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Emeritus Sl. Deborah Tannehill


Dr. Deborah Tannehill is an Emeritus Senior Lecturer in the Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences and leads the Sport Pedagogy Research theme of the department. She was a teaching faculty member of the department from 2005-2013 and was co-director of the PE PAYS Research Centre at the University of Limerick.

Prior to her teaching post in the department, Deborah was Professor of Physical Education and Assistant Dean of the School of Physical Education at Pacific Lutheran University located in Tacoma, Washington. Prior to her tenure at Pacific Lutheran, Deborah taught and conducted research on teaching and teacher education at The Ohio State University for 11 years. She also taught and coached at the University of Washington, Eastern Washington University, and for ten years in the Lake Washington School District was a physical education teacher and coach. Deborah has served her profession, community and university in a variety of ways. Dr. Tannehill earned her Bachelor of Science in physical education from Washington State University, her M.A. in Guidance and Counseling from Seattle University, and her Ph.D. in Sport Pedagogy from the University of Idaho. Active in state, district, and national professional organizations, Deborah served as Editor of the NASPE Assessment Series, NASPE Publications Coordinator, Chair of the COPPE Advisory Board, CUPEC Advisory Board, NASPE National Beginning Teaching Standards, the NASPE/NCATE Teacher Education Program Guidelines, and the K-12 Content Standards Revision. She is past Editor of the Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, served on the editorial board of Quest and the Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance. Over a number of years Deborah has served as President of Washington AHPERD, on the design team for the Health & Fitness Summer Institutes for the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and is a frequent consultant for school districts in the state of Washington and now in Ireland. Deborah has been awarded the Washington AHPERD Professor of the Year award, NASPE Joy of Effort Award, inducted into the AAHPERD Research Consortium as a Research Fellow, presented with a NASPE Presidential Citation, and The Ohio State University Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching. She has published over 50 articles, 24 book chapters, co-authored four textbooks, and given over 90 presentations at the state, district, national, and international level. A frequent presenter, Deborah gave the twenty-ninth Amy Morris Homans Lecture to NAKPEHE in January 2005 and has shared her insights through numerous keynote lectures in Turkey, Israel, the UK and Ireland.

Research Interests

Deborah's research interests are in the areas of teaching, research and professional service related to teaching and teacher education in physical education and sport; curricular initiatives, assessment, instructional strategies, supervision and mentoring, and continuing professional development through communities of practice.

Tannehill, D. (October 2013). The Journey to Become a Teacher Educator. BERA SIG Scholar Lecture 2013, University of Sussex, UK.

Current Projects

Work in Communities of Practice
MacPhail, A., Patton, K., Parker, M., & Tannehill, D. Teacher Educators' Professional Learning through Communities of Practice.

Tannehill, D., Murphy, G., & USI Teachers. Urban Schools Initiative: Developing a Community in Urban Schools.

Current Books

Tannehill, D., MacPhail. A., Halbert, G., & Murphy, F. (2012). Research and Practice in Physical Education. Oxfordshire, UK: Routledge.

Tannehill, D., van der Mars, H., & MacPhail, A. (in press). Building, Delivering and Sustainting Effective Physical Education Programs. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett.

Lund, J., & Tannehill, D. (in development). Standards-based Curriculum Development in Physical Education. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett. Due to publisher July 2013.

Professional Activities


  • 2011 PESS Attendance Committee,
  • 2006 Professional Diploma Education - Physical Education,
  • University Mentor Scheme,
  • UL Teaching Practice Committee,
  • AIESEP 2011 Organising Committee,
  • AIESEP 2011 Steering Committee,
  • PESS Broadening the Curriculum,
  • PESS Quality Review,


  • 2011 - Invited scholar at the Turkish Physical Education Conference
  • 2010 - Nominated for NASPE Hall of Fame in Physical Education
  • 2010 - Invited scholar at the Israel Physical Education Conference
  • 2009 - NASPE Curriculum and Instruction Honor Award
  • 2005 - Amy Morris Homans Commemorative Lecture
  • 2003 - University Professor of the Year
  • 2000 - Joy of Effort Award
  • 1999 - Research Fellow
  • 1997 - The Trinter Award (with M. O?Sullivan)
  • 1997 - Presidential Citation
  • 1994 - The Ohio State University Award for Distinguished Teaching
  • 1994 - The Ohio State University COE Outstanding Supervisor


  • 2008 University of Limerick - Senior Lecturer
  • 2006 University of Limerick - Junor Lecturer
  • 2005 University of Limerick - Research Fellow
  • 2001 Pacific Lutheran University - Professor & Assistant Dean
  • 1999 Pacific Lutheran University - Associate Professor & Assistant Dean
  • 1997 The Ohio State University - Professsor
  • 1991 The Ohio State University - Associate Professor
  • 1987 The Ohio State University - Assistant Professor
  • 1980 Eastern Washington University - Head Track & Field/Cross Country Coach
  • 1980 University of Idaho - Graduate Teaching Assistant
  • 1978 University of Washington - Assistant Track & Field/Cross Country Coach
  • 1970 Lake Washington School District - Physical Education Teacher, Department Chari, & Coach


  • 2005 Member, British Eductional Research Association (BERA)
  • 2005 Co-Director, Physical Education, Physical Activity, and Youth Sport Research Centre (PE PAYS)
  • 2005 Member, International Association of Physical Education in Higher Education (AIESEP)
  • 1996 Member, American Educational Research Assocation (AERA)
  • 1996 Member, Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (ASCD)
  • 1990 Member; Amy Morris Homans Commemorative Lecturer 2005, National Association for Sport and Physical Education in Higher Education (NAPEHE)
  • 1987 Member, Ohio Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance
  • 1981 Member, Committee work, Western Society for Physical Education of College Women
  • 1975 Member , Northwest District of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance
  • 1975 Member and various committees throughout the years including Delegate to National Assembly; President elect Nominating Committee; Delegate to Basic Stuff Series; and Delegate to International Affairs Council. , American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (AAHPERD)
  • 1975 Member and various roles throughout the years including NASPE K-12 Content Standards Revision Committee (Chair), NASPE Cabinet, NASPE Publications Coordinator, NASPE Assessment Series Editor; COPPPE Advisory Board (Chair); Professional Preparation Task Force (Chair); CUPEC Advisory Board (Chair); Teacher Standards Task Force (Chair); and Teacher Education Conference Planning Committee., National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE)
  • 1966 Member; 1979 President, 1978 Vice President for Physical Education; 1978 Parliamentarian; 1979-81 Constitutional Revision Committee Chair; 1976-80 Public Affairs and Legislation Committee; and 1979 Exhibits Chairperson, Washington Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Rcreation, and Dance (WAHPERD)
  • Member - Facilitator, Urban Schools Project


  • 1987 University of Idaho - Ph.D.
  • 1975 Seattle University - Masters
  • 1970 Washington State University - Bachelor of Arts


  • Urban Schools Project -
  • Kerry Community of Practice - Programmatic workshops
  • Physical Education Association of Ireland - External Programme Evaluations
  • National Council for Curriculum and Assessment -
  • IT - Tralee -