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Vincent Melograno

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Vincent J. Melograno and E. Michael Loovis

Results of comprehensive surveys (1980 and 1988) were compared relative to physical education for handicapped students. A direct, self-report methodology was used. Statewide (Ohio) samples of 241 (1980) and 242 (1988) physical education teachers participated. Data indicated that the status of physical education for handicapped students had remained the same. By 1988, only 14% of the teachers had contributed to a multidisciplinary staff for developing IEPs. Teachers’ lack of knowledge of PL 94-142 was revealed in both years, and interest in teaching handicapped students was no better than “neutral/mixed” (1988). A majority of teachers in 1980 and 1988 indicated a general need for assistance in motor behavior assessments. By 1988 a majority of teachers (51%) had not received encouragement/support from their administration. In both years, over 75% believed that handicapped students are excluded from participation in physical education due to “nature of handicap” and “functional ability.” Overall, results in 1980 were reaffirmed in 1988. Teachers lacked the ability to provide appropriate physical education for handicapped students.

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E. Michael Loovis and Vincent Melograno

Staff development is essential for physical educators who teach students with disabilities in the regular program. In the past, in-service providers were primarily concerned with assessment procedures, curriculum content, and teaching methodology. These same professionals failed to acknowledge the importance of various issues and concerns (e.g., school district policies, procedures, and practices) when planning and conducting staff development. Content covered in this paper includes (a) issues and concerns that affect what teachers learn in staff development programs, (b) use of established group process techniques (Nominal Group Technique and Interpretive Structural Modeling) to identify issues and concerns that influence teachers’ abilities to comply with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and (c) differences between teachers’ and administrators’ perceptions concerning which issues and concerns are important.