Doctor Son Truong

Doctor Son Truong

Lecturer In Pdhpe Curriculum & Pedagogy,
Secondary Education (soe)


Education & Qualifications

PhD (University of Alberta); Postgrad Cert. in International Development (University of East London); MA (University of Alberta); BSc (Dalhousie University)

Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS ID 66121); RYT


Dr. Son Truong is lectures in Health and Physical Education (Curriculum and Pedagogy) in the School of Education, and is a member of the Sustainability Research Team in the Centre for Educational Research, at Western Sydney University (WSU). Son is a former Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Doctoral Scholar. His research includes a number of individual and collaborative projects, bridging research interests in children’s play, wellbeing, and environments, and internationalisation in higher education.


Son is a recognised educator, receiving the 2009 Leadership in Internationalisation Award from the Canadian Bureau for International Education, and in 2015, he was awarded a Western Sydney University Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning. He currently lectures in the Master of Teaching Primary School and Early Childhood Programs, and supervises postgraduate research students.


Over the past five years, he has been successful in receiving three competitive Western Sydney University research grants, as well as four externally funded grants on collaborative projects. Examples of projects include: the Rouse Hill Child Friendly Play Space project; the overseas study and service-learning EPITOME project; a book entitled Reimagining Sustainability in Precarious Times; the wellbeing of students through outdoor learning and Acceptance Commitment Therapy study; and a current study funded by the Royal Botanic Gardens on the impact of community gardens on personal and community wellbeing.

International Engagement

Son serves as the School of Education’s Overseas Professional Experience Coordinator. He has been leading international engagement projects for over 15 years, and since joining Western Sydney has recently been successful in securing New Colombo Plan and Endeavour Mobility grants to support overseas practicum experiences for School of Education undergraduate and postgraduate students.

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)
  • Australian Association for Environmental Education (2014)
  • National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (2015)
  • Australian Association for Bush Adventure Therapy (2017)
  • International Education Association of Australia (2016)


  • Dissertation Fellowship (University of Alberta) 2010-05-01
  • Western Sydney University Vice-Chancellor’s Professional Development Scholarship 2016-12-01

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
  • 102048 Contemporary Childhoods, 2015
  • 102072 Primary Health and Physical Education, 2015



  • 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

  • Power, A., Truong, S., Gray, T., Downey, G., Hall, T. and Jones, B. (2017), '[In Press] When outbound mobility programs and service learning align in pre-service teacher education', Asia Pacific Education Review, .
  • 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


Doctor Truong is available to be a principal supervisor for doctoral projects

Current Supervision

Title: Why are boys not into school? Measuring boys' engagement with school and its contributing factors
Field of Research:
Title: Bush Tracks And Backyards: Intergenerational Changes and Challenges for Children Claiming Play Spaces.
Title: Outdoor Education as a Frame for Motivation Training Programs
Field of Research:
Title: Identifying challenges of autonomous learning among international HDR (Higher Degree Research) students in Australia
Field of Research:
Title: Investigation the Status of Climate Change Education for Sustainable Development in Vietnam: a Study of Opportunities and Barriers
Field of Research:
Title: The Impact of Outdoor Education on the Body Image and Self-Concept of Adolescent Females
Field of Research:
Title: Implementation of Conservation Education Programs at the Taronga Zoo
Field of Research:

Previous Supervision

Title: Placed-based Outdoor Learning Enriching Curriculum: A Case Study in an Australian Primary School
Thesis: Placed-based Outdoor Learning Enriching Curriculum: A Case Study in an Australian Primary School


Title: Disrupting childhood? Breaking the cycle of silence around sexuality education in primary schools
Description: 21st Century Learning Blog. School of Education, Western Sydney University

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