School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

PhD opportunities

Oliver Hooper

Photo of  Oliver Hooper

PhD Student

Profile:

Oliver graduated from Loughborough University in 2014 with a first class BSc (Hons) in Sport and Exercise Science. He has since continued to study at the University and is presently undertaking a PhD in the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences. Oliver’s research is located within the field of physical education (PE) and sport pedagogy and his doctoral research is broadly centred on ‘health’ within PE. Specifically, this research explores pupils’ learning about healthy, active lifestyles within PE and schools.  

In addition to undertaking his PhD, Oliver currently fulfils two Research Associate positions within the School and actively contributes to the following modules on the undergraduate programmes:

  • PSA001 – Teaching and Coaching 1

  • PSA011 – Introduction to Pedagogy

  • PSB001 – Teaching and Coaching 2

  • PSB005 – Research Skills

  • PCS018 – Teaching and Coaching 3 

Oliver has presented his research at national and international conferences, securing multiple travel awards/scholarships to support his attendance in the process, including a prestigious Santander Mobility Award in 2016. Alongside this, Oliver has organised knowledge exchange activities in the USA and Australia.

Research:

Oliver is interested in health-related policy and practice within schools and, in particular, the subject of physical education (PE). His research interests broadly encompass the position, expression and enactment of ‘health’ within curricular PE, the development of effective pedagogies to promote healthy, active lifestyles within and through the subject, and the (potential) role of the whole school in health promotion. He is also particularly interested in engaging ‘youth voice’ within the research process.

Oliver is currently conducting his doctoral research which explores pupils’ learning about healthy, active lifestyles. The research seeks to engage with pupils to explore what they learn about healthy, active lifestyles, where and how they learn about these, and how they utilise what they know, understand and conceive in the context of their own lifestyles. The research also seeks to examine pedagogical practice within schools and to support practitioners to reflect on their own pedagogies, with the aim of eliciting and exemplifying ‘best practice’ in the promotion of healthy, active lifestyles both within curricular PE and across the whole school.

In addition to his doctoral research, Oliver is involved with further research projects within and beyond the School. He is presently working as a Research Associate on the following two projects, alongside his supervisors: 

  • Research Associate for the Promoting Active Lifestyles (PAL) Research Project (2015-2017) –  Internally funded by the School of Sport, Exercise and Healthy Sciences, Loughborough University (£-).
  • Research Associate for the Evaluation of the Youth Sport Trust ‘Get to the Start Line’ Programme (2015-2016) – Externally funded by the Youth Sport Trust (£10,000). 

Research Awards and Prizes:

  • Loughborough University Graduate School Research Student Prize 2016 – Highly Commended Award (for outstanding academic performance)

External Activities: 

Convenor Roles:

  • Co-convenor for the Research in Sport Pedagogy Network of the European Educational Research Association (August 2016 – )

Board and Committee Roles:

  • Member (and presently Chair) of the Amateur Swimming Association National Youth Advisory Board (November 2013 – present)

  • Member of the England Netball National Coaching Advisory Board (March 2015 – present)

  • Member (and presently Chair) of the Youth Sport Trust Alumni Board (October 2015 – present)

  • Member of the Sport England Higher Education Sport Stakeholder Group (May 2013 – present )

  • Member (and formerly Chair) of the Youth Sport Trust Young Ambassador Steering Group (September 2008 – June 2012)

  • Member (and formerly Vice Chair) of the London 2012 Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Youth Diversity Board (January 2010 – June 2012)

  • Member of the England Netball National Youth Advisory Board (March 2009 – September 2015)

Teaching and Coaching Positions:

  • Coach Educator for England Netball UKCC Coach Education Programme (November 2011 – present)

  • Coach Educator for Rounders England UKCC Coach Education Programme (September 2013 – present)

  • Elite Sport Educator on the Loughborough College Elite Athlete Education Programme (October 2014 – present)

  • County and Regional Coach/Assistant Coach on the England Netball Performance Pathway (September 2010 – October 2015)

  • National Assistant Coach on the Boccia England Talent Pathway (July 2016 – present )

Membership of Professional Associations:

  • British Educational Research Association (BERA)

  • International Association for Physical Education in Higher Education (AIESEP)

  • Association for Physical Education (afPE)

  • Sports Coach UK (SCUK)

  • Institute of Swimming (IOS)

  • Society for Education and Training (SET)

Publications:

Recent Presentations and Publications:

  • Hooper, O., Harris, J. and Cale, L. (2017) Speaking up about ‘health’: Exploring English secondary school pupils’ understandings and conceptions of healthy, active lifestyles. Paper presented at the Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER) Conference, January 2017, University of Canberra, Australia. 

  • Harris, J. and Cale, L. and Hooper, O. (2017) Promoting active lifestyles within the school. Paper presented at the Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER) Conference, January 2017, University of Canberra, Australia. 

  • Sandford, R., Hooper, O. and Woodhouse, C. (2016) Permission to speak freely? Reflections on ethical complexities around ‘consent’ within sport/physical activity research with young people. Paper presented at the European Educational Research Association (EERA) Conference, August 2016, University College Dublin, Ireland. 

  • Harris, J., Cale, L., Casey, A., Bowler, M., Hooper, O. and Sammon, P. (2016) Promoting healthy, active lifestyles in schools. Paper presented at the Association for Physical Education (afPE) Conference, July 2016, St. George’s Park, Staffordshire, UK.

  • Hooper, O., Harris, J. and Cale, L. (2016) Good intentions but…? Secondary school teachers’ promotion of healthy, active lifestyles within the physical education curriculum in England. Paper presented at the International Association for Physical Education in Higher Education (AIESEP) Conference, June 2016, University of Wyoming, USA.

Keywords for Discipline and Research Area: 

physical education, pedagogy, health, physical activity, children and young people