis is a Lecturer in Physical Education in the Programme of Sport Studies and Physical Education of the School of Education. Currently he is the teaching various modules related to physical activity, wellbeing, fitness, sport pedagogy and history and philosophy of Physical Education, in both under- and post-graduate level. Manolis is also a supervisor in School Placement and is research supervisor to a number of M.Ed. students. His PhD was entitled “Validity of consumer-level activity monitors and mobile applications to measure physical activity of adolescent athletes”, which compared the accuracy of four wearable devices and six smartphone applications with criterion measures. His research focuses on Physical Education Teacher Education programmes, new technologies in Physical Education, promotion of youth’s physical activity through new technologies, methodological issues in physical activity and exercise, and objective and subjective instruments for physical activity assessment.

Dr Lisa Bolger

Dr. Lisa Bolger, is the current Practical Areas Co-ordinator and lecturer for the B.Ed Sport Studies and Physical Education Programme, in the School of Education, at University College Cork UCC). Lisa was awarded a ‘RISAM’ Scholarship and completed her PhD in the area of children’s fundamental movement skill proficiency and physical activity, at Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) in August 2018. Her PhD was entitled ‘The effectiveness of school-based interventions on fundamental movement skill proficiency among Irish primary school children’. Lisa conducted her PhD as part of Project Spraoi, a primary school-based physical activity (PA) and nutrition intervention project. As part of her PhD, Lisa assessed the FMS proficiency among a cohort of Irish primary school children and examined the effectiveness of a physical activity (Year 1) and a multicomponent FMS (Year 2) intervention on children’s FMS levels. Lisa is also currently a lecturer in the Department of Sport, Leisure and Childhood Studies at CIT. Over the last six years, she has lectured in areas of fundamental movement skills, coaching, physical activity and movement, athletic performance and testing, adapted physical activity, exercise physiology, movement analysis, childhood nutrition, information technology for the leisure industry and sports psychology. 

Lisa is actively involved in research with 6 published articles in the areas of fundamental movement skills, children’s physical activity and adolescent functional movement proficiency. Lisa has recently published a systematic review titled ‘Global fundamental movement skills: a systematic review’ and is currently in the process of completing a systematic review in the area of functional movement in collaboration with other members of UCC, Dublin City University and others. In 2019, Lisa also worked as Research Officer at Student Sport Ireland (SSI), the national governing body for third level sport, on the Student Activity and Sport Study Ireland (SASSI) 2 study. Lisa continues to be a member of the SSI Research Committee.

Dr Fiona Chambers

Fiona is the Head of the School of Education. Fiona's learning, teaching and research expertise lies in Physical Education, Physical Education Teacher Education, Mentoring and  Digital Wellbeing. She is also an expert in human-centred innovation, design strategy and design thinking. She is a senior academic with 30 years of experience across both the education and banking sectors. Fiona has very strong management, leadership and interpersonal skills with solid experience developing and leading small and large teams and projects to success locally, nationally and internationally.

She is a Visiting Professor at three US universities: Teachers College Columbia University in New York; the University of North Carolina at Greensboro; and the University of Athens Georgia.

Fiona's research occurs at the intersection where sport and education meet. Specifically, the research focus is on professional learning, mentoring, design thinking and digital wellbeing. She is a reviewer for twelve international journals.

She is the Secretary General for the Association Internationale des Ecoles Superieure d’Education Physique (AIESEP). Fiona is a co-founder of All Island All Active, a multisectoral knowledge exchange platform which promotes physical activity amongst vulnerable groups on the island of Ireland through evidence-based practice. Within AIAA, Fiona has co-developed the first university-based Made2Move Club with, for and by students. She is a convener of the European Educational Research Association Network 18: Research in Sport Pedagogy. She has worked as an assessor for the Teaching Council of Ireland since 2008.

See: http://publish.ucc.ie/researchprofiles/A013/fchambers

Dr Joao Costa

Dr João Costa is co-director of the BEDSSPE programme.  Joao is a lecturer in UCC since 2017, is a Physical Education teacher (Technical University of Lisbon) and Doctor in Education Sciences – Teacher Education (University of Lisbon). He has extensive experience from working in schools with all age levels and from sports coaching. In 2013 he started as educator of teachers of Physical Education in their initial qualification and in-service teachers of all subjects. He also educates sports coaches from a range of sports for their initial qualification and their continuous development. João’s research interests focus on the collaborative professional development of educators (teachers, teacher educators, and coaches) through learning communities and their practice with their learners in designing a meaningful and aligned curriculum with positive pedagogies and assessment as learning. He serves on national and international bodies and peer-reviewed journals (either as associate or as board member), actively researching and publishing.

Ms. Trish Fitzpatrick

Trish has been teaching dance in the PE curriculum since 1991 in primary, post primary and third level education. She has contributed to conferences (PEAI, INTO) and CPD for primary and physical education teachers throughout the country. She wrote the creative dance strand of the Primary PE Curriculum (1999), and she trained the support teachers responsible for the national dissemination of dance in the Primary PE Curriculum (2002-2005). Trish worked as facilitator for the design and implementation of the dance strand of the Junior Cycle PE programme (1998-2000). In 2004-2005 she wrote the dance section of Resource Materials for Teaching Physical Education in the Primary School (2005) developed by the DES Primary Schools' Sports Initiative.

Trish completed a Masters in Education in UCC in 2000. She has worked as a School Placement Tutor in Physical Education at the University of Limerick (2003-2011) and in UCC (2011-2012). In September 2012, Trish took up her present position as Placement Coordinator and Lecturer in the Sports Studies and Physical Education Programme. She is currently a member of the executive committee of the PEAI, and the UCC representative for School Placement in PETE Ireland. For the last two years she has been involved in the consultative process for the NCCA new Physical Education Short Course. Along with her role as Placement Coordinator/Lecturer in UCC, Trish continues to teach dance in the PE curriculum, an aspect which she considers to be very important in her role as a teacher educator. She is currently undertaking a PhD focused on the role of the Placement tutor in Initial Teacher Education of Physical Education students.

IRIS profile: http://research.ucc.ie/profiles/A013/trishfitzpatrick

Dr Niamh O' Brien

Dr Niamh O’ Brien (B.Ed., M.Ed., PhD) teaches on the B.Ed. Sports Studies and Physical Education Programme, in the School of Education, at University College Cork (UCC). Niamh's main teaching responsibilities include teaching subjects in Health, Health Promotion, Health over the Life-Course, Sports Medicine, Disability and Physical Education Pedagogy, and Skills Acquisition. Prior to her post in UCC, Niamh worked as a primary school teacher in both the mainstream classroom and the special education support team. Her teaching expertise pertain to Autism Spectrum Conditions and social skills learning, literacy and numeracy in special education and positive behaviour management. 

Niamh was awarded her PhD in Education from UCC in 2020. She was also a recipient of The Éadbhard O’Callaghan Award for Excellence in Youth Mental Health Research in 2020. Niamh received first-class honours in both her Degree in Primary School teaching from Froebel College of Education in 2011 and Master of Education Degree in Waterford Institute of Technology in 2015.

Niamh’s current research seeks to investigate the role of wellbeing in education throughout evaluating the efficacy of mental health education and physical activity promotion intervention programmes for students within Irish Higher Education. Other research interests include physical education, teacher and student wellbeing, psychology, behaviour, pedagogy, special education needs, education theory and intervention design. 

 

Dr Wesley O' Brien

Dr. Wesley O’Brien is a Lecturer in Physical Education and Coaching Science, is an expert in childhood movement and physical activity promotion. He is currently supervising postgraduate research in the fields of physical education, wellbeing, motor competence, childhood physical activity, physical literacy and sport participation. Wesley is currently a member of the Executive Board for the Physical Education Association of Ireland (PEAI), is a visiting international scholar at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (USA), the University of Winnipeg (Canada) and is the UCC School of Education’s Chair for the Community Engagement Committee. Since the completion of his PhD in 2013, Wesley has been very research active, with the publication of 20+ peer-reviewed journal articles, 2 book chapters, 2 national reports, 2 television broadcasts, and contributed to over 70 national, and international conference presentations.

IRIS Link: http://research.ucc.ie/profiles/A013/wesleyobrien

Mr Arthur Twomey

Arthur Twomey has worked as both a placement tutor and assistant lecturer on the BEDSSPE programme in UCC since 2012.  From 2002 to 2010, he was Director of Adult Education in Carrigaline Community School.  He has a B.Ed. Physical Education with Geography (Hons) from Thomond College, Limerick (1976) and has taught in three schools in the Cork area.  He has completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Special Educational Needs, an Advanced Diploma in Educational Management and an M.Ed. in Management /Leadership.

Dr Mark Prendergast

Dr Mark Prendergast is co-director of the BEDSSPE programme. He joined the UCC School of Education in 2019 and is a Senior Lecturer in the School. Mark is a graduate of Physical Education and Mathematics (BSc.(Hons.), 2007), and Mathematics Education (PhD, 2011) from the University of Limerick. As well as co-directing the BEDSSPE programme, he is co-director of the School's Cohort PhD programme. He is also involved in the delivery of a number of modules on the School's Professional Master of Education (PME) programme. Mark has held previous academic positions in the National Centre for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and Learning (NCE_MSTL) in the University of Limerick (2011 - 2012), in the Dublin Institute of Technology (2012 - 2014), and in Trinity College Dublin (2014 - 2019). His key research interests lie broadly in the areas of mathematics education, teacher education, and working with non-traditional students.

IRIS Link: http://research.ucc.ie/profiles/A013/mark.prendergast@ucc.ie

School of Education

Scoil an Oideachais

Leeholme, O' Donovan's Road, Cork, Ireland

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