The purpose of this phenomenological inquiry was to explore the experiences and meaning of parental involvement in physical education from the perspectives of the parents of students with developmental disabilities. The stories of four mothers of elementary aged children (3 boys, 1 girl), two mothers and one couple (mother and father) of secondary-aged youth (1 girl, 2 boys) with developmental disabilities, were gathered by using interviews, photographs, school documents, and the researcher’s journal. Bronfenbrenner’s (2005) ecological system theory provided a conceptual framework to interpret the findings of this inquiry. Three themes emerged from thematic analysis: being an advocate for my child, understanding the big picture, and collaborative partnerships undeveloped in GPE. The findings lend additional support to the need for establishing collaborative partnerships in physical education between home and school environments (An & Goodwin, 2007; Tekin, 2011).
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Jihoun An and Samuel R. Hodge
Jihoun An and Donna L. Goodwin
This study described the meaning 7 mothers of children with spina bifida ascribed to their children’s physical education, the mothers’ roles in the schools, and the importance of the IEP in home and school communication. The stories of 4 mothers of elementary and 3 mothers of secondary aged children were gathered using the phenomenological methods of semistructured interviews, artifacts, and field notes. The thematic analysis revealed three themes: a good thing but …, connection to sports, and beyond the curriculum. The mothers valued their children’s participation in physical education and provided instrumental support to teachers and teaching associates. They also valued sport as an avenue for developing sport specific skills, which in turn enriched the school experience. The findings are discussed within the context of Peters’ (1996) model of disablement.