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School of Arts Education & Movement


Primary Department
School of Arts Education & Movement
Academic Staff
Dr Maura Coulter
Phone number:
01 700
St Patrick's Campus
Room Number

Academic biography

Dr Maura Coulter is currently Associate Dean for Research at DCU Institute of Education and Associate Professor in primary physical education in the School of Arts Education and Movement. She completed her PhD in physical education professional development at Dublin City University in 2012.  She is a graduate of Ulster University where she completed her undergraduate degree, BA (Hons) Sport and Leisure studies and postgraduate degrees, PGCE - Physical Education and MSc - Sport Science and Health.  Before the formation of DCU Institute of Education she was a member of the Education Department in St Patrick’s College (2000-2016).  Prior to relocating to Dublin she was a secondary school teacher at St Patrick's Girls Academy, Dungannon where she taught GCSE and A-Level physical education and GCSE religious education for seven years.

Dr Coulter’s teaching interests include primary physical education, physical activity in the early years, physically active play outdoors and outdoor and adventure education. She teaches at undergraduate and postgraduates on the BEd, BECE and MEd programmes. Her scholarly interests include teacher professional development, leadership and identity, outdoor play, outdoor education, meaningful physical education (MPE) and self-study of teacher education practices. She is currently engaged in research projects relating to collaboration in higher education with a particular focus on international communities of practice, leadership and teacher educator identity and meaningful physical education.  

Dr Coulter is a Board Director at Student Sport Ireland (2018-2023) and chairs their Research Committee. She is also a member of the Institute of Directors in Ireland. 

Research interests

Learning about Meaningful Experiences in Physical Education. Leadership and Teacher Educator Identity. Teachers' experiences having completed a major specialism in physical education. Mentoring student teachers in primary physical education.     Physically Active Play Outdoors in the early years (Birth to six years). Continuing professional development in all areas of physical education in the life of a generalist class teacher. Self-study Towards improving Teacher Education Practice (S-STEP).