Welcome to the Pedagogical Sciences Research Lab at the UW Division of Kinesiology & Health! Pedagogical sciences include the study of (a) teaching methods and instruction, (b), the reciprocity of teaching and learning, (c) how students acquire new knowledge, and (d) instructional methods that maximize participant motivation and skill development.

The Pedagogical Sciences Research Lab provides a platform to explore these mechanisms in a variety of physical education and physical activity settings from both an instructor and learner perspective. Our faculty have specialized expertise in fields of physical education teacher education, physical activity leader training, physical/cognitive/affective didactic learning and development, and teacher/student motivation. Graduate assistants in the Pedagogical Sciences Research Lab work on and lead projects to answer innovative research questions within these fields.


Research Foci

  • Physical Education Teachers’ Instructional Practices (Models-based instruction)
  • Physical Education Teacher Professional Development (Teacher change/adoption of critical practices)
  • Physical Education Teacher/Student Motivation (Affective outcomes/connections to practices, content, and learning)


Current Projects

The Pedagogy Lab is currently conducting several on-going research initiatives, each with several sub-projects.

Outride Biking: This project funded through the Outride (Specialized Biking) Foundation examines the impact of mountain biking in PE using the Riding for Focus (R4F) curriculum on middle schools’ motivation and participation in physical education and extra-curricular biking opportunities. Dr. Tristan Wallhead acts as the lead investigator for this project

PE-307: This initiative is advocacy driven and targets both understanding the needs of Wyoming public school physical education programs and utilizing data to inform and influence policy. Drs. Ben Kern and Kelly Simonton co-lead on separate projects listed below.

  • Project: Wyoming Physical Education and Physical Activity Policy (WPEPAP) statewide policy surveillance.
  • Project: Investigating principals’ perceived barriers and needed resources for increasing physical education class time in elementary schools

Wyoming Physical Education Teaching (WYO PETe) Collaborative: WYO PETe provides evidence-based professional growth opportunities to Wyoming physical educators, promotes statewide teacher collaboration, and supports research designed to maximize effectiveness of continuing professional development. Dr. Ben Kern acts as the lead investigator for this project.

  • Project: Malleability of teacher dispositions toward the change process through continuing professional development.
  • Project: Customized continuing professional development based on teacher readiness for change.

Healthy Pokes: This multi-component initiative focuses on a comprehensive approach to engaging Wyoming residents in health enhancing physical activity behaviors. The mission of the program is to spearhead programs in four key branches including: (a) Physical education students, (b) Physical education teachers, (c) Before/after school programming, (d) Youth and community programming. Our lab serves a variety of roles in these branch programs including the development, delivery, research and/or evaluation of each of the individual programs.

  • Project: (anticipated): Youth and Community- Exploring social-emotional responses to youth fitness. In partnership with CrossFit 7220 and the Healthy Kids Rx Program (Laramie, WY). Drs. Ben Kern and Kelly Simonton co-lead for this project.
  • Project: Afterschool Programming- Investigate the mental, personal, social, and physical outcomes of district wide afterschool program targeting positive social interactions in elementary students (Cheyenne, WY) (Sponsored by the Wyoming Department of Education; ESSER Funds). Dr. Kelly Simonton acts as the lead investigator for this project.




Current Graduate Assistants

  • Laura Palmer, Maddie Carson, Nolan Carey
  • Aimee Gray, Katie Juarez, Celina Espinoza, Samiyah Rasheed, Kassidi Garbutt



Pedagogical Sciences Research Lab

Contact Us

University of Wyoming
1000 E. University Ave.
Laramie, WY 82071
Phone: (307)-766-1121

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