Research Profile

Patricia Fitzpatrick


Having completed her undergraduate degree in Physical Education & English at Thomond College of Education, Limerick in 1986, Trish taught PE for three years, in Athy Co Kildare and then Greenwich London.  During this time she became increasingly interested in the dance strand of the PE Curriculum and so she decided to take a year out to study dance fulltime at the College of Dance in Dublin. Following this study Trish returned to her native Cork in 1991 where she began to develop programmes of dance within the PE curriculum at both primary and post primary schools throughout Cork city and county. During this time Trish initially worked as dancer in residence in Triskel Arts Centre and she also founded Pegasini Youth Dance Company which she co-directed for 10 years. In 1993 Trish decided to continue her work as a teacher, choreographer, facilitator of dance in the PE curriculum on a freelance basis. She soon became well known as one of the driving forces behind the development of dance in the PE curriculum in both primary and post primary education.

Trish contributed as consultant to the Primary Physical Education committee of the NCCA in developing the creative dance curriculum for the Primary Curriculum (1999), and later she trained the support teachers for the nationwide delivery of this strand of the Primary PE Curriculum (2002-2005). She worked closely with the INTO Professional Development Unit for many years (2000-2004), and in many Education centers (1991-2004) throughout the country, designing and presenting workshops and CPD courses in dance in education for primary teachers. In 2004-2005 she was invited to join the Primary Schools' Sports Initiative group of the DES and she wrote the dance section of Resource Materials for Teaching Physical Education in the Primary School (2005) developed by this group.

At post primary level Trish worked as facilitator for the team of teacher animators responsible for the design and implementation of the dance strand of the Junior Cycle PE programme. She presented at Physical Education of Ireland conferences (1993-2010) and  in post primary schools and Education centres throughout Ireland.  In 1991 with the support of Michael Darmody (RIP), Senior Inspector DES, Trish co-founded the Cork Schools' Dance Celebration. This was an annual event which provided a platform to showcase the dances created by school pupils in the PE programmes.  The aim of the CSDC was to assist PE teachers to teach dance in their schools and to provide an opportunity and incentive for pupils to create and perform dance. The CSDC ran successfully for almost ten years attracting almost 1000 pupils each year to the event.Trish continues to contribute to curriculum development initiatives in Physical Education, and for the last two years she has been one of the expert advisers involved in the consultative process for the new Physical Education Short Course.

At third level education, Trish taught dance in education in St Patrick's College Dublin (1998-2010), Mary Immaculate College, Limerick (2006) and Hibernia College, Dublin (2003-2011). She 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 School Placement Coordinator and Lecturer in the Sports Studies and Physical Education Programme in the School of Education. Over the past two years she has developed the School Placement programme by introducing new schools into the strong School-University partnership which has been at the centre of this programme since its inception in 2007. She has recruited and trained new Placement tutors to ensure students get expert support and guidance.

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.

Research Interests

·   Initial Teacher Education

·   Professional Practice and Pedagogy

·   Dance Education

·   Mentoring

·   School-University Partnerships

·   Curriculum and Assessment

·   Reflective Practice

·   Teacher as Life Long Learner

Previous Research

  • Masters Dissertation, 2000. Title ‘The Value of Dance in the Primary School Curriculum and a Journey towards Self Reflective Practice’
Current Research
I am currently completing a PhD thesis exploring the School Placement Tutor's journey to inform effective and equitable supervision of Physical Education student teachers in Initial Teacher Education in the Republic of Ireland.

The focus of my research is to:

a)       explore the journey of the placement tutor in supporting student teachers in Physical Education Initial Teacher Education.

b)      investigate the perceptions of other stakeholders(school principals, student teachers, mentor teachers, university tutors and Teaching Council representatives) in School Placement with regard to the roles and responsibilities of the placement tutor

c)      develop a template of best practice for the training and support of placement tutors which addresses the challenges of their journey.



(2005)Resource Materials for Teaching Physical Education in the primary school.
Sadie Biddulph, Bernadette Cotter, Mairéad Weymes and Patricia Fitzpatrick (2005) Resource Materials for Teaching Physical Education in the primary school. CD [Details]

Magazine article

(1997)Dance in Education: The Value of Performance.
Fitzpatrick. T (1997) Dance in Education: The Value of Performance. Magazine article [Details]


(1993)Dance in Education, A learning experience through an expressive art form.
Fitzpatrick. T (1993) Dance in Education, A learning experience through an expressive art form. Newsletter [Details]


(2000)‘The Value of Dance in the Primary School Curriculum and a Journey towards Self Reflective Practice’.
Fitzpatrick, P. (2000) ‘The Value of Dance in the Primary School Curriculum and a Journey towards Self Reflective Practice’. Thesis/Dissertation [Details]

Professional Activities

Professional Associations

 AssociationFunctionFrom / To
Physical Education Association Of Ireland Member of the Executive Committee11-OCT-13 /
Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) UCC representative on Physical Education School Placement11-OCT-13 /

Conference Contributions

(1993)PEAI NAtional Conference-Physical Education for a changing WORLD,
Trish Fitzpatrick (1993) I facitiated three workshop on the Dance in Education Curriculum Project. [Invited Lectures (Workshops)], PEAI NAtional Conference-Physical Education for a changing WORLD, Waterford . [Details]
(2000)PEAI National Conference - Moving to Learn,
Trish Fitzpatrick (2000) I facilitated three workshops 'Poetry through Motion', exploring the use of poetry to as a stimulus for dance. [Invited Lectures (Workshops)], PEAI National Conference - Moving to Learn, Galway . [Details]


 CommitteeFunctionFrom / To
CACSSS Academic Mentor To act as academic mentors for students on the CACSSS work-placement programme2014 /
Physical Education of Ireland Member of the Executive Committee2013 /


 EmployerPositionFrom / To
St Ursula’s School, 70 Croom’s Hill, Greenwich, London SE 10 4HN Teacher of Physical Education & Dance01-SEP-88 / 26-MAY-89
Ashton School Blackrock, Scoil Naisiunta an Chroi Naofa Glounthaune, Scoile Mhuire Primary School Cobh, St Mary’s on the Hill Knocknaheeney, Christ the King Secondary School Turner’s Cross, St Aloysius College Cork, Regina Mundi College Cork, Scoil Bhride, Eglantine, St Columba’s GNS Douglas. Teacher of Dance in Education10-SEP-92 /
University College Cork School Placement Lecturer & Coordinator10-SEP-12 /
Post Primary Physical Education Committee, NCCA, Dublin. Dance Facilitator26-SEP-97 / 12-JUN-98
Primary Curriculum Support Programme, NCCA, Dublin Dance Consultant & Trainer12-APR-02 / 12-APR-04
University of Limerick School Placement Tutor12-SEP-03 / 30-OCT-12
Primary Physical Education Committee, NCCA, Dublin. Dance Consultant/Advisor04-OCT-96 / 22-MAY-98
Scoile Mhuire, Athy, Co Kildare Teacher of Physical Education & Dance01-SEP-86 / 27-MAY-88
Triskel Arts Centre Dancer in Residence03-SEP-90 / 31-MAY-92
Primary Schools’ Sports’ Initiative, DES, Dublin Dance Consultant/Advisor17-SEP-04 / 31-MAY-04


2000University College Cork MEdDance in Education
1986Thomond College of Education, Limerick, Ireland BEd (Hons)Physical Education & English
1998The Laban Guild National Governing Body, UK CertificateCommunity Dance
1990NCEF, Limerick, Ireland CertificateExercise & Fitness Instruction


Gaeilge FunctionalFunctionalFunctional


Department of Education & Science
I was dance in education consultant (2003-2004) on a pilot project conducted by the Primary Schools’ Sports Initiative (DES 2000) to explore the best model of practice for the national inservice of the 1999 Revised Primary Physical Education Curriculum.
Primary Curriculum Support Programme, NCCA, Dublin
I was the dance in education consultant (2002-2005) responsible for the dance input in the training of the team of primary school Physical Education cuiditheoirí who disseminated the Revised Primary PE curriculum which was disseminated to Irish primary schools in 2005.
NCCA,Primary School Physical Education Committee
I facilitated the writing of the curriculum and teacher guidelines of the creative dance strand of the revised Primary PE curriculum (1999).
NCCA Post Primary comittee
i facilitated a team of Physical Education teachers in the development of expertise, strategies and resources for the design and delivery of the dance strand of the Junior Certificate Physical Education Curriculum.

Other Activities


Physical Education Teacher Education Ireland- UCC School Placement Representative

Physical Education Association of Ireland- Member of Executive

NCCA Post Primary Education- Member of the Expert Group for consultation of the Physical Education Short Course

Teaching Activities

Teaching Interests

My teaching interests lies in Initial Teacher Education and the related elements of pedagogy, curriculum and assessment which prepare the student teacher fro their journey of learning to teach (Teaching Council 2011).I am interested in particular in the areas of active learners, differentiated learning, innovative pedagogy and reflective practice. The modules I teach on are:

ED2317 : Placement 2
ED3317: Placement 3
ED4320: Placement 4

At the core of Initial Teacher Education is the School Placement experience, and the key to a positive school placement is a strong triad of student teacher - cooperating teacher - placement tutor.In addition to supporting the student teacher, I am also very interested in providing support, resources and training for both the cooperative teacher and the placement teacher. I believe that this is crucial to enabling these two members of the triad to support the student teacher.

Modules Taught

 Term (ID))TitleLinkSubject
2015Placement 2 ED2317Placement 2
2015Teaching Practice (Mentoring and Practice) ED4320Teaching Practice (Mentoring and Practice)
2015Placement 3 ED3317Placement 3

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School of Education

Scoil an Oideachais

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