Doing Things My Way: Teaching Physical Education With a Disability

in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly
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  • 1 University of New Hampshire
  • | 2 University of Edinburgh
  • | 3 University of New Hampshire
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Having a disability and being a teacher can be a critical site for examining practices associated with ability, competence, and pedagogy. While there is a growing literature base that examines the experiences of students with disabilities in physical education, there is virtually no research that examines the experiences of physical education teachers with disabilities. Using the capability approach, this article explores the experiences of a physical education teaching intern with a physical disability, significant school members, and the students he interacted with through interviews and documents. The results yielded 3 primary themes. The first, "the fluid nature of the disability discourse," demonstrated the complexity of disability and explored the contrast between static tendencies that stereotype disability and the disability experience. The second theme, "doing things my way," reflected the intern’s need to distinguish himself as a teacher by defining contexts for experiencing competence. The third and final theme, "agent of change," explored how the intern’s experiences as a teacher with a disability informed his educational narrative.

Grenier and Genovese are with the Dept. of Kinesiology, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH. Horrell is with the Inst. of Sport, Physical Education and Health Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.

Address author correspondence to Michelle Grenier at
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