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School of Education and Professional Studies

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 I am passionate about theorising curriculum and pedagogy wherever teaching and learning occurs, such as in health and physical education (HPE) and sports coaching. I have a particular interest in Indigenous education settings

Dr Susan Whatman is a Senior Lecturer in Health and Physical Education and Sports Coaching at Griffith University in the School of Education and Professional Studies. Susan is the Award Major Convenor for Health and Physical Education in the Bachelor of Primary Education and Acting Program Director for the Master of Education.  Susan is also a research integrity advisor supporting the Griffith University Human Research Ethics Committee. 

Dr Susan Whatman

School of Education and Professional Studies

Senior Lecturer in HPE and Sports Coaching

Fields of Expertise

  • Sport Pedagogy
  • Health and Physical Education (HPE)
  • Health Education
  • Physical Education
  • Advanced Teaching Strategies in HPE
  • Motor Development and Programming
  • Sport Coaching

Speeches, Seminars and Presentations

Susan is an experienced presenter at conferences both internationally and nationally. Some highlights include:

  • Restorative pedagogical justice in embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) Knowledges on teaching practice. AERA 2015 Annual Meeting Conference, Chicago  
  • Defining graduate teacher “expertise” in embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) knowledges in HPE curriculum. 28th ACHPER International Conference Melbourne 2013

Industry Experience

Susan provides teaching and learning expertise to the QUT International College as an external consultant in Indigenous education. Susan has completed consultancy work with the Department of Education and Training, supporting secondary school teachers with embedding Indigenous knowledges in the SOSE and History curriculum.

  • Awards: A recipient of numerous awards including (2015) Citation for Learning and Teaching Excellence, Griffith University, (2012) Fellow of the Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER, (2006) Betty Watts Award, Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) for distinguished contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education, (2006) Vice Chancellor’s award for Curriculum Innovation, QUT and (2000) Pre-Olympic Congress award for Best Young Investigator, Pedagogy.
  • Professional Memberships and/or Boards: Active and Health Magazine Editorial Board, ACHPER National (2011-present), Board member; Australian Council for Health, Physical Education & Recreation (ACHPER) Fellow; Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) member; American Educational Research Association (AERA) member;British Association for Research in Education (BERA) member; British Association for International and Comparative Education (BAICE) member; Queensland College of Teachers member; Tertiary Industry Education Advisory Group (TEIAG) Gold Coast member
  • Sport Coaching Resources: Sue created a number of videos focused on Sports Coaching that have been used through her courses and by various industry partnerships she has established. Below is an example and the full suite of videos can be found here 


Research Expertise

Susan's research focuses on curriculum development in HPE, holistic sports coaching approaches and supporting pre-service teachers in curriculum leadership on practicum. Her research has also focused on investigating community participation in health education decision-making in Indigenous schools, how HPE teachers and their students contribute to curriculum change in secondary physical education, and mapping parent-school partnerships in Indigenous education.

Research highlights include:

  • · (2017). Indigenous knowledges as a way to disrupt norms in physical education teacher education. Asia-Pacific Journal of Health, Sport and Physical Education, 8(2), 115–131.
  • · (2017). Establishing Online Communities of Practice: The Case of a Virtual Sports Coaching Community. In Student Engagement and Educational Rapport in Higher Education (pp. 45–65).
  • · (2017). Physical activity. In Teaching Middle Years: Rethinking curriculum, pedagogy and assessment - 3rd edition (pp. 149–169).
  • · (2016). Re-engaging youth at risk of disengaging from schooling through rugby league club partnership: unpacking the pedagogic practices of the Titans Learning Centre. Sport, Education and Society, 1–15.
  • · (2016). Building social and emotional efficacy to (re)engage young adolescents: capitalising on the window of opportunity. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 20(10), 1054–1069.


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