Zachary Wahl-Alexander, Ph.D.
Associate Professor Physical Education Teacher Education


Kinesiology and Physical Education

Research Interests

  • Examining the extent to which pedagogical changes can inform and impact teaching practices within the context of physical education and physical activity.
  • Investigating the sport education pedagogical model, negotiated curriculum and building community-based partnerships (i.e., summer camps, juvenile detention centers) focused on providing youth opportunities to be physically active.


  • Ph.D. University of Alabama, Human Performance
  • M.S. University of Alabama, Sport Pedagogy
  • B.S. University of Georgia, Health and Physical Education

Recent Publications

  • Wahl-Alexander, Z., Brusseau, T., and Burns, R. (2020). Changes in daily step counts and health-related fitness after a sports-based residential summer camp in boys. A Journal of Leisure Studies and Recreation Education, 1-10.
  • Wahl-Alexander, Z., and Morehead, C. (2020). An observational assessment of physical activity levels and social behavior during residential summer camp unstructured time. American Journal of Health Promotion, 34(4), 387-292.
  • Smart, S., and Wahl-Alexander, Z. (2020). Optimizing physical activity during non-fitness-based sport education seasons. The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, 91(4), 22-29.
  • Wahl-Alexander, Z., and Curtner-Smith, M. (2019). Influence of negotiations on preservice teachers’ instruction within a skill themes unit. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 39(4), 500-507.

Funded Projects

  • A Comprehensive Sport Leadership and College Readiness Program for Incarcerated Youth. (2020). Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice
  • Developing Conflict Resolution Uplifting Youth through Sport. (2020). NIU Great Journeys Assistantship Program

Courses Taught

  • KNPE 335: Developmental Skill-Based Approach to Teaching
  • KNPE 343: Elementary Physical Education
  • KNPE 368: Sport Education
  • KNPE 421: Curriculum and Instructional Design
  • KNPE 467/468: Field Experience in the Middle and High School