Dr. Fiona Chambers, "Educating pupils to be human in a digital world: The case for a 'praxis model of digital well-being' in physical education" | 15th Annual Jennifer Wall Address


15th Annual Jennifer Wall Address

Keynote: Dr. Fiona C. Chambers, Senior Lecturer, University College Cork, Ireland

Title: "Educating pupils to be human in a digital world: The case for a 'praxis model of digital well-being' in physical education"

Friday November 23rd, 2 pm-7 pm New Residence Hall, Basement Ballroom, 3625 Park Ave., Montreal, QC. Admission: Free

We currently live in a highly amorphous hyper-connected digital landscape. In this context, the goal of education (and physical education) remains unchanged i.e. to move citizens toward eudaimonia i.e. human thriving and flourishing. In 21st century schools, this means educating for digital well-being, providing spaces in schools for pupils and teachers to speak of these experiences in the long established humanist vocabulary of feelings, ideas and values...to ‘live deep’ in present times...and to understand a future in which technology will ever more intimately mediate and define what it means to be human (Chatfield, 2012, p.22).

Digital well-being is a multifaceted construct describing attitudes, behaviours and skills in digital settings: the capacity to look after personal health, safety, relationships and work-life balance; to use personal digital data for positive well-being benefits; to use digital media to foster community actions and wellbeing; to act safely and responsibly in digital environments; to manage digital stress, workload and distraction; to act with concern for the human and natural environment when using digital tools; to balance digital with real-world interactions appropriately (JISC, 2016). More than this, it involves educating for both digital fluency (Miller & Bartlett, 2012) and values fluency (Chambers & Sandford, 2017), each of which fosters critical engagement in the digital world where: 'the freeform reveries [of the] quick-fire reflexivity of partial attention and the absolute focus of pure attention [lead to] creative insight and personal peacefulness' (Chatfield, 2012, p.49, my emphasis).

It is clear that educative practice must be agile, morphing and changing to meet challenge of educating pupils to be human in a digital world. This pushes educators to consider curriculum as praxis, where the goal of education becomes human emancipation. To this end, I put forward a new model of Praxis for Digital Well-being for physical education. This has clear implications for how we educate physical education teachers across the continuum of teacher education (Teaching Council of Ireland, 2011) in and for a digital age.

Dr. Fiona Chambers 

Fiona is the Head of the School of Education at University College Cork. Prior to this she was Programme Director of Sports Studies and Physical Education at UCC. Fiona is the co-director of the UCC Sports Scholarships programmeand is the academic champion of the Sports Scholarships Strand of the UCC Quercus Talented Students’ programme. She is the chair of the UCC Academic Council committed for Teaching and Learning.

Fiona's expertise is in human-centred innovation, design strategy and design thinking. Her research occurs at the intersection where sport and education meets. Specifically, the research focus is on: (a) physical education teacher and sports coach education; (b) mentoring (c) design thinking and (d) digital well-being.

Fiona is a reviewer for twelve international journals and is on the Board of Trustees for Association Internationale des Écoles Superieure d’Education Physique (AIESEP). She is a co-founder and Link Convener of the European Educational Research Association Network 18: Research in Sport Pedagogy. Since 2008, she has worked as an advisor to the Teaching Council of Ireland. She is currently an External Examiner at the University of Birmingham, UK and Cardiff Metropolitan University. She is currently a visiting professor at Teachers’ College Columbia University, New York.

On the island of Ireland, Fiona is a co-founder of All Island All Active, a multisectoral knowledge exchange platform which promotes physical activity amongst vulnerable groups on the island of Ireland. In industry settings, she is a founder member of the Industrial Research and Development Design Thinking SIG.


The Jennifer Wall Address: Dating back to 2004, former faculty member Jennifer Wall has sponsored this yearly event that focuses on the uniqueness and importance of physical education, and the objectives and significance of physical education in the school curriculum.


Arrival and Welcoming
2:00-2:30: Registration at New Residence Hall (3625 Parc Avenue)
2:30-2:45: Welcome from G. Bloom. Welcome from Dean Rassier. Program Recap from B. Harvey

Invited Community Speakers
2:45-3:05: Katherine Baker, English Montreal School Board
3:05-3:25: Peter Smith (Head Coach) and Alyssa Cecere (Assistant Coach) from McGill Martlets hockey team

Invited Keynote Speaker
3:30-3:35: Introduction of Keynote speaker
3:35-4:45: Dr. Fiona Chambers, Senior Lecturer, University College Cork, Ireland. Title: Educating pupils to be human in a digital world: The case for a 'praxis model of digital well-being' in physical education

4:45-4:55: L. Schaefer will introduce the Jennifer Wall Student Leadership Initiative
4:55-5:00: Strathcona Trust Plaque Award Presentations by Ms. Lise Côté, President of the Navy League of Canada

Social and Networking
5:00 to 7:00 in the New Residence hall. Beverages and light snacks to be served.

Contact Information

Prof. Gordon Bloom
Department of Kinesiology & Physical Education
gordon.bloom [at] mcgill.ca