Health & Physical Education

Through interdisciplinary collaboration, we aim to foster a vibrant intellectual community focused on the advancement of health and physical education (HPE) pedagogy and practice.

Our research interests transcend disciplinary borders but are typically located within the fields of:

  • Critical health and physical education
  • Wellbeing in education
  • Curriculum based learning and teaching in the context of Aotearoa, New Zealand
  • Movement pedagogies
  • HPE teacher identity and practice
  • Student voice
  • Social and emotional learning in HPE
  • Gender studies in HPE
  • HPE curriculum and policy development
  • Body discourses
  • Physical activity and pedagogy with older adults
  • Serious leisure studies

Our activities and students

  • Adrian Farnham (Lead) - HPE teacher identity in Australian and New Zealand Schools
  • Kylie Thompson (Lead) - Place, potential and pedagogies of social and emotional learning in Physical Education Aotearoa, New Zealand
  • Denise Atkins (Evaluation Lead) - Health Futures: Re-envisaging health professional education in Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Kylie Thompson and Toni Ingram (Co-leads) - Girl's emotions in physical education
  • Kath Godber (Lead) Denise Atkins, Jennifer Nikolai - Student voice in higher education sport studies
  • Jennifer Nikolai (Lead) – Intergenerational Storytelling through games and play
  • Denise Atkins (Collaborator) - Pou te Hau: High intensity interval training (HIIT) and mental health in adolescents
  • Kylie Thompson (Collaborator) - Returning to learn: Managing concussions in NZ secondary schools
    Topic: How do New Zealand outdoor programmes promote spirituality? A visual narrative inquiry.
    Supervisors: Nesta Devine, Jennifer Nikolai
  • MINJARES, Vinent (PhD)
    Topic: Negotiating shot selection in New Zealand Secondary School Boys Basketball
    Supervisors: Jennifer Nikolai, Jane Gilbert, Alan Ovens
  • NEUFELD, Michael (PhD)
    Topic: Child voices and health policy in New Zealand: a participatory video study
    Supervisors: Cath Conn, Tineke Walters, Jennifer Nikolai
  • MATELAU, Tui (PhD)
    Topic: Female Māori identity: a multimodal interaction analysis The Construction of Indigenous Identity Through Creativity: An Exploration of Māori and Pacific Identity Constructed Through Dance, Visual Arts
    Supervisors: Sigrid Noris, Erica Hinckson, Jennifer Nikolai
  • SHARMA, Geeta (PhD)
    Topic: A curriculum-integrated dance programme in the New Zealand primary school context: observation, evaluation, and recommendations
    Supervisors: Scott Duncan, Jennifer Nikolai
  • NGUYEN, Nhu Thi Yen (PhD candidate)
    Topic: Vietnamese public high school curriculum through place-responsive outdoor learning
    Supervisors: Mike Brown, Denise Atkins
  • SRIHARAN, Sriranganathan (PhD candidate)
    Topic: Adolescent physical activity and mental wellbeing in Sri Lanka and New Zealand: A comparative study
    Supervisors: Kath Godber, Denise Atkins, Richard Wright
  • CLOUT, Steph Clout (PhD candidate)
    Topic: The lived experiences of maturing New Zealand women who participate in adult recreational ballet classes.
    Supervisors: Jennifer Nikolai, Sue McNaughton, Sally Rae
  • COHEN, Elias (PhD candidate)
    Topic: Entangled Theatre and Digital ‘Storied Spaces’ for holistic well-being and well-living (buen vivir) in urban redevelopment environments: a posthuman and indigenous land-based approach.
    Supervisors, Jennifer Nikolai, Scott Duncan
  • CHEN, Ting (PhD candidate)
    Topic: How Pilates method can support dance technique training for young learners
    Supervisor: Jennifer Nikolai
  • MARHAS, Pawan (MPhil candidate)
    Topic: Pasifika Youth, Sport, and Covid-19 Pandemic in Aotearoa New Zealand
    Supervisors: Denise Atkins, Michael Naylor
  • ORLOWITZ, Caron (MPhil)
    Topic: “If you can run a marathon…;” the pandemic inspired autoethnography of a problem-solving podiatrist
    Supervisors; Richard Wright, Kath Godber
  • JOOSTE, Jason (Masters)
    Topic: Underlying factors that influence competitive sport withdrawal among youth athletes: A qualitative study
    Supervisors: Michael Naylor, Adrian Farnham
  • SADIMAN, Reon Edouard Laurence (Masters)
    Topic: Children’s experience of youth sport: A case study.
    Supervisors: Simon Walters, Adrian Farnham
  • FERNANDES, Daniel (Master of Public Health)
    Topic: Adult facilitators creating a space for children to co-design a toothbrushing game to promote oral health
    Supervisors: Jennifer Nikolai, Cath Conn
  • LOK, Sheryne (Masters)
    Topic: Cultural Intelligence and Chinese participation in sport and recreation
    Supervisors: Jennifer Nikolai, Gaye Bryham
  • GEE, Johnathan (Masters candidate)
    Topic: Unlocking the motivational needs of youth male cyclists: A qualitative study
    Supervisors: Craig Harrison, Kylie Thompson
  • SCOTT, Nicole (Masters candidate)
    Topic: Current practice and future directions for menstrual health education in adolescent girls
    Supervisors: Denise Atkins, Kylie Thompson, Jennifer Nikolai
  • TAIT, Kelvin (Masters candidate)
    Topic: Narrative and Systematic Literature Review on the Effects of inclined treadmill walking on fall risk prevention and well-being in older adults.
    Supervisors: Luigi Bercades, Jennifer Nikolai
  • O’NEIL, Rachel (PGDipSR Special Topic)
    Topic: The impacts of sport and physical activity on adolescent mental wellbeing: A review of the literature
    Supervisor: Kath Godber
  • AL-DARKAZLY, Naglaa (PGDipSS Special Topic)
    Topic: The effects of trauma on wellbeing: response, recovery, and resolution strategies
    Supervisor: Kath Godber