IT Tralee Pioneers European Inclusive PE Training Programme

Eipet IT Tralee Pioneers European Inclusive PE Training Programme
Groundbreaking project paving way for people with disability in mainstream physical education

The Institute of Technology Tralee recently launched the European Inclusive Physical Education Training (EIPET) Resource pack in the Burlington hotel Dublin to a packed audience of International stakeholders in the areas of Physical Education, Coaching and Adapted Physical Education. The EIPET resource pack contains and off the shelf Module for inclusion in teacher training colleges for those studying Physical Education for secondary or primary school.  The resources are also suitable for in-service delivery.

This event represents the culmination of a two year EIPET project led by the Health and Leisure Department in the Institute of Technology Tralee, Co Kerry with support from the Leonardo da Vinci Transfer of Innovation fund of the European Union.  The project was proposed and co-ordinated by Catherine Carty based upon a modification of the original APA module developed by Pat Flanagan and the teaching resources were coordinated by Ursula Barrett. Partners in the project included  Palachy University Olomouc Czech Republic, Institute of Leisure & Amenity Management Ireland, Lithuanian Academy of Physical Education, Sports Coach UK. 

International research has told us that PE teachers though interested and capable, in general, do not feel very confident in including children with disabilities in their mainstream PE classes. The main reason for this, they identify as not having studied or having practical experience or training in how to facilitate inclusive PE classes, namely not having a module in Adapted Physical Education.  European Inclusive Physical Education Training, EIPET solves the problem.

The main aim was to adapt the model of inclusive PE teacher training in the Institute of Technology, Tralee to a number of partner countries and beyond through dissemination and valorisations into the wider PE teacher training environment.

EIPET is based on the very successful Adapted Physical Education Modules which have been developed at the Institute of Technology, Tralee over the past twelve years. Their emphasis on high quality APE practicum experiences and a guided tutorial process model has seen IT Tralee lead the way in relation to inclusion training of undergraduate PE teachers and leisure professionals in Ireland. 
In conjunction with their European partners and the support of Leargas they now offer a complete APE module that can be used by any third level institution who prepares PE teachers.  The pack which includes lectures, tutorials, practical activities, case studies and assessment formats will provide an excellent resource for lecturers in the area of APE and encourage far more institutions to include APE as a compulsory part of pre-service and in-service PE teacher training.  The overall aim of the module is to give the PE teacher the knowledge, skills and competence to include all children in PE class. If it is adopted and utilised it will ensure that the initial PE experience for children with disabilities is a positive one that empowers rather than marginalises, that celebrates difference rather than uses it as an excuse to exclude. 
We know that PE teachers have indicated that facilitating inclusion does require more work, but they are prepared to do that work. 

As Mary Davis MD Special Olympics Europe Euraisa said at the Launch ⿿EIPET makes inclusive PE that little bit easier⿝.

Since the launch the EIPET module has been taken on board in a number of colleges and inclusive PE providers in the UK and in Ireland, Finland, Turkey, Spain (with the intention of using it in Colombia) New Zealand.  The EIPET project has concluded but the sustainability plan means that the work continues.  The EIPET developers are now liaising with agencies like UNESCO to examine the possibilities of bring the EIPET resources to developing countries.

For further information and interview opportunities, please contact:
Catherine.carty@staff.ittralee.ie