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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


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


Recent Research Grants

  • 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., (2017), 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.

Book Chapters

  • Penney, D., (2017), Policy and possibilities. Routledge handbook of physical education pedagogies, 131-142, London and New York, Routledge.
  • Penney, D., (2017), Inclusion in National Curriculum policy and physical education. Equity and difference in physical education, youth sport and health: A narrative approach, 72-77, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, UK, Routledge.
  • Penney, D., Mitchell, S., (2017), Reforming curricula from the outside-in. Routledge handbook of physical education pedagogies, 157-172, London, UK, Routledge.
  • Penney, D., Evans, J., (2017), Who is physical education for?. Debates in Physical Education, 157-170, Oxon, UK, Routledge.
  • Hay, P., Penney, D., (2017), Inclusivity and physical education: Moving beyond the rhetoric. Issues and controversies in physical education: Policy, power and pedagogy, 92-102, Auckland, New Zealand, Pearson New Zealand.
  • 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.
  • Penney, D., Jones, A., (2013), Physical education studies. Digital Representations of Student Performance for Assessment, 169-196, Rotterdam, Netherlands, Sense Publishers, DOI: 10.1007/978-94-6209-341-6_7.
  • Evans, J., Davies, B., Penney, D., (2012), The social construction of teaching and learning: The politics of pedagogy. Learning and Teaching in Physical Education, 9-19, Online, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.4324/9780203487150.
  • Ang, SC., Penney, D., Swabey, K., (2012), Pursuing social and emotional learning outcomes through sport education: An Australian case study. Sport Education: International perspectives, 116-132, Oxon, UK, Routledge.

Journal Articles

  • Pill, S., Swabey, K., Penney, D., (2017), Investigating physical education teacher use of models based practice in Australian secondary PE. PHEnex Journal, 9(1), 1-19,  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.
  • 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, Online, Emerald Publishing Limited, DOI: 10.1108/HER-03-2016-0016.
  • 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, TBA(TBA), 1-17, Australia, Routledge, DOI: 10.1080/18377122.2017.1362955.
  • 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.
  • Bransom, C., Franken, M., Penney, D., (2016), Middle leadership in higher education: A relational analysis. Educational Management, Administration and Leadership, 44(1), 128-145, Sage Publications Ltd., DOI: 10.1177/1741143214558575.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Franken, M., Branson, C., Penney, D., (2016), A theory-to-practice leadership learning arrangement in a university context. International Journal of Leadership in Education, In Press(In Press), 15p., Online, Routledge, DOI: 10.1080/13603124.2016.1247196.
  • 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, Sage Publications Ltd, DOI: 10.1177/1356336X15610784.
  • 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.
  • 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, Sage Publications, DOI: 10.1177/1356336X15584087.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • McMahon, J., Penney, D., (2013), (Self-) surveillance and (self-) regulation: Living by fat numbers within and beyond a sporting culture. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 5(2), 157-178, Routledge, DOI: 10.1080/2159676X.2012.712998.
  • Penney, D., (2013), From policy to pedagogy: prudence and precariousness; actors and artefacts. Asia-Pacific Journal of Health, Sport and Physical Education, 4(2), 189-197, Routledge, DOI: 10.1080/18377122.2013.808154.
  • Penney, D., (2013), Points of tension and possibility: Boundaries in and of physical education. Sport, Education and Society, 18(1), 6-20, Oxon, United Kingdom, Routledge, DOI: 10.1080/13573322.2012.713862.
  • Ang, SC., Penney, D., (2013), Promoting social and emotional learning outcomes in physical education: Insights from a school-based research project in Singapore. Asia-Pacific Journal of Health, Sport and Physical Education, 4(3), 267-286, Routledge, DOI: 10.1080/18377122.2013.836768.
  • Brown, T., Penney, D., (2013), Learning 'in', 'through' and 'about' movement in senior physical education? The new Victorian Certificate of Education Physical Education. European Physical Education Review, 19(1), 39-61, London, United Kingdom, Sage Publications Ltd., DOI: 10.1177/1356336X12465508.
  • Gillespie, L., Penney, D., Pope, C., (2013), Untapped potential? Key competency learning and physical education. Teachers and Curriculum, 13(2013), 11-18, Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research.
  • McMahon, J., Penney, D., (2013), Using narrative as a tool to locate and challenge pre service teacher bodies in health and physical education. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 38(1), 115-133, Australia, Social Science Press.
  • McMahon, J., Penney, D., (2013), Body pedagogies, coaching and culture: Three Australian swimmers' lived experiences. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 18(3), 317-335, Routledge, DOI: 10.1080/17408989.2012.666786.
  • McMahon, J., Penney, D., Dinan-Thompson, M., (2012), 'Body practices-exposure and effect of a sporting culture?' Stories from three Australian swimmers. Sport, Education and Society, 17(2), 181-206, Oxon, United Kingdom, Routledge, DOI: 10.1080/13573322.2011.607949.
  • Pill, S., Penney, D., Swabey, K., (2012), Rethinking sport teaching in physical education: A case study of research based innovation in teacher education. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 37(8), 118-138, Katoomba, NSW, Social Science Press, DOI: 10.14221/ajte.2012v37n8.2.
  • Penney, D., Jones, A., Newhouse, P., Campbell, A., (2012), Developing a digital assessment in senior secondary physical education. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, November(2011), 1-28, Routledge, DOI: 10.1080/17408989.2011.582490.

Conference Publications

  • Jones, A., Penney, D., (2015), The integration of theory and practice as a central focus for senior schooling Physical Education. 29th ACHPER International Conference edited proceedings: Values into Action - A Brighter Future, 12-22, Kent Town, South Australia, Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER).
  • Jones, A., Penney, D., (2013), News from WA......(more than just iron ore and great footy teams) ? policy principles to course design. A defining time in Health and Physical Education : Proceedings of the 28th ACHPER Intern ational Conference, 64-73, Hindmarsh, 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 of Education,  Development Of Learning And Learners In Teacher Education In The Seychelles: A Critical Investigation.
  • Master By Research, Investigating Socio-critical Discourses Of Assessment In Senior Physical Education In New Zealand.
  • Master By Research, Developing Learners And Learning In Teacher Education In The Seychelles: A Critical Investigation.
  • Doctor Of Philosophy, Rethinking The Teaching Of Sport In Physical Education.
  • 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.
  • Master By Research, Maori, Gifted And Talented Athletes ? Stories Of Success And Support.
  • 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

  • Doctor of Philosophy,  Perspectives On Differentiation In Practice: An Interpretive Study From Teaching Japanese As A Second Language In Western Australian Secondary Schools

Adjunct Supervisor

  • Doctor of Philosophy,  Lost In Translation? - The "integration Of Theory And Practice" As A Central Focus For Senior Schooling Physical Education Studies
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