Skip to content

This BERA event was organised to showcase a special issue of the Curriculum Journal entitled ‘Potentialities in health and physical education: Professional boundaries and change agendas’, edited by Dr. Malcolm Thorburn and Dr. Shirley Gray (University of Edinburgh).

The special issue raises some demanding issues about the future of health and physical education (HPE) at a time when arguments for enhanced curriculum prominence exist alongside the possibility of increased marketisation in school governance arrangements. These complexities are reviewed in terms of their implications for change agendas in schools, both in regard to subject teaching and more widely in terms of their consequences for the professional boundaries that shape and define educators work. Papers in the special issue focus on two broad areas:

  • teachers’ expertise, their curriculum development and enactment role and their accountability expectations
  • the future of HPE in relation to social and emotional learning, physical literacy and healthy lifestyles.

The editorial aspiration for the papers in this special issue, and for this BERA event, is that collectively they will stimulate further professional discussions and inform future research agendas.

There are nine articles in this special issue. Authors from five of those articles presented their research during this event. They are:

  • ‘Grappling with complex ideas: Physical education, physical literacy, physical activity, sport and play in one professional learning initiative’, by Kirsten Petrie and Clive Pope (University of Waikato) and Darren Powell (University of Auckland).
  • ‘Health-oriented “Bildung” or an obligation to a healthy lifestyle? A critical analysis of current PE curricula in Germany’, by Sebastian Ruin (University of Graz) and Günter Stibbe (German Sports University)
  • ‘The personal visions of physical education student teachers: Putting the education at the heart of physical education’, by Mike Jess, Paul McMillan, Nicola Carse and Karen Munro (University of Edinburgh).
  • ‘Teacher agency in enacting physical education in a period of curriculum change and reform in Ireland’, by Dylan Scanlon, Antonio Calderón and Ann MacPhail (University of Limerick).
  • ‘A transformative learning journey of a teacher educator in enacting an activist approach in Physical Education Teacher Education’, by Carla Luguetti (Victoria University) and Kimberly L. Oliver (New Mexico State University).


Profile picture of Kirsten Petrie
Kirsten Petrie, Dr

The University of Waikato, Aotearoa New Zealand

Kirsten Petrie is an Associate Professor, in Te Huataki Waiora School of Health at The University of Waikato, Aotearoa New Zealand. She has published and presented widely on health and physical education in primary schools on matters relating to...

Profile picture of Sebastian Ruin
Sebastian Ruin, Dr

University of Graz (Austria)

Dr. Sebastian Ruin is a professor of Movement and Sport Pedagogy at the University of Graz (Austria). He made his PHD in 2015 at the German Sport University Cologne (Germany) and used to work as an interim professor at the Philipps-Universität...

Profile picture of Mike Jess
Mike Jess

University of Edinburgh

Mike Jess is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh. His main interest focuses on the relationship between complexity-related perspectives and educational practice in physical education. Recently, this work has concentrated on...

Profile picture of Dylan Scanlon
Dylan Scanlon

University of Limerick

Dylan Scanlon is a PhD researcher in the Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences at the University of Limerick. Dylan’s research interests include physical education curriculum and assessment, teaching and learning in physical...

Profile picture of Carla Luguetti
Carla Luguetti, Dr

Victoria University

Carla is a Lecturer in Physical Education and Health in the College of Sport and Exercise Science, and research fellow in the Institute for Health and Sport at VU. Carla’s line of research focuses on topics of sport pedagogy and social justice,...


Profile picture of Malcolm Thorburn
Malcolm Thorburn

University of Edinburgh

Malcolm Thorburn is an Honorary Fellow at the University of Edinburgh. His main research focus is on conceptual matters associated with values in health and physical education, especially in relation to phenomenology (embodiment and...

Profile picture of Shirley Gray
Shirley Gray, Dr

University of Edinburgh

Dr Shirley Gray is a Senior Lecturer in Physical Education at the University of Edinburgh. Her research focuses on issues relating to gender and equality, social and emotional learning, pupil motivation and the professional learning of teachers.

More related content