About the research unit

Our vision is to be a vibrant intellectual hub that collectively nurtures an intellectual community and culture that sustains high-quality research in the field of critical studies in Health Education, Physical Education and Sports Studies.

Objectives of the unit

  • To better understand how health education practices intersect with broader policy environments and social discourses (i.e., youth cultures, media etc.)
  • To advance understandings of effective and socially-just pedagogies in HPE teaching and teacher education
  • To advance understandings of how sporting environments and cultures intersect with youth issues, gender, race/ethnicity, disability and national identity
  • To develop and promote collaborations with key partners and stakeholders in the fields of sport, sport pedagogy, health education, aquatics education, and physical education both nationally and internationally
  • To attract postgraduate students to New Zealand's leading group of researchers in the field and hence contribute to capacity building
  • To profile the unit’s work within and beyond The University of Auckland through activities such as public lectures, seminars and conferences, media, websites, newsletters and so on.

Naming the unit after Richard Tinning

Richard Tinning is one of the preeminent scholars in the field of Health, Physical Education and Sport and is widely respected globally for his legacy of critical research studies that the unit seeks to embody. Richard has been a major contributor to the development of the health and physical education programmes delivered by the university. Richard has published widely in scholarly and professional journals and authored or co-authored numerous books and monographs. He has delivered keynote addresses at many New Zealand and international conferences including presenting the prestigious AIESEP Cagigal Lecture and is a co–winner of the AIESEP/IOC President’s prize for contribution to physical education and sport research. Richard has been a visiting scholar at universities in Australia, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, Spain, Denmark, Germany, the UK, Norway and Sweden.​

His credentials and experience are without peer but more importantly he retains a friendly readiness and openness to discuss issues with anyone who wishes to talk with him. We are the fortunate beneficiaries of his wisdom and guidance.

Research areas

Current research being undertaken by academics in the unit focus on education, sport and youth policy, pedagogy and practice.
Key areas:

  • The nature of future-oriented curriculum and pedagogies for Health and Physical Education (HPE)
  • Enacting technology-rich teaching in HPE settings
  • Social justice and critical pedagogies for HPE
  • Social issues in sport, sport and Aotearoa New Zealand identity
  • Youth cultures and health behaviours
  • Aquatics education and water safety
  • Embodiment and its role in learning

Members of the Richard Tinning Research Centre have helped develop a number of programmes and courses offered at the University of Auckland including Sexuality and Health Education (EDCURRIC 763), Social Theory and Physical Education (EDPROFST 727) and the Bachelor of Sport, Health and Physical Education.