Adapted Physical Educators’ Experiences With School Administration and Marginalization

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
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  • 1 Department of Kinesiology, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, USA
  • | 2 Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA
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Background: While preliminary research has indicated that adapted physical education (APE) teachers experience marginalization, little research has examined how specific relationships factor into these experiences. Purpose: This study sought to examine APE teachers’ experiences and perceptions of school administrators. Methodology: Occupational socialization theory was used to guide semistructured interviews with 24 APE teachers about their relationship with administrators. Results: A collaborative approach to qualitative data analysis was used to construct four themes: (a) APE teachers are socialized to be marginal and settle for inadequate support; (b) negative impressions of general physical education led to a similar outlook on APE; (c) administrators focus on compliance with mandates over quality practice in APE; and (d) support depends on administrative effort, and many administrators look uncomfortable in the gym. Conclusion: Although these findings shed light on the complex, and often absent, relationship between APE teachers and their administrators, still additional research is needed.

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