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Dominic Cunliffe, Programme Director Physical Education

Dominic Cunliffe

Course Leader

Faculty of Sport, Health and Social Sciences

Biography

Dr Dominic Cunliffe is currently the Programme Director for Physical Education - his specialist area lies in motor learning and child development. Prior to joining the Faculty of Sport, Health and Social Sciences at Solent University, Dominic held various positions across the whole of the educational structure, in both state and private education, and was the head of department for a further education college in the UK. Dominic is also an adjunct supervisor at the University of London, supervising PhD students in a range of projects involving educational reform, and hold a Senior Fellowship with Advance HE.

Dominic built his reputation with his devotion and specialism to child development within education settings during the past 20 years, and is a champion of scholarly activity, achieving several commendations from both national and international bodies. Dominic’s own PhD examined the construct of learning to improve lesson delivery, has helped shape the learning environments of approximately 4500 children across the local area, and his seminal work regarding individual learning, personalised learning, and lifelong learning has been presented to global audiences. Additionally, Dominic has published several peer reviewed articles related to learning within physical education, including the use of technology and the promotion of physical literacy beyond the classroom

Dominic has also served as a consultant with the Department for Education during the National Curriculum reforms, assisting with the strategic direction of a national framework of education for the UK. Additionally, Dominic was trained by Ofsted, [not a current practicing inspector] and has valuable experiences in educational leadership and school development, and currently serves as a consultant with a county education authority. Dominic has led a team of education professionals through a strategic approach that involves close liaison with designated groups such as headteachers, learning leaders, school inspectors; education psychologists, occupation therapists, social care, IT and data managers, catering, and school governance, all supporting the single vision of improving school standards across the county. Such experiences have been invaluable to understand the dynamic procedures in which central, regional and local governmental departments operate, and Dominic is able to utilise such knowledge within his current role.

Dominic has also been the lead consultant to the Ministry of Education for an African nation during the reform of their national curriculum framework, assisting with their move away from the traditional colonial approach of an examination of knowledge system to an individual competence-based curriculum. As such, Dominic was tasked to complete several monitoring reports regarding the evaluation of educational practice and has worked with approximately 100 HTs across a range of school settings. Additionally, Dominic’s seminal work within child development has seen his involvement with the reform of the same African nation’s Olympic youth development programme to widen participation and nurture talented children.

Taught courses

Further information

Teaching experience

Dominic’s specialist teaching area is in child development, and Dominic leads the Child Development pathway across the whole course (first year module in Child Development; second year module in Skill Acquisition in Children; third year module in Physical Literacy).

Industry experience

Dominic has acted as Board of Trustees and Board of Governors with local schools, as well as an academic consultant to an independent training provider. He currently holds an elected office with the International Physical Literacy Association, allowing him to liaise with a global audience and direct operational strategies across a consortium of 27 countries from Europe, Asia, Australasia, Africa and the North Americas. As a direct impact of this position, Dominic is lead counsel for mobility and am constantly seeking opportunities for additional funding for related global projects, and can claim a submission portfolio in excess of €2.6million.

Research interests

Dominic’s specialist research interests focus on child development, especially to the physical, motor and psychological developments of children.

Work in progress

Dominic is a firm believer in facilitating staff and student collaborations and is working with several students on issues affecting the delivery of effective physical education in schools. Topics include (but are not limited to) use of technology in the classroom, understanding the philosophy of physical literacy, teaching practices for physical education, and inspiring a nation to be physical active.

Recent publications

Book editor

  • Cunliffe, D. Routledge Handbook: Children’s learning through sport. Abingdon: UK. Routledge. (planned for 2021).
  • Cunliffe, D. (2020) Learning Theories: A guide for classroom teachers. Abingdon: UK. Routledge. (under review)

Book Chapter

  • Cunliffe, D. (2012) Using preferred learning styles to improve attainment in physical education. In Boufoy-Bastick, B. (2012). The International Handbook of Cultures of Teacher Education: Comparative International Issues in Curriculum and Pedagogy. Analytrics: Strasbourg, France. Chapter 20, p429-465.

 

Peer Reviewed Papers:-

  • Cunliffe, D., Durden-Myers, E. & Gordon, P. (2020). Clarifying the concept of physical literacy: Expert’s perception of the misconceptions of physical literacy (under review)
  • Cunliffe, D., & Webb, B. (2019). Unpicking the philosophical approach when understanding the concept of physical literacy. International Physical Literacy Association (December)
  • Flemons, M., Diffy, F. & Cunliffe, D. (2018). Discussing the Role of Physical Education Teacher Education in Developing and Sustaining Physical Literacy Informed Practitioners. Journal of Teaching Physical Education. 37, pp 299-307.
  • Martin, B. and Cunliffe, D. (2017). Developing coaching expertise through continuous professional development. International Journal of Coaching Science
  • Johnson, M., Cunliffe, D., Gwynne. F., Davies. P., and Budzynski-Seymour, E. (2016). Roles and characteristics of successful coach mentorship. Journal of Sport Science and Coaching.
  • Cunliffe, D. (2016). Southampton Avoiding The Ghost. L’Equipe, 29th December, p8-9.
  • Cunliffe, D., Johnson, M. and Matthews, R. (2016). The educational needs of grassroots football in England. International Sports Coaching Journal.
  • Cunliffe, D. & Gundry, L. (2015) Pupil perceptions of the attributes for an effective physical education teacher. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy.
  • Cunliffe, D., (2012) Preferred Learning Styles: Implications for Coaching Children. Leisure Studies Association Publication No. 90, Reflecting on Youth Sport and Leisure.
  • Cunliffe, D. & Hawcroft, S., (2012) Ahead of the Learning Curve. Coaching Edge Magazine. Winter, Issue 26, p20-22.
  • Cunliffe, D. & Haynes, D., (2011) Effective Coach Education Programmes. Tactician Magazine [online – 27th May 2011].
  • Cunliffe, D., (2011) Coaching Children: Knowing ‘How’ They Learn Will Enhance Their Development. Insight, The FA Coaches Association Journal -online.
  • Cunliffe, D., (2010) Preferred Learning Styles: Implications for Teaching Children. Physical Education Matters, Vol 5, (3), p36-37
  • Cunliffe, D., (2010) Coaching the Next Olympians: Using Preferred Learning Styles to Enhance Sports Performance. HE Academy, Hopsitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Network, Link 26: p13-15

Conference Papers

  • Zoppellini, W. & Cunliffe, D. (2019). Strategies to engage students in meaningful learning experiences. (Invited speaker at the Staff and Educational Development Association, Leeds: UK, 15th November).
  • Zoppellini, W. & Cunliffe, D. (2019). Strategies to engage students. (The Solent Learning & Teaching Community Conference, Southampton: UK, 21 June).
  • Cunliffe, D. (2019). Physical literacy in the community. (Invited speaker at the International Physical Literacy Association Annual Conference, Gloucester, UK: 16 June)
  • Cunliffe, D. (2015) Should we be utilising the knowledge of how children learn within the delivery strategies of physical literacy programs? (Invited speaker at the International Physical Literacy Conference in Vancouver, Canada, 16 June)
  • Cunliffe, D. (2015) Lifelong participation in sport: Getting it right? (Keynote speaker at the National Sports Week Celebrations in Seoul, South Korea, 19 March)
  • Cunliffe, D. (2014) Psychology of Football Coaches: Dealing with Awkward Coaches. (Keynote speech presented at the Eastleigh Referee Association meeting, 15 September)
  • Cunliffe, D. & Gundry, L. (2014) pupil perceptions of the attributes for an effective physical education teacher. (Presented at the European College for Sport Science – 19th International Congress, Amsterdam; Netherlands, 2-5 July)
  • Cunliffe, D. (2014) Psychology for Sports Coaches. (Keynote speech presented to the Southampton Referee Association, 23 January)
  • Cunliffe, D., Rist, R. & Ratcliffe, C. (2013) Teaching Dance: a comparative study of using preferred learning styles in the teaching of dance between English and Danish dance academies. (Presented at the European College for Sport Science – 18th International Conference, Barcelona Spain, 26-29 July)
  • Cunliffe, D. (2013) What do children learn? (Presented at the BASES Student Conference, Cardiff, UK, 26-27 March)
  • Cunliffe, D. (2012) Development of a learning styles questionnaire for children. (Presented at the European College for Sport Science – 17th International Conference, Bruge, Belgium, 4-7 July)
  • Cunliffe, D. (2012) Primary Physical Education: For the Whole Class. (Presented at the Hampshire Coaching Conference, Southampton, UK)
  • Cunliffe, D. (2012) Helping your athletes understand? (Presented at the Hampshire Coaching Conference, Southampton, UK)
  • Cunliffe, D. & Rist, R. (2011) Should teaching dance to Children continue to be done Kinaesthetically? (Presented at the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science – 21st National Congress, Washington DC, USA, 12-16 October)
  • Cunliffe, D. (2011) Using preferred learning styles: implications for coaching children. (Present at the Leisure Studies Association - National Conference, Southampton, UK, July)
  • Cunliffe, D. (2011) Using Preferred Learning Styles when teaching Dance to children. (Presented at Association for Physical Education - National Conference, Oxford, UK, July)
  • Cunliffe, D., Stopforth, M. & Rist, R. (2011) Teaching Dance to Children: Should it continue to be done Kinaesthetically? (Presented at the European College for Sport Science – 16th International Conference, Liverpool, UK, July)
  • Gundry, L. & Cunliffe, D. (2011) An investigation into student perceptions of the attributes of an effective physical education teacher. (Presented at the BASES Student Conference, Chester, UK)
  • Cunliffe, D. (2010) Preferred Learning Styles: Implications for Coaches. (Presented at the International Congress of the Growing Child in High Performance Sport. Birmingham, UK)
  • Cunliffe, D. (2010) Coaching Children with different Preferred Learning Styles. (Presented at Leisure Studies Association Reflecting on Youth Sport & Leisure Conference. Preston)
  • Cunliffe, D. (2010) Preferred Learning Styles: Implications for PE Practitioners. (Presented at the Association for Physical Education Annual Conference, The Costwolds)
  • Fielding-Smith, L. & Cunliffe, D. (2010) The effects of anxiety upon performance for school children during interschool football matches. (Presented at the BASES Student Conference, Aberystwyth, Wales)
  • Broxup, L. & Cunliffe, D. (2010) Do physical activity beliefs differ between age and gender for 13-16 year olds? (Presented at the BASES Student Conference, Aberystwyth, Wales)
  • Dance, F. & Cunliffe, D. (2010) Sports Participation: Is the Coach a Negative influence? (Presented at the BASES Student Conference, Aberystwyth, Wales)
  • Cunliffe, D. (2009) Preferred Learning Styles: Can they be used to improve attainment scores? (Presented at AfPE - National Conference, Cotswolds, UK)

Awards

As a direct impact of his involvement with the International Physical Literacy Association, Dominic is lead counsel for mobility and is constantly seeking opportunities for additional funding for physical activity related global projects, and can claim a submission portfolio in excess of €2.6million.