In-Service Teachers’ and Educational Assistants’ Professional Development Experiences for Inclusive Physical Education

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year subscription

USD  $63.00

1 year subscription

USD  $84.00

Student 2 year subscription

USD  $119.00

2 year subscription

USD  $156.00

Purpose: The objective of this study was to understand and learn about in-service teachers’ and educational assistants’ professional development (PD) experiences for inclusive physical education (IPE), individually and collaboratively. Method: Using a multiple case study design and hermeneutic inquiry, the experiences of three teachers and three educational assistants were investigated. Data sources included semistructured interviews, focus groups, observations, and researcher reflective journals. Results: The practitioners’ experiences with PD for IPE revealed the following major themes: (a) it is just not there: IPE-PD is rare, (b) taking initiative: maximizing consultants as IPE-PD, and (c) together we are better: desire for collaborative IPE-PD. Discussion/Conclusions: PD for IPE needs to be developed and implemented for teachers and educational assistants working as an instructional team together. Engaging these practitioners in collaborative IPE-PD can support their learning and the teaching of IPE and acts as a starting point to form communities of practice in IPE.

The authors are with the Department of Elementary Education, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Morrison (hjmorris@ualberta.ca) is corresponding author.
  • An, J., & Meaney, K.S. (2015). Inclusion practices in elementary physical education: A social cognitive perspective. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 62(2), 143–157. doi:10.1080/1034912X.2014.998176

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Armour, K., Quennerstedt, M., Chambers, F., & Makopoulou, K. (2015). What is “effective” CPD for contemporary physical education teachers? A Deweyan framework. Sport, Education and Society, 22(7), 799–811. doi:10.1080/13573322.2015.1083000

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Armour, K., & Yelling, M. (2004). Continuing professional development for experienced physical education teachers: Towards effective provision. Sport, Education and Society, 9(1), 95–114. doi:10.1080/1357332042000175836

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Armour, K., & Yelling, M. (2007). Effective professional development for physical education teachers: The role of informal, collaborative learning. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 26(2), 177–200. doi:10.1123/jtpe.26.2.177

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Avalos, B. (2011). Teacher professional development in teaching and teacher education over ten years. Teaching and Teacher Education, 27(1), 10–20. doi:10.1016/j.tate.2010.08.007

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Avramidis, E., & Norwich, B. (2002). Teachers’ attitudes towards integration/inclusion: A review of the literature. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 17(2), 129–147. doi:10.1080/08856250210129056

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bechtel, P.A., & O’Sullivan, M. (2007). Enhancers and inhibitors of teacher change among secondary physical educators. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 26, 221–235. doi:10.1123/jtpe.26.3.221

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Block, M.E., & Obrusnikova, I. (2007). Inclusion in physical education: A review of the literature from 1995–2005. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 24(2), 103–124. PubMed ID: 17916912 doi:10.1123/apaq.24.2.103

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Boostrom, R. (1994). Learning to pay attention. Qualitative Studies in Education, 7(1), 51–64. doi:10.1080/0951839940070104

  • Borko, H. (2004). Professional development and teacher learning: Mapping the terrain. Educational Researcher, 33(8), 3–15. doi:10.3102/0013189X033008003

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Boud, D., Keogh, R., & Walker, D. (1985). What is reflection in learning? In D. Boud, R. Keogh, & D. Walker (Eds.), Reflection: Turning experience into learning (pp. 7–17). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Broer, S.M., Doyle, M.B., & Giangreco, M.F. (2005). Perspectives of students with intellectual disabilities about their experiences with paraprofessional support. Exceptional Children, 71(4), 415–430.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bryan, R.R., McCubbin, J.A., & van der Mars, H. (2013). The ambiguous role of the paraeducator in the general physical education environment. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 30, 164–183. doi:10.1123/apaq.30.2.164

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Clandinin, D.J., & Rosiek, J. (2007). Mapping a landscape of narrative inquiry: Borderland spaces and tensions. In J. Clandinin (Ed.), Handbook of narrative inquiry: Mapping methodology (pp. 35–75). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Coates, J., & Vickerman, P. (2008). Let the children have their say: Children with special educational needs and their experiences of physical education–a review. Support for Learning, 23(4), 168–175. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9604.2008.00390.x

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Darling-Hammond, L., & McLaughlin, M. (1995). Policies that support professional development in an era of reform. Phi Delta Kappan, 76(8), 597–604. doi:10.1177/003172171109200622

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Decorby, K., Halas, J., Dixon, S., Wintrup, L., & Janzen, H. (2005). Classroom teachers and the challenges of delivering quality physical education. The Journal of Educational Research, 98(4), 208–221. doi:10.3200/JOER.98.4.208-221

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dewey, J. (1910). How we think. Boston, MA: D.C. Health & Co.

  • Dewey, J. (1938). Experience in education. New York, NY: Collier MacMillan.

  • Ellis, J. (1998). Interpretive inquiry as a formal research process. In J. Ellis (Ed.), Teaching from understanding: Teacher as interpretive inquirer (pp. 15–32). New York, NY: Garland.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fisher, M., & Pleasants, S.L. (2012). Roles, responsibilities, and concerns of paraeducators: Findings from a statewide survey. Remedial and Special Education, 33(5), 287–297. doi:10.1177/0741932510397762

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fishman, B.J., Marx, R.W., Best, S., & Tal, R.T. (2003). Linking teacher and student learning to improve professional development in systemic reform. Teaching and Teacher Education, 19(6), 643–658. doi:10.1016/S0742-051X(03)00059-3

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Frost, G., & Connolly, M. (2015). The road less travelled? Pathways from passivity to agency in student learning. Collected Essays on Learning and Teaching, 8, 47–54. doi:10.22329/celt.v8i0.4264

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Haegele, J.A., Hodge, S., Filho, P.J.B.G., & de Rezende, A.L.G. (2016). Brazilian physical education teachers’ attitudes toward inclusion before and after participation in a professional development workshop. European Physical Education Review, 24(1), 21–38. doi:10.1177/1356336X16662898

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Healy, S., Block, M., & Judge, J. (2014). Certified adapted physical educators’ perceptions of advantages and disadvantages of online teacher development. Palaestra, 28(4), 14–16.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hersman, B.L., & Hodge, S.R. (2010). High school physical educators’ beliefs about teaching differently abled students in an urban public school district. Education and Urban Society, 42(6), 730–757. doi:10.1177/0013124510371038

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hodge, S.R., Sato, T., Samalot-Rivera, A., Hersman, B.L., LaMaster, K., Casebolt, K.M., & Ammah, J.O. (2009). Teachers’ beliefs on inclusion and teaching students with disabilities: A representation of diverse voices. Multicultural Learning and Teaching, 4(2), 38–58. doi:10.2202/2161-2412.1051

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Huettig, C., & Roth, K., (2002). Maximizing the use of APE consultants what the general physical educator has the right to expect. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 73(1), 32–35. doi:10.1080/07303084.2002.10605877

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jones, C.R., Ratcliff, N.J., Sheehan, H., & Hunt, G.H. (2012). An analysis of teachers’ and paraeducators’ roles and responsibilities with implications for professional development. Early Childhood Education Journal, 40(1), 19–24. doi:10.1007/s10643-011-0487-4

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ko, B., & Boswell, B. (2013). Teachers’ perceptions, teaching practices, and learning opportunities for inclusion. Physical Educator, 70(3), 223–242.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

  • Lyons, W.E., Thompson, S.A., & Timmons, V. (2016). ‘We are inclusive. We are a team. Let’s just do it’: Commitment, collective efficacy, and agency in four inclusive schools. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 20(8), 889–907. doi:10.1080/13603116.2015.1122841

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lytle, R.K., & Hutchinson, G.E. (2004). Adapted physical educators: The multiple roles of consultants. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 21, 34–49. doi:10.1123/apaq.21.1.34

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MacPhail, A., Patton, K., Parker, M., & Tannehill, D. (2014). Leading by example: Teacher educators’ professional learning through communities of practice. Quest, 66(1), 39–56. doi:10.1080/00336297.2013.826139

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Maher, A.J. (2016). Special education needs in mainstream secondary school physical education: Learning support assistants have their say. Sport, Education and Society, 21(2), 262–278. doi:10.1080/13573322.2014.905464

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Makopoulou, K., & Armour, K.M. (2011). Physical education teachers’ career-long professional learning: Getting personal. Sport, Education and Society, 16(5), 571–591. doi:10.1080/13573322.2011.601138

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McCrimmon, A.W. (2015). Inclusive education in Canada issues in teacher preparation. Intervention in School and Clinic, 50(4), 234–237. doi:10.1177/1053451214546402

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Merriam, S.B. (1998). Case study research in education: A qualitative approach. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Inc.

  • Merriam, S.B., & Tisdell, E.J. (2016). Qualitative research: A guide to design and implementation (4th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Morley, D., Bailey, R., Tan, J., & Cooke, B. (2005). Including students with SEN and/or disabilities in secondary physical education. European Physical Education Review, 11, 84–107. doi:10.1177/1356336X05049826

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mortier, K. (2018). Communities of practice: A conceptual framework for inclusion of students with significant disabilities. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 1–12. doi:10.1080/13603116.2018.1461261

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mulholland, M., & O’Connor, U. (2016). Collaborative classroom practice for inclusion: Perspectives of classroom teachers and learning support/resource teachers. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 20(10), 1070–1083. doi:10.1080/13603116.2016.1145266

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • O’Sullivan, M., & Degleau, D. (2006). Principles of professional development. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 25, 441–449. doi:10.1123/jtpe.25.4.441

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Parker, M., & Patton, K. (2017). What research tells us about effective continuing professional development for physical education teachers. In C. Ennis (Ed.), Routledge handbook of physical education pedagogies (pp. 447–460). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. doi:10.4324/9781315743561

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Parker, M., Patton, K., & Tannehill, D. (2012). Mapping the landscape of communities of practice as professional development in Irish physical education. Irish Educational Studies, 31(3), 311–327. doi:10.1080/03323315.2012.710067

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Patterson, M.E., & Williams, D.R. (2002). Collecting and analyzing qualitative data: Hermeneutic principles, methods, and case examples. Champaign, IL: Sagamore.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Patton, K., & Parker, M. (2014). Moving from ‘things to do on Monday’ to student learning: Physical education professional development facilitators’ views of success. Physical Education & Sport Pedagogy, 19(1), 60–75. doi:10.1080/17408989.2012.726980

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Patton, K., Parker, M., & Pratt, K. (2013). Meaningful learning in professional development: Teaching without telling. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 32, 441–459. doi:10.1123/jtpe.32.4.441

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Patton, M.Q. (2002). Qualitative research & evaluation methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

  • Pedersen, S.J., Cooley, P., & Rottier, C. (2014). Physical educators’ efficacy in utilising paraprofessionals in an inclusive setting. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 39(10), 1–15. doi:10.14221/ajte.2014v39n10.1

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Quennersted, M., Öhman, J., & Öhman, M. (2011). Investigating learning in physical education—a transactional approach. Sport, Education and Society, 16(2), 159–177. doi:10.1080/13573322.2011.540423

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sato, T., & Haegele, J.A. (2017). Professional development in adapted physical education with graduate web-based professional learning. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 22(6), 618–631. doi:10.1080/17408989.2017.1310832

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sato, T., Heagele, J., & Foot, R. (2017). In-service physical educators’ experiences of online adapted physical education endorsement courses. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 34, 162–178. PubMed ID: 28556764 doi:10.1123/apaq.2016-0002

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Schaefer, L. (2013). Narrative inquiry for physical education pedagogy. International Journal of Pedagogies and Learning, 8(1), 18–26. doi:10.5172/ijpl.2013.8.1.18

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Shenton, A.K. (2004). Strategies for ensuring trustworthiness in qualitative research projects. Education for Information, 22, 63–75. doi:10.3233/EFI-2004-22201

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sherrill, C. (1998). Adapted physical activity, recreation and sport: Crossdisciplinary and lifespan (5th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Smith, D.G. (1991). Hermeneutic inquiry: The hermeneutic imagination and the pedagogic text. In E.C. Short (Ed.), Forms of curriculum inquiry (pp. 187–209). Albany, NY: SUNY.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stake, R.E. (2005). Qualitative case studies. In N.K. Denzin & Y.S. Lincoln (Eds.), The handbook of qualitative research (pp. 443–466). London, UK: Sage.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Standol, O., & Rugseth, G. (2014). Practicum in adapted physical activity: A Dewey-inspired action research project. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 31(3), 219–239. doi:10.1123/apaq.2013-0105

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Timperley, H.S., & Phillips, G. (2003). Changing and sustaining teachers’ expectations through professional development in literacy. Teaching and Teacher Education, 19(6), 627–641. doi:10.1016/S0742-051X(03)00058-1

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. (2009). Policy guidelines on inclusion in education. Paris, France: Author.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Vickerman, P., & Blundell, M. (2012). English learning support assistants’ experiences of including children with special educational needs in physical education. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 27(2), 143–156. doi:10.1080/08856257.2011.645585

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Vickerman, P., & Coates, J.K. (2009). Trainee and recently qualified physical education teachers’ perspectives on including children with special educational needs. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 14(2), 137–153. doi:10.1080/17408980802400502

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zitomer, M.R., & Goodwin, D. (2014). Gauging the quality of qualitative research in adapted physical activity. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 31, 193–218. PubMed ID: 25028474 doi:10.1123/apaq.2013-0084

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 104 104 46
Full Text Views 26 26 5
PDF Downloads 17 17 4