Faculty & Staff


Nancy Spencer-Cavaliere, PhD

Associate Professor

Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation

About Me

PhD (Physical Education), University of Alberta, 2008
MA (Physical Education), University of Alberta, 1999
BA (Arts), University of Alberta, 1996

I have been a Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation Faculty member at the University of Alberta since 2008. During my time as a doctoral student, I was the Director of the Children’s Physical Activity and Study Program. Once upon a time, I was also an Assistant Badminton Professional teaching and coaching children and youth the skills and strategies of the sport. I am also active in the community and serve on the Board of Directors for the Paralympic Sports Association.


My primary research interests are in the areas of adapted physical activity and children’s physical activity. I am committed to understanding how to facilitate inclusive and meaningful experiences in play, sport (parasport) and recreation for children and specifically people who experience disability, using qualitative approaches to research.

Current Research Projects:

  • Inclusion in the Field(s) of Dreams?: A SSHRC funded project investigating how integrated and specialized sport settings impact the experiences of youth athletes with impairments.
  • The Forest School Project: A case study examining nature based play in an early learning outdoor experience from the perspectives of teachers, parents and kindergarten children.
  • Project Citizenship: A collaborative project with the Skills Society of Edmonton, a human services organization that supports people who experience disability, their families and allies. The purpose of the research is to examine the impact of a Skills Society led initiative designed to create social change through the lens of citizenship.


I currently supervise 4 Master of Arts students. Their thesis work includes the following: The experiences of women Paralympic athletes; Parents perceptions of physical activity messaging; Student experiences in Play Around the World, a University service learning practicum; Classification and the Paralympics.

I typically teach in the areas of adapted physical activity and children’s physical activity and regularly teach the following undergraduate courses:
KSRLS 207: Physical Activity and Leisure for Diverse Populations
PEDS 293: Movement Activities for Young Children