Changing Attitudes about Teaching Students with Handicaps

in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly
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This study was conducted to determine the influence of two physical education courses on undergraduate physical educators’ attitudes toward teaching students labeled educable mentally retarded, behavioral disordered, and learning disabled. The two courses, Adapted Physical Education and Physical Education for Children, included 77 and 97 students, respectively. Four strategies for attitudinal change (information, contact, persuasion, and vicarious experience) were emphasized in the former course. Participants in both courses completed the Physical Educators’ Attitude Toward Teaching the Handicapped Questionnaire (PEATH–II) during the first and last days of a 16-week semester. The data were analyzed using a split-plot hierarchical ANOVA design with two between-subjects factors, course type and teacher (nested under course type), and two within-subjects factors, time (pretest and posttest) and handicapping label. Results indicated that attitudes toward teaching students with handicaps improved significantly in the adapted physical education course but not in the other course.

Terry L. Rizzo is with the Dept. of Physical Education, California State University, San Bernardino, 5500 University Pkwy., San Bernardino, CA 92407-2397. Walter P. Vispoel is with the College of Education, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242.

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