Mara Simon | Springfield College

Mara Simon

Mara Simon

Associate Professor of Physical Education and Health Education
Mara Simon head shot
  • Doctor of Education, Teachers College Columbia University, New York, N.Y., 2018
  • Masters of Education, Teachers College Columbia University, New York, N.Y., 2015
  • Masters of Science, Ithaca College, Ithaca, N.Y., 2007
  • Bachelor of Arts, Hamilton College, Clinton, N.Y., 2005


Mara Simon is a teacher-educator and scholar committed to issues of racism in physical education, along with other intersecting social justice issues. She utilizes constructivist and critical pedagogies within her classes in order to raise students' critical consciousness on existing social inequities.

Twitter: @Dr_Mara_Simon

Research Interests
  • Racial inequity in education
  • Transformative and critical pedagogies
  • Experiences of physical education teachers of color
  • Critical Race Theory
  • Qualitative and visual methods
Courses Taught
  • PHED 658: Sport in Society
  • PHED 236/237: Elementary Methods and Pre-Practice in Physical Education
  • SPCO 102: De-constructing Racism
  • RSCH 625: Independent Study Proposal Design
  • Simon, M. (2021, November). Culturally Relevant Pedagogy in Physical Education: A “How-To” Guide. Invited speaker at Massachusetts Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (MAHPERD). (Virtual)
  • Dixon, C., Simon, M., & Boyd, K. (2021, October). Researching Race: Reflections and Negotiations.
  • Simon, M., Boyd, K., & Dixon, C. (2021, June). “Two Different Worlds”: Black and Latinx PETE Students’ Conceptualizations of Culturally Relevant and Sustaining Pedagogies. Presentation at 2021 AIESEP World Congress.
  • Simon, M. (2021, April). A Collective Visual Narrative of Pre-Service Teachers of Color in Predominantly White Institutions. Presentation at Visual Research for Social Change Conference. (Virtual)
  • Azzarito, L., Simon, M., Lee, J., Evans, M., & Sucre, S. (2021, April). Reimagining a More Equitable, Diverse, and Inclusive Study of Human Movement and Education. Presentation at Visual Research for Social Change Conference. (Virtual)
  • Simon, M. & Boyd, K. (2021, April). Cracks in the Narrative: Black and Latinx Pre-service PE Teachers in Predominantly White Institutions. Paper presented at American Educational Research Association (AERA) international meeting. (Virtual)
  • Simon, M., Lee, J., Evans, M. & Azzarito, L. (2021, January). The “Illusion of Inclusion” and Equitable Academic Communities: Research and Implications for “Diversity Work” in Kinesiology. Presentation at the National Association of Kinesiology in Higher Education (NAKHE) annual conference. (Virtual)
  • Simon, M., & Azzarito, L. (2019, April). "Confident in my Skin": Ethnic Minority Female PE Teachers' Transformational Resistance for Social Change. Paper presented at AERA international meeting, Toronto, CA.
  • Simon, M., (2018, October). The PETE Experiences of Ethnic Minority Female PE Teachers. Presentation at SHAPE PETE/HETE national conference, Salt Lake City, UT.
  • Simon, M., & Boyd, K. (2021). Cracks in the narrative: Black and Latinx pre-service PE teachers in predominantly white PETE programs. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy.
  • Simon, M., Azzarito, L., Lee, J., & Sucre, S. (2021). A call for social justice researchers: Intersectionality as a framework for the study of human movement and education. Kinesiology Review.
  • Boyd, K., Simon, M., & Dixon, C. (2021). Culturally relevant and sustaining pedagogies for and by Black and Latinx pre-service PE teachers. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education special edition.
  • Lynch, S., Simon, M., & Maher, A. (2020). Critical pedagogies for community building: Challenging ableism in higher education physical education. Teaching in Higher Education, 1-16.
  • Simon, M., Marttinen, R., Frederick, R., & Phillips, S. (2020). Marginalized girls’ gendered experiences within a constructivist afterschool program. Sport, Education and Society, 1-13.
  • Marttinen, R., Simon, M., Phillips, S., & Fredericks, R. (2020). Latina elementary school girls’ experiences in an urban after-school physical education and literacy program. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education.
  • Simon, M. (2020). The emotionality of whiteness in physical education teacher education. Quest, 72(2), 167-184.