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Andrea R. Taliaferro and Lindsay Hammond

Individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) tend to have low rates of participation in voluntary or prescribed physical activity. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to identify the barriers, facilitators, and needs influencing physical activity participation of adults with ID within the framework of a social ecological model. A qualitative approach consisted of data collected from surveys and guided focus groups. Participants included adults with ID (n = 6) and their primary caregiver (n = 6). Barriers were categorized under three themes: organizational barriers, individual constraints, and external influences. Examples of subthemes included information dissemination, reliance on others, and caregiver considerations. Facilitators included primary caregivers as champions and camaraderie. Needs centered on family program involvement, improved programmatic structure, and programmatic support. Results indicate the need for community programs to examine barriers and facilitators applicable to their unique setting and population across all levels of a social ecological model.

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Andrea R. Taliaferro, Lindsay Hammond and Kristi Wyant

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of completion of an adapted physical education (APE) course with an associated on-campus practicum on preservice physical educators’ self-efficacy beliefs toward the inclusion of individuals with specific disabilities (autism, intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities, and visual impairments). Preservice students in physical education teacher education (N = 98) at a large U.S. Midwestern university enrolled in 1 of 2 separate 15-wk APE courses with an associated 9-wk practicum experience were surveyed at the beginning, middle, and conclusion of each course. Results of 4 separate 2-factor fixed-effect split-plot ANOVAs revealed significant improvements in self-efficacy beliefs from Wk 1 to Wk 8 and from Wk 1 to Wk 15 across all disability categories. Significant differences between courses were found only for autism in Time 1.

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Andrea R. Taliaferro and Sean M. Bulger

The purpose of this study was to determine expert consensus regarding the essential characteristics of adapted physical education practicum experiences for preservice physical educators. Researchers used a 3-round Delphi procedure involving the repeated circulation of an online questionnaire to a panel of content experts (N = 24). During Round 1, panelists generated 70 items in response to an open-ended prompt. Then, panelists rated these recommendations on importance and feasibility in the following rounds. After the third round, 23 items were eliminated for failing to reach consensus. Of the remaining 47 items, 24 were both very important and feasible (both means >6), 21 were very important (mean ≥ 6) and probably feasible (mean ≥ 5), and 2 were feasible (mean ≥ 6) and moderately important (mean ≥ 5). Four major themes were identified through a post hoc qualitative cluster analysis: program context, teaching and learning activities, outcomes/soft skills, and evaluation of instructor performance.

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Jun-Hyung Baek, Emily Jones, Sean Bulger and Andrea Taliaferro

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine in-service physical education teachers’ perceptions of and perceived value of technology-related learning across three formal training experiences (pre-service education, in-service continuing professional development, and graduate education). Methods: Twelve teachers enrolled in a graduate-level physical education teacher education program at a rural mid-Atlantic university participated in the study. Participants completed the Stage of Adoption of Technology survey (Christensen, 1997) and engaged in individual semi-structured interviews. Results: Six learning sources and four themes relative to participants’ perceptions of and perceived value of technology learning experiences emerged from the interview which include (a) absence of technology in K-12 PE, (b) technology-centric experience, (c) broadened awareness through observation, and (d) growth through hands-on experience. Conclusion: The findings align with and extend to previous research that suggests technology experiences must be dynamic, authentic, and tailored for individuals at different stages of technology adoption.

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Emily M. Jones, Andrea R. Taliaferro, Eloise M. Elliott, Sean M. Bulger, Alfgeir L. Kristjansson, William Neal and Ishonté Allar

Increasing rates of childhood obesity has prompted calls for comprehensive approaches to school-based physical activity (PA). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of comprehensive school physical activity program (CSPAP) development and related contextual issues within a rural Appalachian county using a Systems Approach. A multicomponent needs assessment was conducted, including 11 school site visits with interviews with school personnel, physical space audits, and self-reported professional development, curricular, and equipment/resource needs. Data were summarized into case narratives describing context, space/facilities, and school assets/needs. Member checks verified the accuracy of narratives and inductive cross-case analysis was used to explore emergent themes. Six themes emerged: Leadership/Capacity Building, PA Access and Opportunities, Physical Education/PA Equipment and Resources, Physical Fitness Data Management and Reporting, Equity and Access to Safe and Usable Play Spaces, and Community Connections. Results support the feasibility of CSPAPs in rural communities and provide insight to factors influencing CSPAP. This study provides a framework for schools considering the development of CSPAP.