Associate Professor Kirsten C Petrie

Kirsten Petrie

Associate Dean Academic

Qualifications: BTchg (PE) Canty; MTchLn Canty; EdD Waikato

About Kirsten

I was employed as a lecturer in health and physical education teacher education at the University of Waikato in 2003, having completing my B.Ed (PE), and teaching for 9 years in state secondary schools in Ōtautahi Christchurch prior to this appointment. In 2010 I completed my EdD, titled Teaching Physical Education: Primary School Teachers as Learners, that explored the impacts of professional development on primary school teachers understandings and practices in teaching physical education. Through 2017 - 2019 I was the Foundation Dean of Te Hautaki Waiora School of Health. I am currently the Associate Dean Academic in Te Wānanga Toi Tangata Division of Education.

In my down time I coach field hockey and do my best to contribute to the development of sport, the experiences young people have as athletes, and as an advocate for humanistic-coach approaches.

Papers Taught

Research Supervised


  • A Lowry PhD Bodies that need bodies: The lived experiences of disabled athletes in high performance sport
  • S Hayward PhD Student experiences in Modern Learning Environments: Barriers and enablers for learning
  • C McBean PhD Young Disabled People’s engagement in sport and active recreation
  • S Schuster PhD Defining Sporting Success for Samoan Athletes based in Samoa
  • S Glassey MEd All good things take time: Gender equality in the male dominated sport of Mythai


  • G Laurant PhD Secondary education in Tanzania: Policy and practice implications for teachers' sense of efficacy
  • N Johnson EdD Partnership and Professional Learning in primary schools physical education
  • K Ince-Lawernce PhD Youth Sport, Policy and Practice in Trinidad and Tobago                         
  • C Ang Swee PhD Social and Emotional learning through Sport Education  
  • C Smith MEd New Zealand HPE teachers understanding and application of socio-critical thought 
  • H Buddle MEd Factors influencing year 9 and 10 New Zealand physical education teachers’ programme design and assessment practices
  • E Porteous MEd Young Māori males experiences in a secondary school as sporting, academic and cultural identities
  • M Tupper MEd Māori gifted and talented: Stories of success and support
  • A Marfell MSpLS Netball in the lives of New Zealand Women: An Intergenerational Study 
  • M Thomas MSpLS Young women’s experience PE in a Taiwanese International School 
  • D Klinge MSpLS Hauora and secondary school health and physical education

Research Interests

My research focuses on health and physical education curriculum, pedagogies and practices in primary schools.  Drawing on the shared expertise of practitioners and researchers I have been involved in a number of projects that have sought to reimagine HPE in ways that support teachers and children to have meaningful experiences, relevant to their diverse backgrounds, needs and interests. These include the 'EveryBody Counts' TLRI Project ( and more recently a collaborative practitioner focused evaluation of the Sport NZ '' initiative.

I am member of Pedagogy, Education, and Praxis, a international network whose collaborative research programme brings together researchers from Australia, Aotearoa NZ, Columbia, Finland, Norway, Sweden, the Caribbean, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Our research focuses on the nature, traditions and conditions of pedagogy, education and praxis mainly through the lens of the Theory of Practice Architectures. This theory offers insights into the cultural-discursive, material-economic and social-political conditions that shape practices, throwing light on contemporary educational issues and suggesting ways forward for site based education development.

I am currently working on a Practitioner Action Research Project with colleagues from Biological Science and Education. This project involves an emerging professional learning community (PLC) investigating teaching practices that enable leading biological science researchers to enhance the learning experiences and outcomes of undergraduate students. Simultaneously we will explore how the PLC can navigate the tertiary context and strengthen the research-teaching nexus in order to meet the needs of a diverse cohort of students and foster graduates who are ‘knowledge-able’ and who think and practice like scientists.

Recent Publications

  • Lowry, A., Townsend, R., Petrie, K., & Johnston, L. (2022). ‘Cripping’ care in disability sport: An autoethnographic study of a highly impaired high-performance athlete.. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health. doi:10.1080/2159676X.2022.2037695

  • McBean, C., Townsend, R., & Petrie, K. (2022). An historical analysis of disability sport policy in Aotearoa New Zealand. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics. doi:10.1080/19406940.2022.2052147

  • Boyle, T., Petrie, K., Grootenboer, P., Rönnerman, K., & Edwards-Groves, C. (2022). Acknowledging, negotiating, and reporting ‘uncomfortable truths’ in action research. Educational Action Research, 1-11. doi:10.1080/09650792.2022.2044875

  • Edwards-Groove, C., Grootenboer, P., Petrie, K., & Nicholas, Z. (2022). Practising educational leading ‘in’ and ‘from’ the middle: a site ontological view of best practice. Journal of Educational Administration and History. doi:10.1080/00220620.2022.2066637

Find more research publications by Kirsten Petrie


Children; Curriculum; Education Research; Health; Pedagogy; Physical Education; Professional Learning; Schools (Primary/Secondary); Social Issues in Sport; Sport Education; Teacher Education; Teacher Professional Learning/Development; Teaching and Learning