Donetta Cothran

Professor and Associate Chair
(812) 855-6430
PH 179G

  • University of Maryland, Ph.D., 1996
  • Western Kentucky University, M.A.E,, 1992
  • Georgetown College, B.A., 1984
  • SPH K150 Introduction to Kinesiology and Public Health
  • SPH K214 Basic Methods of Teaching Physical Education
  • SPH K414 Senior Seminar in Physical Education
  • Associate Editor, Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
  • Chair, American Educational Research Association Special Interest Group on Research and Learning in Physical Education: 2009-2012
  • National Academy of Kinesiology Fellow (#505): 2011
  • Fellow of the Research Consortium of American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation: 2000
  • School of HPER Career Outstanding Teacher Award: 2011
Research Interests

My research examines how schools impede or enhance children's wellness and knowledge, with a particular focus on physical activity and participants' perspectives. Recent completed work is a series of multi-year, funded investigations of schools, physical activity, and at-risk populations. The school systems involved range from large urban school districts serving over 100,000 students, a majority of whom were African American, to smaller rural schools serving a few hundred Native American students. My newest project focuses on student perceptions of meaning and boredom from an international perspective.

Selected Publications


Cothran, D.J., Keating, X., & Huang, H. (2017) (Eds.) Learning for a Lifetime: Effective Secondary Physical Education Programs, Education Science Press House, Beijing, China.

Cothran, D.J. (in press). Designing effective programs: Creating curriculum to enhance student learning. In C.D. Ennis (Ed). Routledge Handbook of Physical Education Pedagogy.

Cothran, D.J., & Kulinna, P.H. (2014). Classroom management in physical education. In E. Emmer and E. Sabornie (Eds.) Handbook of Classroom Management. (2d ed) (pp.239-260). New York: Routledge


Cothran, D.J. (2013). “And I hope you see things that startle you”: What students can teach us about physical education. Kinesiology Review, 2, 76-80.

Cothran, D.J., Kulinna, P.H., & Garn, A. (2010). Classroom teachers and physical activity integration. Teaching and Teacher Education, 26, 1381-1388.