Doctor Son Truong

Doctor Son Truong

Secondary Education (SoE)


I am excited to be joining the School of Education as a Lecturer in Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE). I hold a PhD and MA from the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Alberta (Canada), a Postgraduate Certificate in NGO and Development Management from the University of East London (England), and a BSc from the School of Health and Human Performance at Dalhousie University (Canada). My doctoral research was a participatory action research study to explore the cultural construction of play in Thailand, as well as child participation in researching and planning play spaces in low-resourced settings. I have worked with children and youth for more than 15 years in a variety of contexts, including in early childhood education, summer camps, community centres, schools, and refugee settings. To date, my work has taken me to different regions of the world, including the Americas, Egypt, UK, Thailand, and Cambodia.

I take an interdisciplinary approach to my work, which converges around issues of health and wellbeing of children and youth. This has allowed me to explore various teaching and research interests. Over the past several years I have had the opportunity to present and give invited talks covering a range of topics, including cooperative and outdoor learning in physical education, Sport for Development and Peace, the child's right to play, images of childhood, and preparing students as global citizens through study and volunteer abroad programs.

At the postsecondary level, I have taught in the areas of conceptual approaches to teaching and learning in physical education, sociocultural studies of sport and leisure, and assessment and service delivery for special populations. I also have extensive experience facilitating student service-learning and global citizenship education. In particular, from 2005 – 2012, I was involved in a variety of roles, including Interim Project Manager, Program Development Advisor, and In-Country Project Leader for a course and international service-learning program called Play Around the World. Based on these experiences, my teaching is influenced by global childhood and cultural studies. Correspondingly, I have learned a great deal from students and encourage them to share their own diverse views and knowledge to help inform culturally relevant and appropriate pedagogy and practice in the area of PDHPE.


This information has been contributed by Doctor Truong.


  • PhD University of Alberta (Canada)
  • MA University of Alberta (Canada)
  • BSc Rec Dalhousie University

Professional Memberships

  • ACHPER/Australia (Australian Council for Health, PE and Recreation) (2012)
  • Play Australia (2012)
  • Physical & Health Education Canada (2011)
  • International Play Association (2010)
  • Canadian Bureau for International Education (2009)
  • Canadian Association for the Study of International Development (2007)


  • Dissertation Fellowship (University of Alberta) 2010-05-01
  • Student Leadership in Internationalization Award (Canadian Bureau for International Education) 2009-09-01
  • Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship - Doctoral (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, 2007 - 2010) 2007-05-01
  • Mackenzie King Travelling Scholarship (The W.L. Mackenzie King Memorial Scholarships) 2007-09-01
  • Postgraduate International Student Scholarship (University of East London) 2007-08-01
  • Graduate Student Scholarship (Alberta Minister of Advanced Education) 2006-01-01
  • University Medal (School of Health and Human Performance, Dalhousie University) 2002-06-01
  • Dalhousie University Alumni Association Medal in Recreation (Dalhousie University) 2002-06-01
  • Walter H. Johns Memorial Graduate Fellowship (University of Alberta) 2004-09-01
  • Walter H. Johns Memorial Graduate Fellowship (University of Alberta) 2008-09-01
  • J Gordin Kaplan Graduate Student Award (University of Alberta) 2006-11-01
  • Hector McInnes Memorial Scholarship (Dalhousie University) 2001-09-01


  • Community Service-Learning (CSL) and Global Citizenship Education (GCE)
  • Movement education and physical literacy
  • Participatory Action Research (PAR), qualitative methods, participatory photography, and photo-elicitation
  • Sport for Development and Peace / International Development through Sport
  • The cultural construction of play, active free play, and play leadership

Organisational Unit (School / Division)

  • Secondary Education (SoE)


Phone: (02) 9772 6220
Location: 4.G.24

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Previous Teaching Areas

  • 101576 Primary Personal Development, Health & Physical Education (PDHPE), 2012



  • Malone, K., Truong, S. and Gray, T. (2017), 'Reimagining Sustainability in Precarious Times', : Springer 9789811025488.

Chapters in Books

  • Malone, K. and Truong, S. (2017), 'Sustainability, education, and anthropocentric precarity', Reimagining Sustainability in Precarious Times, Springer 9789811025488.
  • Truong, S. (2017), 'Expanding curriculum pathways between Education for Sustainability (EfS) and Health and Physical Education (HPE)', Reimagining Sustainability in Precarious Times, Springer 9789811025488.
  • Truong, S. (2015), 'Pre-service teacher identities and the social construction of childhood', Understanding Sociological Theory for Educational Practices, Cambridge University Press 9781107477469.

Journal Articles

  • Hall, T., Gray, T., Downey, G., Sheringham, C., Jones, B., Power, A. and Truong, S. (2016), 'Jafari and transformation : a model to enhance short-term overseas study tours', Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, vol 27 , pp 33 - 46.
  • Jones, B., Power, A., Gray, T., Downey, G., Hall, T. and Truong, S. (2016), 'If you build it, they may not come : why Australian university students do not take part in outbound mobility experiences', Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, vol 13, no 3 .
  • Truong, S., Gray, T. and Ward, K. (2016), '"Sowing and growing" life skills through garden-based learning to reengage disengaged youth', LEARNing Landscapes, vol 10, no 1 , pp 361 - 385.
  • Truong, S. and Mahon, M. (2012), 'Through the lens of participatory photography : engaging Thai children in research about their community play centre', International Journal of Play, vol 1 , pp 75 - 90.

Conference Papers

  • Lloyd, A., Truong, S. and Gray, T. (2016), 'Beyond the walls : within the curriculum : exploring the niche position of place-based outdoor learning for primary schools', International Outdoor Education Research Conference, Unama?ki/Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada.
  • Lloyd, A., Gray, T. and Truong, S. (2016), 'Seeing what they see : exploring the potential of GoPro video cameras in outdoor research with children', International Outdoor Education Research Conference, Unama?ki/Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada.
  • Breault-Hood, J., Gray, T., Truong, S. and Ullman, J. (2016), 'The impact of outdoor education on the body image and self-efficacy of adolescent girls', International Outdoor Education Research Conference, Unama?ki/Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada.
  • Gray, T., Hall, T., Jones, B., Truong, S., Power, A., Sheringham, C., Bailey, P. and Downey, G. (2016), 'Enhancing programs to integrate tertiary outbound mobility experiences (EPITOME)', Developing Global Perspectives Symposium, Sydney, N.S.W..
  • Truong, S. and Gray, T. (2016), 'Indigenous connectivity : Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander students' journeys to Canada for study abroad', Australian International Education Conference, Melbourne, Vic..

Other Publications

  • 2017, 'Fostering the Wellbeing of Students With Challenging Behaviour and/or Emotional Needs Through Acceptance Commitment Therapy and Outdoor Learning', Research Report
  • 2016, 'Enhancing Programmes Integrating Tertiary Outbound Mobility Experiences (EPITOME): Final Report 2016', Research Report
  • 2016, 'Enhancing Programs to Integrate Tertiary Outbound Mobility Experiences (EPITOME) - Final Report 2016', Research Report
  • 2014, 'Researching Children's Designs for a Child Friendly Play Space at Rouse Hill Town Centre', Research Report


In general, my research interests converge around issues of child and youth development and wellbeing, with an emphasis on physical activity and play. My work is grounded in cultural-ecological theory and participatory approaches to engaging children and youth in the research process. In addition, influenced by my work with students in Southeast Asia, I am also interested in postsecondary students' experiences of community service-learning and global citizenship education.


Truong, S., & Mahon, M. (accepted). Exploring the cultural construction of children’s play in Thailand: An action research study with the Foundation for Child Development. Action Research.

Truong, S., & Mahon, M. (2012). Through the lens of participatory photography: Engaging Thai children in research about their community play centre, International Journal of Play (1)1, 75-90. doi: 10.1080/21594937.2012.658647

Truong, S., & Mahon, M. (2011, October 26). Exploring Thai views of children’s play: An action research study with the Foundation for Child Development in Thailand. Paper presentation at the IIQM Qualitative Health Research Conference, Vancouver, Canada.

Truong, S., & Mahon, M. (2011, May 5). Exploring Thai children’s play experiences through participatory photography. Poster presented at the Mapping the Landscapes of Childhood Conference, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Canada.

Truong, S. (2009, October 15). Preparing students as global citizens through work/study/volunteer abroad. Presented at the Global Citizenship Education Symposium: Local Student/Global Citizen, University of Alberta, Canada.

Truong, S. (2009, January 1). Cooperative learning and Outdoor learning. Sections published in the Ever Active Kids Manual. Alberta Fitness Leadership Certification Association, Edmonton, Canada.

Truong, S., Mahon, M., & Vallentyne, J. (2007, December 13). Sport and play as instruments for sustainable university partnerships in development. Paper presented at the 11th UNESCO-APEID International Conference, Bangkok, Thailand.

Truong, S., & Mahon, M. (2007, May 31). Sport for Development and Peace: A critical reflection for pedagogy and practice. Paper presented at the 2007 Canadian Association for the Study of International Development Congress, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada.

Truong, S., & Mahon, M. (2006, October 19). A critical ethnography of ‘international development through sport’ in Thailand. Poster presented at the 9th World Leisure Congress, Hangzhou, China.

Truong, S. (2005, December 5). Play Around the World - Building community partnerships through sport and play. Poster presented at the 2nd Magglingen Conference on Sport for Development and Peace, Magglingen, Switzerland.

This information has been contributed by Doctor Truong.

Previous Projects

Title: Child-friendly play spaces in Rouse Hill Town Centre
Years: 2013-12-19 - 2014-04-30
ID: P00021864
Western Researchers: Karen Malone, Son Truong and Kumara Ward
  • GPT Funds Management 2 Pty Ltd
Title: Enhancing Programmes to Integrate Tertiary Outbound Mobility Experiences (EPITOME)
Years: 2014-12-04 - 2017-01-06
ID: P00022544
Western Researchers: Tim Hall, Tonia Gray, Anne Power and Son Truong
  • Department of Education and Training (ACRG)
Title: Fostering the wellbeing of students with challenging behaviour and/or emotional needs through Acceptance Commitment Therapy
Years: 2016-09-02 - 2017-04-30
ID: P00023621
Western Researchers: Tonia Gray, Danielle Tracey, Son Truong and Kumara Ward
  • Lomandra School
Title: A photo-elicitation pilot study on children's views of play opportunities in Greater Western Sydney
Years: 2012-10-24 - 2014-03-31
ID: P00021132
Western Researchers: Son Truong and Christine Woodrow
  • University of Western Sydney

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