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Rachael Jefferson

Lecturer in Human Movement Studies (Health and PE) and Creative Arts, Charles Sturt University

I am a lecturer in Human Movement Studies (Health and PE) and Creative Arts within Charles Sturt University's School of Education on the Albury-Wodonga campus. I hold a BEd (Hons) in physical education, dance and special educational needs, and an MA in dance studies. I gained a PhD at Charles Sturt University in 2019; my thesis was entitled: ‘A genealogy of the governance of the body in physical education in England from 1902 to 2016’. I also have a postgraduate certificate in Applied Social Research, a diploma in Research on Yoga in Education (RYE UK), and a Level I certificate in mindfulness (MTIA).

I have more than thirty years of experience in education, which has involved designing, teaching and leading physical education and arts activities. During this period, I have fought tirelessly for inclusion, particularly in terms of gender and ethnicity. In 2020 I worked as the senior international expert on a UNICEF-Montrose project in Myanmar, creating modules and teacher training materials for the 'Playing Sports Together' project. This programme supported all students, from diverse communities, studying in schools in Rakhine State, with the overarching goal of contributing to inclusion and a sense of togetherness, through educational activities.

I have spent most of my teaching/lecturing years in international contexts, as after two years of teaching in the UK (my country of origin), I moved to Switzerland where I was head of physical education and GCSE Performing Arts at the International School of Geneva for more than 13 years. In 2004 I returned to my home country to take up a senior lecturer post in physical education, dance, education studies and primary professional practice at Bath Spa University, coordinating the primary postgraduate physical education programme, creating and teaching dance, health and movement modules on the undergraduate degree, and supervising masters students in the Professional Masters Programme. In February 2013 I began my current lecturing post at Charles Sturt University.

I have extensive experience in writing and leading professional development for teachers within the UK and for several years I have taken on a more international role as the lead consultant for physical education in Cambridge Assessment International Education/Cambridge University Press Asian (Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Myanmar) and Nile Egyptian schools projects. Moreover, I was the UK consultant for Fundamental Movement Skills (STEPS PD) for 5 years, which served to intensify my passion for working with teachers, students and children in the early years sector. This role was also a catalyst for the writing of my book: ‘Fundamental Fun: 132 activities to develop fundamental movement skills’, as well as my PhD research.

My research interests include the body, physical education, sport, PE/sport pedagogy and policy, health and wellbeing, inclusion (gender, ethnicity), sociology, genealogy (body governance), fundamental movement skills, dance, mindfulness, and yoga.


  • –present
    Lecturer in human movement studies (health and PE), Creative Arts, Charles Sturt University


  • 2019 
    Charles Sturt University, PhD
  • 2010 
    The University of the West of England, PG Cert in Applied Social Research (merit)
  • 1997 
    University of Surrey, Master of Arts in Dance Studies
  • 1988 
    Chelsea School of Human Movement, Brighton Polytechnic, BEd (Hons) in Specialist Physical Education & Special Educational Needs


  • 2023
    How the gendered body is constructed in the neoliberal schooling context through discipline and healthism in contemporary physical education, Gender, feminist and queer studies: Power, privilege and inequality in a time of neoliberal conservatism
  • 2022
    Teaching fundamental movement skills through play-based pedagogy, Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance
  • 2018
    Physical Education across the international media: A five-year analysis, Sport, Education and Society
  • 2016
    Traces of discourses and governmentality within the content and implementation of the Western Australian Fundamental Movement Skills programme (STEPS Professional Development), Education 3-13
  • 2015
    A case study: Review of an Indigenous digital resource as a potential medium for dance undergraduate teaching and learning: Cassie’s Story: Dyan Ngal (Wiradjuri for ‘fix me’), The Journal of Teaching, Research, and Media in Kinesiology
  • 2012
    Dance: teaching and learning possibilities within the early years and primary school context, An introduction to primary physical education
  • 2011
    The fundamental movement skills programme (Steps PD). Physical development challenges and opportunities in the primary school context, Bridging the transition from primary to secondary school
  • 2009
    Fundamental fun. 132 activities to develop fundamental movement skills, STEPS PD

Grants and Contracts

  • 2023
    Embodied wellbeing
    Chief Investigator
    Funding Source:

Professional Memberships

  • Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE)