Professor David Kirk


Personal statement

I am currently Professor of Education and former Head of the School of Education (2014-17) at the University of Strathclyde. I am an educational researcher with teaching and research interests in educational innovation, curriculum history, and physical education and sport pedagogy. I am founding editor of the peer reviewed journal Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy (Routledge) and editor of Routledge Studies in Physical Education and Youth Sport. I have held academic appointments previously in universities in England, Australia, Ireland and Belgium and am currently Honorary Professor of Human Movement Studies at the University of Queensland. My most recent book Precarity, Critical Pedagogy and Physical Education will be published by Routledge in 2019. My most recent co-authored book with Dr Kimberly Oliver, Girls, Gender and Physical Education: An Activist Perspective, was published by Routledge in August 2015. A book co-edited with Professor Patricia Vertinsky (University of British Columbia) Female Traditions in Physical Education: 'Women First' Revisted was published by Routledge in 2016.


Has expertise in:

    • Curriculum historian
    • Qualitative researcher
    • Curriculum designer
    • School-based intervention designer
    • Physical education teacher educator

Prizes and awards

Best Paper Award by the American Educational Research Association Special Interest Group in Research on Instruction and Learning in Physical Education 2017
Fritz Duras Memorial Lecture
International Fellow

more prizes and awards


Towards a pedagogy of love : exploring pre-service teachers' and youth's experiences of an activist sport pedagogical model
Luguetti Carla, Kirk D, Oliver K L
Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy Vol 24, pp. 629-646 (2019)
Precarity, Critical Pedagogy and Physical Education
Kirk David
School physical education and learning about health : pedagogical strategies for using social media
Kirk David
Young People, Social Media and Health (2018) (2018)
A new critical pedagogy for physical education in turbulent times : what are the possibilities?
Kirk David
Critical Research in Sport, Health and Physical Education (2018) (2018)
Physical education-as-health promotion : recent developments and future issues
Kirk David
Education and Health Vol 36, pp. 70-75 (2018)
Why is physical education more stimulating for pupils who are more satisfied with their own body?
Kerner Charlotte, Kirk David, De Meester An, Haerens Leen
Health Education Journal (2018)

more publications


  • Physical education and sport pedagogy
  • Curriculum change, including curriculum history
  • Curriculum design

Research interests

Professor Kirk has research interests in curriculum innovation and change, curriculum history, and physical education and sport pedagogy.

Current Projects

Research project: AHRC funded Early Career project Understanding the Gendered Roots of Sport:A study of female fandom and physical activity, 1945-2000, mentor and Co-I to Dr Stacey Pope, University of Durham, 2016-2019.

Book published August 2015 (co-author Professor Kimberly Oliver, New Mexico State University), Girls, Gender and Physical Education: An Activist Perspective, Routledge, publication June 2015. Associated research pilot project now completed, Adolescent girls valuing the physically active life: An Activist Approach, August 2015-June 2016. Papers presented from this project to the BERA Conference (September 2016), the SERA conference (November 2016), the AERA Annual Meeting (April 2017), and the European Conference of Curriculum Studies (June 2017) and are available by emailing .

Research Project (collaborator with Professor Patricia Vertinsky, University of British Columbia) Reconsidering the demise of the female tradition in physical education: its legacies and impact upon current practices in physical education for girls, Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada funded, 2014-2018. Associated edited book published by Routledge in 2016, The Female Tradition in Physical Education: Women First Reconsidered, co-edited by Kirk and Vertinsky.

Research Project (co-Investigator with Professor Doune Macdonald et al., University of Queensland), External provision of the school curriculum: Local needs to global networks in Health and Physical Education, Australian Research Council funded, 2014-2017. Kirk will chair and contribute a paper to a research Symposium 'Outsourcing and the commodification of HPE: Turning the process inside-out' at the AIESEP Congress Guadeloupe November 2017. A special issue of the journal Discourse will report findings from this project in 2020.


Professional activities

Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy (Journal)

more professional activities


Female Sports Fandom in the North East: A Historical study of Female Fandom & the Critical Intersections Between Sports Spectatorship and Participation (Mentor for Stacey Pope)
Kirk, David (Principal Investigator)
31-Jan-2016 - 30-Jan-2020
Collaboration Agreement with University of York
Kirk, David (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2016 - 31-Jan-2020

more projects