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Professor Dawn Penney


Contact Information Telephone: +61 8 6304 2339, Email:, Campus: Mount Lawley, Room: ML17.118
Staff Member Details
Telephone: +61 8 6304 2339
Campus: Mount Lawley  
Room: ML17.118  


Dawn is a professorial research fellow in the School of Education, leading research project developments addressing quality and equity in health and physical education, physical activity and sport.


Dawn has held senior positions in universities in the UK, New Zealand and Australia. She is an Adjunct Professor of Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy at Monash University and an Honorary visiting research fellow with Loughborough University, UK. Dawn has worked with government agencies, curriculum authorities, schools and sport organisations in collaborative research and evaluation projects addressing policy and curriculum development in health and physical education, and the provision of physical activity and sport for young people. Dawn’s experience beyond universities includes sport development and coach education.

Professional associations

  • 2017 - Association for Physical Education (UK) Fellow
  • 2017 - Australian Association for Research in Education (member)
  • 2017 - British Educational Research Association (member)
  • 2016 - National Board Member, Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation

Research areas and interests

  • Health and Physical Education curriculum, pedagogy and assessment
  • Equity and inclusion in HPE, physical activity and sport
  • Leadership


  • Bachelor of Arts Honours, England.
  • Doctor of Philosophy, England.


Recent Research Grants

  • Informal sport as a health and social resource for diverse young people,  Australian Research Council,  Grant - Linkage (Projects),  2019 - 2021,  $494,122.
  • Compulsory science and mathematics subjects in senior secondary school in other jurisdictions,  Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation,  Grant,  2018 - 2019,  $46,756.
  • School Swimming and Water Safety Program Evaluative Assessment,  Department of Education NSW,  Grant,  2019,  $59,627.
  • Quality enhancement of AUSTSWIM swimming and water safety teacher training: A national research and development initiative.,  Edith Cowan University,  ECU Industry Collaboration Grant - 2017 Open Round,  2017 - 2019,  $187,175.
  • Carlile Swimming Archive Project: Phase 1,  Carlile Support Pty Ltd,  Grant,  2017 - 2018,  $12,100.
  • Investigating the feasibility of using digital representations of work for authentic and reliable performance assessment in senior secondary school courses,  Australian Research Council,  Grant - Linkage (Projects),  2007 - 2011,  $714,679.
  • Sport Education - Korea Australia collaborative project,  Korean Research Foundation,  Grant,  2003 - 2004,  $11,689.

Recent Publications (within the last five years)


  • Brown, TD., Penney, D., (2018), Examination physical education: Policy, pedagogies and possibilities. Routledge studies in physical education and youth sport, 264, Abingdon, Oxon, UK, Routledge.
  • Leahy, D., Burrows, L., McCuaig, L., Wright, J., Penney, D., (2016), School health education in changing times: Curriculum, pedagogies and partnerships. Routledge Research in Education, 153, London, UK, Routledge, DOI: 10.4324/9781315887449.
  • Hay, P., Penney, D., (2014), Assessment in physical education: A sociocultural perspective. Routledge studies in physical education and youth sport, 150, London, UK, Routledge, DOI: 10.4324/9780203133163.

Book Chapters

  • Penney, D., Dinan Thompson, M., (2018), Curriculum drivers. Routledge Handbook of Primary Physical Education, 51-60, Oxfordshire, UK, Routledge.
  • Dinan Thompson, M., Penney, D., (2018), Assessment and Standards. Routledge Handbook of Primary Physical Education, 74-85, Oxfordshire, UK, Routledge.
  • Zehntner, C., Penney, D., (2018), Athlete-centred coaching: Tensions and opportunities arising in the masters context. Perspectives on athlete-centred coaching, 206-216, London, UK, Routledge.
  • Penney, D., (2018), Health and physical education: Transformative potential, propositions and pragmatics. The Australian Curriculum: Promises, problems and possibilities, 103-114, ACT, Australia, Australian Curriculum Studies Association.
  • Penney, D., (2017), Policy and possibilities. Routledge handbook of physical education pedagogies, 131-142, Abingdon, UK, Routledge.
  • Penney, D., Mitchell, S., (2017), Reforming curricula from the outside-in. Routledge handbook of physical education pedagogies, 157-172, Abingdon, UK, Routledge.
  • Branson, C., Franken, M., Penney, D., (2016), Reconceptualising middle leadership in higher education: A transrelational approach. Values and virtues in higher education: Critical perspectives, 155-170, Abingdon, Oxon, UK, Routledge.
  • Cowie, B., Penney, D., (2016), Challenges, tensions and possibilities: An analysis of assessment policy and practice in New Zealand. Leadership of assessment, inclusion, and learning, 287-304, Cham, Switzerland, Springer, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-23347-5_12.
  • Penney, D., Cowie, B., (2014), Assessment: Power relations, P/political influences, and pedagogical change. Facing the big questions in teaching: Purpose, power and learning, 73-80, Melbourne, Australia, Cengage Learning.

Journal Articles

  • Jeanes, R., Spaaij, R., Penney, D., O'Connor, J., (2019), Managing informal sport participation: Tensions and opportunities. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 11(1), 79-95, United Kingdom, Routledge, DOI: 10.1080/19406940.2018.1479285.
  • Lambert, K., Penney, D., (2019), Curriculum interpretation and policy enactment in health and physical education: Researching teacher educators as policy actors. Sport, Education and Society, online(n/a), 1-18, DOI: 10.1080/13573322.2019.1613636.
  • Hammond, A., Jeanes, R., Penney, D., Leahy, D., (2019), "I feel we are inclusive enough": Examining swimming coaches' understandings of inclusion and disability. Sociology of Sport Journal, 36(4), 311-321, online, DOI:
  • Makopoulou, K., Penney, D., Neville, R., Thomas, G., (2019), What sort of ‘inclusion’ is continuing professional development promoting? An investigation of a national CPD programme for inclusive physical education. International Journal of Inclusive Education, Online(N/A), 1-18, DOI: 10.1080/13603116.2019.1647297.
  • Jones, A., Penney, D., (2019), Investigating the ‘integration of theory and practice’ in examination physical education. European Physical Education Review, 25(4), 1036–1055, Sage Publications Ltd, DOI: 10.1177/1356336X18791195.
  • Hammond, A., Penney, D., Jeanes, R., (2019), Sport coaches as policy actors: an investigation of the interpretation and enactment of disability and inclusion policy in swimming in Victoria Australia. Sport, Education and Society, n/a(n/a), 1-16, DOI:
  • Alfrey, L., O'Connor, J., Phillipson, S., Penney, D., Jeanes, R., Phillipson, S., (2019), Attitudes of pre-service physical education teachers to healthism: Development and validation of the Attitude Towards Healthism Scale (ATHS). European Physical Education Review, 25(1), 424-437, Sage Publications, DOI: 10.1177/1356336X17742665.
  • Penney, D., Jeanes, R., O'Connor, J., Alfrey, L., (2018), Re-theorising inclusion and reframing inclusive practice in physical education. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 22(10), 1062-1077, Online, Routledge, DOI: 10.1080/13603116.2017.1414888.
  • Pope, CC., Penney, D., Smith, TB., (2018), Overtraining and the complexities of coaches' decision-making: Managing elite athletes on the training cusp. Reflective Practice, 19(2), 145-166, United Kingdom, Routledge, DOI: 10.1080/14623943.2017.1361923.
  • Barwood, D., Penney, D., Cunningham, C., (2017), A paradox or a culture of acceptance? The idiosyncratic workforce delivering health education in lower secondary government schools in Western Australia. Asia-Pacific Journal of Health, Sport and Physical Education, 8(3), 193-209, Melbourne, Victoria, Routledge, DOI: 10.1080/18377122.2017.1362955.
  • Leahy, D., Penney, D., Welch, R., (2017), Schooling health: The critical contribution of curriculum in the 1980s. History of Education Review, 46(2), 224-235, Bingley, United Kingdom, Emerald Publishing Ltd., DOI: 10.1108/HER-03-2016-0016.
  • Brown, T., Penney, D., (2017), Interpretation and enactment of senior secondary physical education: Pedagogic realities and the expression of Arnoldian dimensions of movement. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 22(2), 121-136, Oxon, United Kingdom, Routledge, DOI: 10.1080/17408989.2015.1123239.
  • Pill, S., Swabey, K., Penney, D., (2017), Investigating physical education teacher use of models based practice in Australian secondary PE. PHEnex Journal, 9(1), 19p.,  Physical and Health Education Canada.
  • Penney, D., (2017), Big policies and a small world: An analysis of policy problems and solutions in physical education. Sport, Education and Society, 22(5), 569-585, Routledge, DOI: 10.1080/13573322.2016.1242066.
  • Bransom, C., Franken, M., Penney, D., (2016), Middle leadership in higher education: A relational analysis. Educational Management Administration and Leadership, 44(1), 128-145, DOI: 10.1177/1741143214558575.
  • Franken, M., Branson, C., Penney, D., (2016), A theory-to-practice leadership learning arrangement in a university context. International Journal of Leadership in Education, 2016(24 October), 15p., Online, Routledge, DOI: 10.1080/13603124.2016.1247196.
  • O'Connor, JP., Penney, D., Alfrey, L., Phillipson, S., Phillipson, SN., Jeanes, R., (2016), The development of the stereotypical attitudes in HPE scale. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 41(7), 70-87, Australia, Social Science Press, DOI: 10.14221/ajte.2016v41n7.5.
  • Wilkinson, S., Penney, D., Allin, L., (2016), Setting and within-class ability grouping: A survey of practices in physical education. European Physical Education Review, 22(3), 336-354, DOI: 10.1177/1356336X15610784.
  • Penney, D., McMahon, J., (2016), High-performance sport, learning and culture: New horizons for sport pedagogues?. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 21(1), 81-88, Routledge, DOI: 10.1080/17408989.2015.1072511.
  • Wilkinson, SD., Penney, D., (2016), The involvement of external agencies in extra-curricular physical education: Reinforcing or challenging gender and ability inequities?. Sport, Education and Society, 21(5), 741-758, Routledge, DOI: 10.1080/13573322.2014.956714.
  • Franken, M., Penney, D., Branson, C., (2015), Middle leaders' learning in a university context. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 37(2), 190-203, Routledge, DOI: 10.1080/1360080X.2015.1019120.
  • Penney, D., Petrie, K., Fellowes, S., (2015), HPE in Aotearoa New Zealand: The reconfiguration of policy and pedagogic relations and privatization of curriculum and pedagogy. Sport, Education and Society, 20(1), 42-56, Routledge, DOI: 10.1080/13573322.2014.947566.
  • McMahon, JA., Penney, D., (2015), Sporting parents on the pool deck: Living out a sporting culture?. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 7(2), 153-169, Routledge, DOI: 10.1080/2159676X.2014.901985.
  • Dinan Thompson, M., Penney, D., (2015), Assessment literacy in primary physical education. European Physical Education Review, 21(4), 485-503, DOI: 10.1177/1356336X15584087.
  • Wilkinson, SD., Penney, D., (2014), The effects of setting on classroom teaching and student learning in mainstream mathematics, English and science lessons: A critical review of the literature in England. Educational Review, 66(4), 411-427, Routledge, DOI: 10.1080/00131911.2013.787971.
  • Kidman, L., Penney, D., (2014), Promoting and supporting coaches' professional learning: Developing a community of practice. Journal of Athlete Centered Coaching, 1(1), 6-31.
  • Mainsbridge, C., Swabey, K., Fraser, S., Penney, D., (2014), Youth physical activity and health interventions: Ineffective and ill-conceived action?. Asia-Pacific Journal of Health, Sport and Physical Education, 5(2), 133-150, Routledge.
  • O'Sullivan, M., Penney, D., (2014), Education: A space to survive and thrive?. Sport, Education and Society, 19(3), 343-351, Routledge, DOI: 10.1080/13573322.2013.802686.
  • Brown, M., Penney, D., (2014), Solo sailing: An "ordinary girl", voluntary risk-taking and (ir)responsibility. Sociology of Sport Journal, 31(3), 267-286, Human Kinetics, Inc., DOI: 10.1123/ssj.2013-0121.
  • Penney, D., Kidman, L., (2014), Athlete centered coaching: A time for reflection on meanings, values and practice. Journal of Athlete Centered Coaching, 1(1), 2-5, Summit Institute Journal Publications.
  • Petrie, K., Penney, D., Fellowes, S., (2014), Health and physical education in Aotearoa New Zealand: An open market and open doors?. Asia-Pacific Journal of Health, Sport and Physical Education, 5(1), 19-38, Taylor and Francis, DOI: 10.1080/18377122.2014.867791.

Conference Publications

  • Jones, A., Penney, D., (2015), The integration of theory and practice as a central focus for senior schooling Physical Education. Proceedings of the 29th ACHPER International Conference: Values into Action - A Brighter Future, 12-22, Kent Town, South Australia, Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER).

Research Student Supervision

Principal Supervisor

  • Master by Research, The theory-practice nexus in teacher education: A case study of a tertiary outdoor education program.
  • Doctor of Education, Heads of Faculty Leading Curriculum Reform: A Case Study of Post Year 10 Mandated Curriculum Reform in a Tasmanian Secondary School.
  • Doctor of Education, Performance management: A connected professional learning model.
  • Doctor of Education, Children and healthy eating: A global, policy and school curriculum perspective.
  • Master by Research, Understanding engagement in year 9 and 10 Physical Education: A case study.
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Exposure and Effect: An Investigation into a Culture of Body Pedagogies.
  • Doctor of Education, Developing the nurse professional and nurse education for the 21st Century.
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Youth Sport in Trinidad and Tobago: Extending the Possibilities and Pathways for Post-Secondary School Participation.
  • Master by Research, Investigating socio-critical discourses of assessment in senior Physical Education in New Zealand.
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Rethinking the teaching of sport in physical education.
  • Master by Research, Developing learners and learning in Teacher Education in the Seychelles: A critical investigation.
  • Master by Research, Maori, gifted and talented athletes – stories of success and support.
  • Master by Research, The role of Sports Education in achieving social emotional learning outcomes in the context of the new Tasmania Health and wellbeing curriculum.
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Developing Social and Emotional Learning in Physical Education: The Contextualised Appropriation of Sport Education.
  • Doctor of Education, Quality and performance management of Technical Education and Training in Singapore.
  • Master by Research, Healthy Relationships? An examination of Health and Physical Education school-provider relationships in Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Extraordinary Outdoor Leaders: An Australian Case Study.
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Physical Education, physical activity and the National Curriculum Physical Education: Policy, provision and prospects.

Co-principal Supervisor

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Body Pedagogies: How children come to understand their bodies and their selves during and following a health intervention in a New Zealand primary school
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Leisure Participation and Mental Health in Tasmania: A Lifecycle Approach.
  • Doctor of Philosophy, The construction of gender relations in sport organisations.

Associate Supervisor


Adjunct Supervisor

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