An Exploratory Study of Teachers’ Experiences in Physical Education With Children Thought to Have Developmental Coordination Disorder

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  • 1 University of Alberta
  • | 2 University of Calgary
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Teachers can create supportive conditions in physical education to mitigate experiences of stress for children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD); however, most are unfamiliar with DCD and lack adequate training to instruct children with impairments. The purpose of this study was to explore teachers’ perceptions of and interactions in physical education with children thought to demonstrate functional difficulties associated with DCD. A semistructured interview was conducted with 12 teachers across all elementary years with diverse backgrounds and thematically analyzed. Four themes were produced. Teachers (a) had differing views on the etiology of children’s movement difficulties, though (b) all recognized a range of difficulties children demonstrated. They (c) believed it was their role to facilitate positive experiences for these children in physical education but (d) experienced challenges in doing so. Training that increases teachers’ knowledge of and abilities to address the needs of children thought to have DCD is warranted.

The authors with the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada. Zimmer is now with the Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.

Zimmer (chantelle.zimmer@ucalgary.ca) is corresponding author.
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