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The purpose of this study was to examine the meaning that first-year adapted physical education teachers with a master’s degree ascribed to their occupational socialization experiences. An interpretative phenomenological analysis research approach was used, and occupational socialization theory was adopted as the theoretical framework. Five teachers participated in this study. The sources of data were a semistructured focus group interview, semistructured one-to-one interviews, and reflective interview notes. Thematic development involved a three-step analysis process informed by the research approach. Three themes were constructed: (a) interactions with individuals with disabilities and activity experiences, (b) recruitment of adapted physical education teacher education students, and (c) graduate training and initial workplace experiences. The constructed themes provide unique insight into how teachers are socialized into adapted physical education and the meaning they ascribe to various socialization experiences, such as the limited impact that interactions with individuals with disabilities had on the decision to pursue this career.
The authors are with Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA, USA.