Factors Affecting Physical Education

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1.1 Introduction Physical Education (PE) is one of twelve subjects in the Irish Primary School Curriculum (PSC). It is mainly concerned with movement and engagement with activities that are an integral part of the educational process which distinguishes it from other curricular areas. One of the key aims of the PE PSC is to provide children with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to enable them to lead full, active and healthy lives. However, amidst a society with increasing sedentary lifestyle this aim is becoming harder to achieve. This research set out to examine what factors, if any, affect children’s participation in PE. 1.2 Rationale of the Research PE forms a core component of the PSC in Ireland. It is one of seven curricular areas and is a compulsory aspect of Primary School education. The curricular area of PE contributes to the holistic development of the child (NCCA, 1999a). Physical Education is important in helping develop lifelong physical activity habits in children and adolescents (Pate, et al., 2006). Recent research by the Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI) shows that more than 20% of children in Ireland are overweight or obese (Heinen et al., 2014). The high levels of obesity could be counteracted by ensuring that children at a younger age are more active and engaged in physical activity. Conversely, as children are living a more sedentary lifestyle with technology usage being predominant, physical activity has declined (Fahey, Delaney

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