Speakers bio Symposium - Meaningful Physical Education

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Alex Beckey

Alex Beckey is Lecturer in Physical Education, Sport and Youth Development at St Mary’s University in England, with experience of working across both undergrad and postgrad courses for Physical Education. Before moving into Higher Education, he worked in the secondary school sector for 17 years, teaching in and leading PE Departments in a range of schools, as well as holding other school leadership and pastoral positions. 

Carla Luguetti

Carla Luguetti is a Senior Lecturer in Physical Education and Health, and a research fellow at the Institute for Health and Sport at Victoria University, Australia. Carla’s line of research focuses on topics of sport pedagogy and social justice, and it is underpinned by critical pedagogy (e.g., Paulo Freire) and feminist studies (e.g., bell hooks and Michelle Fine). Collaboratively and in partnership with communities, her line of research aims at co-designing curriculum and/or programs with diverse youth (from socially vulnerable backgrounds, CALD, and refugee backgrounds).

Cassandra Iannucci

Cassandra Iannucci is a teacher educator in the School of Education at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia. Her main teaching and research interests involve theory-informed and responsive approaches to engaging learners in co-creating their teaching, learning and assessment experiences. Specifically, she is interested in the enactment of democratic pedagogies and social and emotional learning in early childhood, schools, and higher education.

Declan Hamblin

Declan Hamblin has worked with numerous London school staff as part of a school sport partnership and through teacher education. He has led school departments and been a Borough Advisor for PE in North London. He is an experienced tutor in teacher and coach education courses, being an Education Tutor for England Athletics and a Youth Sport Trust Tutor, specialising in Inclusive PE. He is former Vice-Chair of the UK Association for PE (afPE) and current member of the afPE London Region Committee which he helped establish over 20 years ago. He utilised his experience to establish Sport Islington, London, to help develop community sport in the Borough, which is still active today. His extensive overseas experience has seen him work in pre-school settings right through to university. Developing supportive partnerships is key to sustainable practice and the sport development agency established in Jamaica in 1999 is still thriving today. He is a doctoral student who is interested in researching gender sensitive pedagogy in physical education.

Déirdre Ní Chróinín

Déirdre Ní Chróinín is the head of department and senior lecturer in Arts Education and Physical Education at Mary Immaculate College in Limerick, Ireland. Her research interests are in teaching, learning and assessment in primary/elementary physical education; initial teacher education in physical education; meaningful experiences in physical education, physical activity and sport; leadership in school physical education; qualitative research methodologies including visual methods and self-study research methodologies.

Donal Howley

Donal Howley trained at the University of Limerick and has practiced as a high school Physical Education and English teacher in Ireland and more recently in the USA, where he completed his PhD in Kinesiology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He currently teaches and conducts research at Towson University, Maryland, USA, across K-12 and higher education settings nationally and internationally. His research interests include meaningful physical education, social and emotional learning, and student voice. 

Esben Stilund Volshøj

Esben Stilund Volshøj is a PhD scholar at VIA University College, Research Center for Pedagogy and Bildung and The Norwegian School of Sport Sciences. His PhD project is an existential embodied examination of how PE teachers can teach Meaningful PE in primary school, taking place at a school in Denmark. The project builds on an existing action research study ‘More Meaningful PE in Primary School’, which aims to develop approaches to PE in primary school in Denmark, so pupils can experience PE as relevant and meaningful. Esben’s primary interest in research is in existential and phenomenological themes in relation to physical education and movement in school. He completed his undergraduate and masters degrees at the University of Southern Denmark and has been working in Physical Education Teacher Education at VIA University College for the past ten years as both PE-teacher and research assistant in the research program Body, Physical Education and Movement.


Hilde Kristin Mikalsen

Hilde Kristin Mikalsen, Ph.d. in studies of professional practice. I work at North University in Norway in the Faculty for Teacher Education, Art, and Culture as a teacher educator who primarily teaches and supervises students who are attending a lecturer program in PE and sports. Facilitation of physical activity from a health perspective is an important subject matter in my teaching and research. Adolescents’ meaning-making experiences in movement activities has developed to become a special field of interest for me over the last 10 years. 

Håkan Larsson

Håkan Larsson is professor of sport pedagogy at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences. Originally researching mainly gender and sexualities in sports, over the last two decades, his research has increasingly come to be about movement education and movement learning. In the context of ‘meaningful PE,’ he wishes to raise questions about what is PE in meaningful PE, or more specifically what 'content' means in PE.

Jennifer P. Agans

Jennifer P. Agans is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management at the Pennsylvania State University as well as holding a part-time position as Professor in the Department of Teacher Education and Outdoor Studies at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences. Her research focuses on the developmental processes and outcomes related to engagement in active recreation in adolescence and young adulthood, with the goal of promoting overall well-being and psychosocial health.

Joacim Andersson

Joacim Andersson is Senior Lecturer in Sport Sciences and Associate Professor in education at Malmö University, Sweden. Andersson seeks to clarify philosophical and sociological concepts to empirically explore transactional specificities of embodied learning. Primarily focusing on Physical Education and different sport and craft practices, his work includes development of methodological models and theoretical frameworks in the tradition of pragmatism and ‘body pedagogics’. 

Jodi Harding-Kuriger

Jodi Harding-Kuriger - Wife, Mom, daughter, HPE educator, and researcher prioritizing Meaningful PE and Research as Service. Enjoying a country lifestyle with family. Dedicated to lifelong learning through the University of Alberta, the Alberta Health & Physical Education Council, AIESEP, & Ever Active Schools. Looking forward to learning alongside you all.

Juliet Paterson

Juliet Paterson began her part-time PhD at Plymouth Marjon University, in Devon, England in 2022. To date, her study has explored the potential of using co-design, as pedagogy, to centralise children’s meaningful experiences in primary Physical Education, school sport and physical activity curricula provision. Juliet currently works as a Lecturer at Plymouth Marjon University, where she teaches on the Physical Education and Sport Coaching undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. Before this she was a primary school teacher and PE Subject Lead for 17 years. Juliet has also worked for British Triathlon, supporting the design and delivery of children’s coaching and teaching initiatives, regionally and nationally.

Justen O’Connor

Justen O’Connor is an Associate Professor at Monash University in Melbourne Australia. He has 20+ years of experience working in the sporting, health and physical education sectors. Justen draws upon critical sociology, systems thinking, and socio-ecological approaches to explore curriculum, pedagogy, sport and physical activity with a focus on inclusion. His recent work on informal sport participation prioritises meaningful engagement where activity is tailored to match individual and group needs.

Kenneth Aggerholm

Kenneth Aggerholm is professor at the Department of Teacher Education and Outdoor Studies at NIH. His research areas are the philosophy of sport and sport pedagogy, with special attention to human science approaches to experience, Bildung, practising and development in sport, physical education, and adapted physical activity (APA). He is responsible for the Master Programme in Physical Education and Pedagogy, and he is member of The Committee for Research Education (KFU). He is president of the International Association for the Philosophy of Sport (IAPS) and is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of the Philosophy of Sport and Sport og Sport Ethics and Philosophy. Kenneth is a former professional football player and has worked with street football for homeless and excluded people in Copenhagen

Leticia Cariño

Leticia Cariño is a physical educator from Spain and an advocate for health and well-being. She currently teaches the IB Primary Years Program (International Baccalaureate) at the International School of Phnom Penh (ISPP). After teaching for more than twenty years in the USA, Holland, Spain, China, and Cambodia, Leticia has experienced the joys and successfully overcome the challenges of teaching internationally. Teaching abroad has allowed Leticia to learn and grow personally and professionally. Leticia believes that everyone has the ability to learn many valuable life skills from participating in sports activities when they are in a safe and fun learning environment. For the past few years, Leticia has been interested in learning more about the "Meaningful PE approach." She started implementing it in her lessons and learning experiences and shared those experiences and ideas with her PE team.

Mats Hordvik

Mats Hordvik is a teacher educator in the Department of Teacher Education and Outdoor Studies at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway. Mats carry out practice-based research in collaboration with coaches, teachers and teacher educators where they use practitioner research to explore and develop innovative practices (e.g., meaningfulness, models-based practice, signature pedagogies) in youth sport, physical education, teacher education

Mel Hamada

Mel Hamada is originally from Canberra, Australia and has been fortunate to work in China, Japan, UK, Tanzania, Vietnam and Australia. She has worked in Elementary, Middle and High School as a Science and Physical & Health Education teacher, and is currently employed at the International School of Beijing in China.  Mel has been an athlete all of her life, but these days focuses on Triathlon and CrossFit and is a member of the Athletic Greens China Triathlon team.  Mel is always excited to engage in coaching and learning and is focused on supporting young movers from where they are and looking at how they can become movers for life.

Pasi Koski

Pasi Koski is professor of physical education at the university of Turku, Finland. He studied and worked formerly as a researcher at the university of Jyväskylä, where he also obtained his PhD. Koski’s versatile research covers different aspects of sport and physical activities from the sociological and cultural perspectives. One of the main areas has been sport and physical activities of young people. His list of publication includes almost 300 items and his contributions have been published in ten different languages. Koski created physical activity relationship (PAR) approach which has been applied in several studies in Finland. His current project focuses on analysing the reciprocal relationships between digital gaming and physical activities.

Reidar Säfvenbom

Reidar Säfvenbom is a Professor and the Head of the Department of Teacher Education and Outdoor Studies, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences. His major research interest is Human Development in general and Positive Youth Development in particular. In prior research Säfvenbom has studied the relationship between vulnerable groups of adolescents and sports, and is still concerned about how nations and governments provide and facilitate developmental assets for all children and adolescents. Based on the belief that eagerness for physical activity should be seen as a major outcome of interventions and physical activity contexts he has developed The Eagerness for Physical Activity Scale (EPAS).

Richard Bowles

Richard Bowles works in the Department of Arts Education & Physical Education at Mary Immaculate College, Ireland, and teaches physical education in undergraduate and postgraduate primary/elementary teacher education programs. He also volunteers as a coach with some of the College’s Gaelic Football teams. Richard’s research interests included school and community sport, teacher and coach education, and self-study research methodologies.

richard.bowles@mic.ul.ie     @rbowlesoola 

Stephanie Beni

Stephanie Beni is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Teacher Education and Outdoor Studies at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences in Oslo, Norway. Her research interests lie primarily in understanding the ways young people experience meaningfulness in physical education and identifying practical tools by which physical education teachers can foster meaningful experiences for students. In addition, she enjoys studying her own practice and the process of supporting teachers in their professional learning.

Tim Fletcher

Tim Fletcher is an associate professor at Brock University in Ontario, Canada. Prior to teaching in universities Tim taught high school health and physical education for five years. His current research focuses on how teachers implement pedagogies that support meaningful experiences for learners in physical education, highlighted in a recent co-edited text Meaningful Physical Education: An Approach to Guide Teaching and Learning (2021, Routledge) with Déirdre Ní Chróinín, Doug Gleddie and Stephanie Beni. He is also interested in various forms of practitioner research, particularly using self-study methodology.

Tony Sweeney

Tony Sweeney lectures at the Froebel Department of Primary & Early Childhood Education at Maynooth University, Ireland. He has coached children in football, hurling and camogie, and is a hillwalker and geocacher in his spare time. His research interests include Meaningful PE, Adapted Physical Education, Technology in Education and self-study of teacher educator practice.

tony.sweeney@mu.ie       @tsweeney1

Ty Riddick

Ty Riddick is a Middle / Senior School PHE teacher and Learning Leader at Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School in Okotoks, Alberta (Canada). Previously, he has taught in Hong Kong and South Korea where he first became interested in the Meaningful Physical Education framework. Ty holds a Masters Degree in Curriculum & Pedagogy from the University of Alberta.