Research students in Sport and PE - College of Education, Health and Human Development - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

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Research students in Sport and PE


Blake BennettBlake Bennett, University of Canterbury

A comparative study of coaching pedagogy in Japanese and New Zealand high school rugby.

This comparative study adopts a mixed method methodology to examine rugby coaches’ learning aims and the coaching pedagogy adopted to achieve them in Japanese and New Zealand high schools. It uses a comparative design to explore the ways in which local social, cultural and institutional contexts shape and influence the development of the pedagogy identified.

Blake is in his last year of candidature and will submit his thesis in 2015. Holding a 5th dan black belt in kendo, he speaks, reads and writes in Japanese and conducted all the interviews in Japan and New Zealand himself. He is supervised by Professor Ian Culpan and Professor Richard Light.

Bennett, B. & Culpan, I. (2014). The coach as educator: Content and pedagogical frameworks. Journal of Physical Education and Health, 3(5), 5 – 18.

Bennett, B. (2013). An investigation of the intended learning outcomes of Japanese high school physical education teachers: A comparison of kendo and rugby instructors. Proceedings of the Japan Academy of Budo Symposium, September 12, 2013. Tsukuba University.  

Ricardo PimentaRicardo Pimenta, University of Canterbury

An ethnography of a Christchurch basketball club with a focus on how membership in it shapes adolescent girls’ experiences of basketball.

This study is focused on the nature of the participation of girls in the specializing phase (13-16 years) in basketball in one club in Christchurch, New Zealand. Conducted over a full season it will adopt an ethnographic methodology to explore the complexity of playing sport in the social setting of a club and how it influences the participants’ enjoyment of basketball and their desire to continue playing.

Ricardo comes to the School of Health Sciences from Portugal and is in his first year as a full time PhD candidate based on campus. He is supervised by Professor Richard Light.

Remy HassaninRemy Hassanin, Federation University Australia

The influence of cultural context on rugby coaches' beliefs about coaching in Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.

This study inquired into the beliefs of high performance rugby coaches’ about coaching and the influence of cultural context on the development of them. The study adopted a grounded theory methodology to investigate coaching beliefs and the influence of cultural context upon them in Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.
Remy’s is a French citizen who grew up and played rugby in South Africa. He is in his third year of candidature and is writing up his study and will submit in March 2015. His supervisors are Professor Richard Light and Dr Jeanne Kentel.

Hassanin, R., & Light, R. L. (2013) The use of habitus in research on experience and coach development. Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) Conference Proceedings.  

Hassanin, R., & Light, R. L. (2013). Learning through experience: The influence of context on the development of rugby coaches’ beliefs and practice. In L. Zhang (Ed.) 2013 ERSE, 2013 International Conference on Educational Research and Sports Education. Paris, France: Atlantis Press (pp. 92-96).

Hassanin, R., & Light, R. L. (2014). Culture, experience and the construction of views on coaching: Implications for the uptake of Game Sense. University of Sydney Papers in Human Movement, Health and Coach Education – Special Games Sense Edition, 51-65.

Light, R. L., Evans, J. R., Harvey, S., & Hassanin, R. (2015) Advances in rugby coaching: An holistic approach. London & New York: Routledge.

Sue BrownSue Brown, Federation University Australia

Learning to Lead: The Social Nature of Women’s Development in Sport Leadership
This study examines the leadership styles of female leaders in sport within a social constructivist theoretical framework. Focused on 23 females in sport leadership positions in the state of Victoria, Australia it traces the participants’ development as leaders from an early age to identify the social nature of learning to lead.
Sue’s supervisor is Professor Richard Light and she submitted her thesis for examination on 12/12/2014.

Brown, S., & Light, R. L. (2012). Women’s sport leadership styles as the result of interaction between feminine and masculine approaches. Asia Pacific Journal for Health, Sport and Physical Education 3(3), 185-199.

Sibi Boycott Noel WalterSibi Boycott Noel Walter, University of Canterbury

New Zealand Cricket pace bowler's shoulder injuries: Assessment, strengthening and reduction of occurrence.
Sibi comes from Chennai India, home of Chennai Super Kings, holding a bachelor degree in Physiotherapy from Tamilnadu Dr.MGR.medical university and a masters degree in Sports Science from Lund university Sweden. He is in his first year as a full time PhD candidate based on campus.He is supervised by Dr.Carl Petersen.

Peter HolmesPeter Holmes, Leeds Beckett University, UK

A comparative study of the situated nature of coach development of English & Australian elite level rugby league coaches in the English Super League.

This study compares the coaching approaches of English and Australian coaches in the English Super League and explores the influences on them in the two countries with a focus on the socially and culturally situated nature of coach development of elite level rugby league. It adopts a research approach that integrates grounded theory with narrative inquiry. It analyses data generated on Australian and English coaches separately, and compare and contrast between the two with a focus on locating the development of beliefs about, dispositions toward, and knowledge of, rugby league coaching.

Pete lives in Leeds and is in his fourth year of a part time study. He is supervised by Professor Richard Light and Professor Andrew Sparkes.

Mohammad Shah RazakMohammad Shah Razak, University of Canterbury

Moral and Ethical Learning in Mainstream Sports in New Zealand schools: A Grounded Theory Perspective.
This study focusses on moral and ethical learning of secondary school students from 3 mainstream sports (Rugby, Football and Basketball) in New Zealand schools. Participants are of mixed gender from ages 13-16 years old. Using grounded theory, it aims to explore emerging themes that deal with the learning of ethics from the participants’ experiences in their specific sports. This insight seeks to add breadth and depth to current available literature.

Shah has taught Physical Education both in Primary and Secondary schools for the past 18 years in Singapore. He was a Head of Department at Crest Secondary School in Singapore and is currently in his first year as a full time PhD candidate. His supervisor is Professor Richard Light.

Physical Education

Susie StevensSusie Stevens, University of Canterbury

Joy, pedagogy and Physical Education

'This study will investigate the importance placed upon joy in physical education and will identify the teacher and student behaviours that foster it and barriers to achieving it. 

Methodology has not been finalised at this stage, however it will be predominantly qualitative semi structured interviews.

Susie started her PhD September 2013 and is continuing her studies part time after leave between Feb 2014 and Feb 2015 to extend her family.

Kendal JarrettKendal Jarrett, (Australia/University of Canterbury)

Physical education teachers’ experiences of implementing a game-centred approach to algames teaching in the United Kingdom and Australia.

This comparative study adopts phenomenographical methodology that includes use of psycho-phenomenological elicitation interviews, developed in France, to generate data. It examines physical education teachers’ experiences of adopting a TGfU approach to games teaching and how this affected their decisions to continue, modify or abandon the TGfU approach in the UK and Australia.

Previously based in the UK, Kendall is now based in Melbourne, Australia as a part time, off-campus student. He is in the writing up stage of his thesis and will submit in 2015. He is supervised by Professor Richard Light.

Jarrett, K., Mouchet, A., Harvey, S., Scott, C. and Light, R. L. (2015). Using elicitation interview within a phenomenographic framework: Developing the breadth of research designs associated with game based approaches.

Jarrett, K. & Harvey, S. (2014). Game-centred approaches to teaching and coaching games: A review of literature since 2006. In R. L. Light, J. Quay, S. Harvey, & A. Mooney (Eds), Contemporary developments in games teaching. London & New York: Routledge.

Harvey, S. and Jarrett, K. (2014). A review of the game-centred approaches to teaching and coaching literature since 2006’. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy.

Jarrett, K. (2011). Undergraduate sport students’ perceptions of a change to Game Sense pedagogy. Asian Journal of Exercise & Sport Science, 4(1): 1–17.

Bianca Couto de AguiarBianca Couto de Aguiar, University of Canterbury

Pre-service PE teachers’ experiences using TGfU: transition from practicum to working life.

This project builds upon research that has investigated the difficulties involved in learning to teach using TGfU as innovative practice in Australia, the USA and Singapore (Light & Butler, 2005; Light & Tan, 2006). Focused on the nature of pre-service and early career teachers’ experiences of learning and developing TGfU pedagogy, it will be seek to provide insight into pre-service teachers’ experiences of developing the TGfU approach with a focus on school practicum and how it shapes their dispositions toward and intentions to take up and develop their TGfU approach. It will adopt a grounded theory methodology and be conducted within schools in the Canterbury region in New Zealand.

Light R and Butler J (2005). A personal journey: TGfU teacher development in Australia and the USA. In: R. Light (Ed.) An international perspective on Teaching Games for Understanding, special issue of Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy 10(3): 241- 254.

Light R and Tan S (2006). Culture, embodied understandings and primary school teachers’ development of TGfU in Singapore and Australia. European Physical Education Review 12(1): 100-117.

Bianca came to the School of Health Sciences from Portugal in February 2015. She is supervised by Professor Richard Light.