Through the increased use of qualitative research methods, the term phenomenology has become a quite familiar notion for researchers in adapted physical activity (APA). In contrast to this increasing interest in phenomenology as methodology, relatively little work has focused on phenomenology as philosophy or as an approach to professional practice. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to examine the relevance of phenomenology as philosophy and as pedagogy to the field of APA. First, phenomenology as philosophy is introduced through three key notions, namely the first-person perspective, embodiment, and life-world. The relevance of these terms to APA is then outlined. Second, the concept of phenomenological pedagogy is introduced, and its application and potential for APA are discussed. In conclusion, it is argued that phenomenology can help theorize ways of understanding human difference in movement contexts and form a basis of action-oriented research aiming at developing professional practice.
øyvind F. Standal and Ejgil Jespersen
The purpose of this study was to investigate the learning that takes place when people with disabilities interact in a rehabilitation context. Data were generated through in-depth interviews and close observations in a 2½ week-long rehabilitation program, where the participants learned both wheelchair skills and adapted physical activities. The findings from the qualitative data analysis are discussed in the context of situated learning (Lave & Wenger, 1991; Wenger, 1998). The results indicate that peer learning extends beyond skills and techniques, to include ways for the participants to make sense of their situations as wheelchair users. Also, it was found that the community of practice established between the participants represented a critical corrective to instructions provided by rehabilitation professionals.
Øyvind F. Standal, Tor Erik H. Nyquist, and Hanne H. Mong
Adapted physical activity (APA) is characterized by a strong orientation to professional practice. Currently, there exists limited empirical research about the professional status of APA in the context of rehabilitation. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to describe and understand the professional status, role, and work tasks of APA specialists in Norway. For the purpose of the study, the authors conducted group interviews with APA specialists and individual interviews with unit leaders at six rehabilitation institutions in the national specialist health care services. The results highlight the content of the work tasks, the roles in the cross-professional teams, the status in the institutions, and what the participants perceive to be the knowledge base for their profession. Although these results may be specific to the Norwegian context, the authors also discuss possible implications of their findings for APA in an international perspective.