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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 the Associate Dean for Research at DCU Institute of Education and Associate Professor in primary physical education in the School of Arts Education and Movement. Dr Coulter is the staff representative on the DCU Executive Committee (2023-2025).

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 the DCU Institute of Education, she was a member of the Education Department at St Patrick’s College (2000-2016).  Prior to relocating to Dublin, Maura 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, physically active play outdoors and outdoor and adventure education. She teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students in the BEd, PMEP, and MEd programmes. 

Her scholarly interests include teacher professional development, leadership and identity, outdoor play, outdoor education, meaningful physical education (MPE), and social justice pedagogies. 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, social justice pedagogies, and pedagogies of vulnerability. Dr Coulter is a member of the steering group of the REACH (Research and Engagement Across Community Health) Collaboratory, a joint partnership between the Health Service Executive (HSE) Community Healthcare Organisation for Dublin North City and County (DNCC CHO 9) and Dublin City University (Faculty of Science and Health and the Institute of Education). Established in January 2022, this unique partnership aims to provide research support for the implementation of national policy (Sláintecare) within the CHO DNCC catchment.

She is co-editor of the Irish Education Studies journal (2023-2027) and has received two all-Island SCOTENS Awards (2017/2023) for outstanding research in Teacher Education and has received the DCU President's Gold Medal for Engagement (2021).

Research interests

Learning about Meaningful Experiences in Physical Education. Leadership and Teacher Educator Identity. Teachers' experiences having completed a major specialism in physical education.   Physically Active Play Outdoors and Adventurous PlayEnacting the Socially Just-TPSR approach in physical educationExploring Pedagogies of Vulnerability