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Jocelyn Gagnon, Marielle Tousignant, and Denis Martel

This study employed the Academic Learning Time model to describe the behavior of moderately mentally handicapped students in their physical education classes. The concept of academic learning time (ALT) is defined as the proportion of time a student is engaged in a task related to the learning objectives and is experiencing an appropriate success rate. Subjects were 29 students randomly selected from five adapted-P.E. groups (three elementary and two secondary) in three Quebec City region schools. A French version of the ALT observation system developed by Siedentop, Tousignant, and Parker (1982) was used to code the students’ behavior in P.E. classes. The results reveal that, on the average, only 63% of the time officially allocated to P.E. within the school curriculum was actually used for teacher/student interaction. Moreover, 21% of this 63% was spent organizing the learning activities, 4% in explaining the tasks, and the remaining 75% in motor activities. However, although the number of students in a group varied from five to nine, on the average individuals were successfully motor engaged only 16% of the time and spent 50% of the time waiting.