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MIC’s Physical Education Teacher Education team awarded prestigious DELTA Award for excellence in teaching

PETE team standing on steps of Foundation building

Pictured: Professor Déirdre Ní Chróinín, Dr Michelle Dillon, Laura Harrison, Dr Richard Bowles and Dr Niamh Kitching.

The Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) team at Mary Immaculate College (MIC) have been celebrated as being “national leaders” in their area and standing as a “model for best practice to others” by the President of MIC, as he celebrated their attainment of the Disciplinary Excellence in Learning, Teaching and Assessment (DELTA) Award

The DELTA award is a prestigious national accolade and is granted to discipline groups that demonstrate a sustained record of excellence in teaching and learning enhancement. 

MIC’s PETE team enhanced the student learning experience in teacher education for physical education, using the DELTA Framework as a catalyst for student-teacher partnership and an integrated approach to learning, teaching and assessment. The team was led by Dr Michelle Dillon and includes Professor Déirdre Ní Chróinín, Dr Richard Bowles, Dr Niamh Kitching, Laura Harrison and Dr Rosemarie Martin together with postgraduate reserach students Grace Cardiff and Gráinne Regan, and undergraduate students Rachel Dwyer and Emma Tarrant.

In addition to their teaching work at MIC, the PETE team advise professional and regulatory bodies on disciplinary and pedagogical matters and collaborate with them to define standards and competencies such as the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA)and the Irish Primary PE Association (IPPEA). They have also collaborated with teachers and teacher educators to promote practical application of their research on practice.

Congratulating the PETE team was Professor Eugene Wall, President of MIC, who said: “The PETE team have shown a sustained record of excellence in teaching and learning enhancement and have used the DELTA framework as a way to create a path forward for the development of their teaching and programmes with the aim of enhancing the PE teachers of tomorrow. Déirdre, Niamh, Laura, Michelle, Richard and Rosemary have demonstrated how a teaching team can take control of their own development and, in so doing, stand as a model for best practice to others. They are national leaders in their area and on behalf of MIC, I congratulate them on this wonderful achievement.”

When announcing the PETE team as recipients of the DELTA award, the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education commended them for “enhancing the student learning experience in teacher education for physical education”. 

According to Professor Marie Clarke, the National Forum Chairperson: “The PETE team at Mary Immaculate College showcases an exemplary model of how to enrich the educational journey for students. Their innovative approach and commitment to adapting teaching pedagogy not only elevates the quality of teacher education but also significantly enhances the learning experience for students. Their dedication to excellence sets a high standard for others in the field.”

The PETE team teach modules on MIC’s Bachelor of Education, B Ed in Education and Psychology, B Ed International and BA in Early Childhood Care & Education undergraduate programmes and the Postgraduate Masters in Education (PME) and M Ed in Leadership of Wellbeing postgraduate programmes.