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Attitudes of Physical Educators Toward Teaching Handicapped Pupils

Terry L. Rizzo

This study assessed the attitudes of physical educators (n = 194) toward teaching handicapped pupils in the regular class. The survey instrument used was the Physical Educators Attitude Toward Teaching the Handicapped (PEATH), which assesses teacher attitudes according to the type of handicapping condition (learning and physical) and grade level (K-3, 4-6, 7-8). A 2 × 3 randomized block factorial design and the Tukey (HSD) post hoc analysis were applied to the data. Results indicated that physical educators held more favorable attitudes toward teaching pupils with learning handicaps than those with physical handicaps. Furthermore, as grade level advanced from primary (K-3) to intermediate (4-6) and upper (7-8) grades, teacher attitudes became progressively less favorable.

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Adapted Physical Activity, Recreation and Sport: Crossdisciplinary and Lifespan (4th ed.)

Terry L. Rizzo

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25 Candles

Terry L. Rizzo

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Digest

Kevin Casebolt, Terry L. Rizzo, and Rebecca Woodard

Edited by Terry Rizzo

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Issues in the Classification of Motor Disorders

Walter E. Davis and Terry L. Rizzo

The detrimental effects of labeling persons as disabled is well known to special educators, many of whom have advocated doing away with labels altogether. However, as a fundamental of science, classification is extremely important. The problem may not be the labeling process per se but one of societal attitudes. Labels are both a product and provocation of attitudes. A review of the current classification systems pinpoints eight characteristics that are problematic in classifying motor disorders. Gibson’s (1977) theory of affordance offers one way of providing a more accurate and useful labeling system, and at the same time addressing, in part, the negative attitude problem. In an affordance approach, the label applies to the behavior as a product of the person/environment system rather than to the person alone, which is the traditional approach. The new classification system offered here, although not complete, differs from the traditional systems in several ways and is seen as useful to researchers and educators alike.

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Changing Attitudes about Teaching Students with Handicaps

Terry L. Rizzo and Walter P. Vispoel

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.

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Factors Influencing Preservice Student Attitudes Toward Individuals with Disabilities

Ellen M. Kowalski and Terry L. Rizzo

This study examined the relationship among selected attributes—gender, level of program (graduate/undergraduate), major, number of infusion-based courses, number of adapted physical education courses, and perceived competence—of physical education students (N = 133) and their attitudes toward teaching/working with individuals with disabilities. Students were enrolled in an infusion-based curriculum at a university in the northeastern United States. Data were collected via a modified version of the Physical Educators’ Attitude Toward Teaching Individuals with Disabilities (PEATID–III) instrument. Results from a stepwise selection, multiple-regression procedure showed that of the six selected student variables assessed, students’ perceived competence in teaching/working with individuals with disabilities was the best predictor of favorable attitudes. Results also showed that the number of infusion-based courses, coursework in adapted physical education, and program major also were significant predictors of favorable attitudes.

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Adapted Physical Activity, Recreation, and Sport: Crossdisciplinary and Life Span (5th ed.)

Terry L. Rizzo

Edited by Lauriece Zittel

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Teaching Students with Mild Disabilities: What Affects Attitudes of Future Physical Educators?

Terry L. Rizzo and Don R. Kirkendall

This study assessed the association between demographic attributes (gender, age, year in school, experience with students with disabilities, perceived competence in teaching students with disabilities, and academic preparation regarding individuals with disabilities) of undergraduate physical education majors and their attitudes toward teaching students labeled educable mentally retarded (EMR), learning disabled (LD), and behaviorally disordered (BD). Future physical educators (n = 226) were asked to complete the Physical Educators’ Attitudes Toward Teaching the Handicapped questionnaire, and 174 (77%) agreed. Data were collected on the first day of classes of a 16-week semester. Results from forward stepwise multiple-regression procedures showed that perceived competence and academic preparation regarding individuals with disabilities were the best predictors of favorable attitudes in general, and for EMR and LD. Results also showed that for BD, age and year in school were the best predictors of favorable attitudes. Thus, attitudes vary as a function of disabling conditions. The results provide evidence that there is a need to promote positive attitudes toward teaching individuals with disabilities.

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Physical Educators’ Attributes and Attitudes Toward Teaching Students with Handicaps

Terry L. Rizzo and Walter P. Vispoel

This study examined the relationship between selected attributes of physical educators (N=94) and their attitudes toward teaching students labeled educable mentally retarded, behaviorally disordered, and learning disabled. Data were collected through the administration of the Physical Educators’ Attitude Toward Teaching the Handicapped–II (PEATH–II) instrument. A forward stepwise multiple regression analysis showed that, of the eight selected teacher variables assessed, physical educators’ perceived competence in teaching students with handicaps was the best predictor of attitudes. A repeated-measures ANOVA and subsequent post hoc comparison tests indicated that learning disabled students were viewed more favorably than educable mentally retarded and behaviorally disordered students.