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St Mary's University

St Mary's Academics Secure Funding for Innovation in Teaching Project

Academics from St Mary’s University, Twickenham have successfully won £22,000 from the Higher Education Funding Council of England’s (HEFCE) Catalyst Fund in partnership with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). The 18-month project, designed by Liam McCarthy and Joana Fonseca from St Mary’s Physical and Sport Education (PSE) programme, in partnership with John Stoszkowski, Sports Coaching, from UCLan, will see students across both institutions engage in peer teaching, critical conversation and collaborative reflection aligned to their existing modules during the next academic year. This process will utilise the latest technology and software for recording, analyzing and feeding back on applied coaching practice. By creating a supervised environment where students are challenged to comment, critique and share ideas about theirs and their peers’ applied professional practice, the project team believe the initiative could lead to the development of a cross-institution community of reflective practice. They also hope the project will contribute evidence-based pedagogical strategies to coach education in both the higher education sector and formal national governing body qualifications, leading to the development of more auto-critical coaches capable of better adapting to the complexity of effective coaching practice. Liam McCarthy stated, “We’re really proud to have been successful in securing HEFCE funding to deliver what we believe to be a unique initiative, with potential to impact multiple sectors.  This is a fantastic opportunity for St Mary’s University to work collaboratively with an institution such as UCLan, drawing on their vast experience and expertise to deliver a great experience for a huge number of students across the country.” Joana Fonseca said, “This project is perfectly aligned with the greater values and ambition of both educational institutions. Students involved in this project will have a great opportunity to explore and reshape their understandings from different contexts of practice, while developing highly valued professional skills (e.g. self and peer-reflection, critical analyse and effective communication with mentors and peers). “It is our ambition to enhance the quality of coach education provided in formal education settings, and there is no better way to do that than expose and research our current practices!” unknown Liam McCarthy Joanna Fonseca Joana Fonseca john_stoszkowski John Stoszkowski For all enquiries, please contact project lead Liam McCarthy (

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