Son TruongPhD, CTRS

Associate Professor, Recreation and Leisure Studies

Phone: 902-494-7061
Mailing Address: 
School of Health and Human Performance
Dentistry Building
5981 University Avenue, Room 4210B
PO Box 15000
Halifax, N.S. B3H 4R2

Cross-appointed, School of Social Work
Cross-appointed, College of Sustainability
Adjunct Fellow, School of Education, Western Sydney University
Research Topics:
  • Children's play, wellbeing, and environments
  • Community wellbeing
  • Therapeutic recreation
  • Outdoor learning
  • Experiential education
  • Place-based pedagogies
  • Community and international service-learning


  • Bachelor of Science, Dalhousie University
  • Master of Arts, University of Alberta
  • Postgraduate Certificate in International Development and Refugee Studies, University of East London
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Alberta
  • Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS ID 66121), National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification
  • Registered Yoga Teacher, Yoga Alliance 


Dr. Son Truong, CTRS is an Associate Professor in Therapeutic Recreation, in the School of Health and Human Performance at Dalhousie University. He is also an Adjunct Fellow with the School of Education at Western Sydney University, Australia. He has extensive experience working in diverse community settings, including in mental health, early childhood education and schools, outdoor centres, and NGOs, in both minority and majority world contexts.

Son is an experienced educator and has been recognised for his commitment to internationalisation of the curriculum and international service-learning. He has over 15 years of experience leading international service-learning projects, and has been successful with obtaining a number of competitive government grants to support student mobility in higher education. His interdisciplinary research has been funded by competitive internal and external research grants, and focuses on play, recreation, and leisure to enhance wellbeing in underserved and vulnerable communities.

Examples of Graduate Student Supervision:

Son is currently accepting graduate students in his areas of research interest. Examples of past graduate supervision includes the following:

  • Place-based outdoor learning in the primary school curriculum (A. Lloyd, PhD)
  • Motivation and outdoor leadership (T. Grill, MPhil)
  • International students’ autonomous learning (P. Lamichane, MRes)
  • Intergenerational play and community play spaces (C. Williams, MRes)

Current Co-Supervision, Cross-appointment

  • Impact of outdoor education on the body image of adolescent females  (J. Breault-Hood, PhD)
  • High school students’ engagement and motivation (J. Mann, PhD)
  • Inclusive leadership in outdoor education (R. Charles, MPhil)
  • Integration of nonformal and formal education into youth conservation programs (C. Biela, MPhil)

Research Projects:

Examples of recent individual and collaborative research projects:

  • Children’s views and experiences of outdoor active play in school settings
  • Child-friendly research and participation in inform play space design
  • Impact of a children’s wild play garden / playground
  • Impact of community greening / community gardening on wellbeing in social housing communities
  • Fostering the wellbeing of students at-risk through Acceptance Commitment Therapy and adventure therapy

Theories and Methodologies:

  • Sociocultural-ecological theories, social constructivism, posthumanism, new materialism
  • Qualitative research, mixed methods, visual methods, community-based, participatory, action-oriented, child-friendly methods