Professor Kathleen Armour

Professor Kathleen Armour

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences
Head of School

Contact details

+44 (0)121 414 4451
Natalie Hooper, PA to Head of School
School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Kathleen Armour holds a Chair in Education and Sport and is Head of the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences. Formerly, she was Head of the Department of Sport Pedagogy and prior to that she held a Chair in the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences at Loughborough University. Her main research interest is career-long professional learning for teachers and coaches and its impact on young people's learning in physical education and sport.

Kathy’s current research interests centre on finding new ways to bridge persistent theory/research-practice gaps in order to benefit both practice and research in pedagogy. Over the last six years, Kathy has been PI and CoI on numerous funded projects including an analysis of implicit and explicit learning theories underpinning the design of coach education (funded by the FA); a European project examining the barriers to physical activity for the least active young people in society (funded by the Coca Cola Foundation) and an analysis of the capacity of volunteer sports coaches as community assets (funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council). In addition to over fifty peer-reviewed journal papers and book chapters, Kathy has recently published three books. The first is an ‘Introduction to Sport Pedagogy’ for undergraduate students who are planning to develop careers in teaching or coaching; the second is a ‘Research Methods’ text to support students as they prepare dissertations in the fields of physical education and youth sport; the third is an innovative book of interdisciplinary ‘pedagogical cases’ of children and young people and their learning in physical activity and sport. She is currently working on a new book of pedagogical cases focussed on technology-enhanced learning in physical education (available from early 2016).

Kathy is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in the UK, an International Fellow of the National Academy of Kinesiology in the USA, and was an academic assessor for the field of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism in the most recent national assessment of research quality (REF2014). 


  • PhD (Southampton)
  • MA (Education) (Institute of Education, London)
  • B.Ed (London)


  • Professional development for teachers and coaches
  • Sport Pedagogy
  • The role of sport in the lives of disaffected, disaffected and disadvantaged young people
  • Qualitative research methods

Research Grants

May 2010-May 2011: (Co-I). SCOTENS (Cross-border collaboration north/south Ireland and England). With Dr Fiona Chambers (University College Cork) and Dr Dierdre Brennan (University of Ulster). ‘Effective mentoring in physical education teacher education’. Pilot project funded by SCOTENS. (Euro: 5000).

November 2010-December 2011: (PI) Evaluation of new PCCE Coach Education initiative (with Loughborough University). Funded by the Football Association. (£30,000)

April 2011 – April 2013: (Co-I) UK partners in a European bid led from Germany with 6 EU partners. ‘Active Lifestyles - Physical Literacy as a way to promote physical activity in inactive groups’. Funded by the Coca-Cola Foundation (Euro 400,000).

February 2011 – August 2011: (Co-I) ‘An analysis of the capacity of volunteer sports coaches as community assets in the Big Society: a scoping review’. Mentor to the PI (Dr. Mark Griffiths). Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. (£30,000)

Other activities

  • Board member of AIESEP
  • External Examiner London Metropolitan University
  • Editorial Boards of Sport, Education & Society; JTPE, PESP.
  • Research program reviewer for the Academy of Science, Finland.
  • Degree program reviewer, Lithuania


Selected Publications

Griffiths, M. and Armour, K. (2012). Physical Education and Youth Sport in England: Conceptual and Practical Foundations for an Olympic Legacy. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics (forthcoming)

Armour, K.M., Makopoulou, K. & Chambers, F.C. (2012). Progression in PE Teachers’ Career-Long Professional Learning: Conceptual and Practical Concerns European Physical Education Review. (forthcoming).

Armour, K.M. & Makopoulou, K. (2012) Great Expectations: Teacher Learning in a National Professional Development Programme, Teaching and Teacher Education (

Armour, K.M. & Sandford, R (2012). Positive Youth Development through a Physical Activity/Sport Programme: Evidence from a Four-Year Evaluation. Educational Review. DOI: 10.1080/00131911.2011.648169

Griffiths, M. & Armour, K. M. (2012) Mentoring as a formalised learning strategy with community sports volunteers. Mentoring and Tutoring, 20, 1, 149-171 

Armour, K.M. & Duncombe, R. (2011). Changing Lives? Critical Evaluation of a School-based Athlete Role Model Intervention. Sport, Education & Society. DOI: 10.1080/13573322.2011.608941

Chambers, F.C. & Armour, K.M. (2011). Do as we do and not as we say: Teacher educators supporting student teachers to learn on teaching practice. Sport Education and Society, 16, 4, 527-544

Makopoulou, K. & Armour, K.M. (2011). Physical Education Teachers’ Career-Long Professional Learning: Getting Personal. Sport, Education and Society. 16, 5, 571-591.

Makopoulou, K. & Armour, K.M. (2011). Teachers’ Professional Learning in a European Learning Society: The Case of Physical Education, Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 1-17. iFirst. DOI: 10.1080/17408989.2010.548060

Armour, K.M. and Macdonald (Eds) (2011) Research Methods in Physical Education and Youth Sport. Routledge. ISBN: 978-0-415-61885-4

Dagkas, S. and Armour, K.M. (Eds) (2011) Inclusion and Exclusion Through Youth Sport. Routledge, ISBN: 978-0-415-57803-5   

Armour, K.M. (2011) Sport Pedagogy: An introduction for teaching and coaching. Prentice Hall, ISBN: 9780273732587 

Sandford, R., Armour, K.M., & Stanton, D. (2010). Volunteer mentors as informal educators in a youth physical activity programme. Mentoring and Tutoring, 18, 2. DOI: 10.1080/13611261003678887

Bailey, R., Armour, K., Kirk, D., Jess, M., Pickup, I., Sandford, R. (2009) The educational benefits claimed for physical education and school sport: an academic review. Research Papers in Education, 24, 1, 1-27. DOI:

Sandford, R.A., Duncombe, R. & Armour, K.M. (2008) The role of physical activity/sport in tackling youth disaffection and anti-social behaviour. Educational Review, 60, 4, 419-435. DOI: 10.1080/00131910802393464

Armour, K.M. & Yelling, M.R. (2007).  Effective professional development for physical education teachers: the role of informal, collaborative learning. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education (USA), 26, 2, April, 177-200. DOI: 10.1080/19415250903319275


The links between sport and education; the educational value of sport for disengaged or disaffected youth; physical activity and sport for health; physical education in schools; effective professional development for teachers and coaches to ensure they can meet learners' needs in and through sport

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