The purpose of this qualitative case study was to examine an inclusive, third grade physical education class containing a child with severe cerebral palsy and a visual impairment from a social constructionist perspective. Data were collected from four primary sources over a six-month period: interviews, observations, document review, and journals. Boyzaitis’s (1998) five-step process was utilized in the data analysis, which uncovered three primary themes: the teacher’s belief in the development of social skills for students with and without disabilities, the teacher’s use of purposeful strategies to accommodate students with disabilities, and student learning shaped by personal experience. Student and teacher experiences were interpreted within the conceptual framework of social construction as a means of describing relevant and meaningful relationships.
Michelle A. Grenier
Qualitative research methods were used to explore the factors that informed general and adapted physical education teachers’ coteaching practices within an inclusive high school physical education program. Two physical education teachers and one adapted physical education teacher were observed over a 16-week period. Interviews, field notes, and documents were collected and a constant comparative approach was used in the analysis that adopted a social model framework. Primary themes included community as the cornerstone for student learning, core values of trust and respect, and creating a natural support structure. Coteaching practices existed because of the shared values of teaching, learning, and the belief that all students should be included. Recommendations include shifting orientations within professional preparation programs to account for the social model of disability.
Steven Wright, Michelle Grenier and Kathy Channell
The purpose of this descriptive study was to analyze university supervision from the perspective of student teachers (STs), and to examine postlesson conference discourse between STs and university supervisors (USs) to determine if STs perspectives on supervisory models aligned with what actually occurred. Determining STs expectations and desires regarding supervisory model preferences and then providing a forum for STs to comment on the actual university supervision that they experienced fills a void in the literature, as student voice pertaining to this area of university supervision is missing. Data were collected via ST opportunities to answer written questions before and after their capstone experience. A total of 80 postobservation conferences were audio-recorded, transcribed and inductively analyzed to determine conference discourse. Results determined that the 28 STs overwhelmingly (96%) expressed a preference for a collaborative supervision approach, which ultimately they declared they experienced. Word counts revealed that for all postobservation conferences, STs (58%) spoke more often than USs (42%), which suggests that a collaborative model of supervision did actually occur. Analysis of idea units demonstrated that USs asked a lot of questions (31% of all their idea units) and a majority of them (73%) were categorized as higher order—such as reflective or evaluative questions versus lower order questions such as informational questions. This led to a great deal of ST reflection on their lessons during the postobservation conferences.
Michelle A. Grenier, Andrew Horrell and Bryan Genovese
Having a disability and being a teacher can be a critical site for examining practices associated with ability, competence, and pedagogy. While there is a growing literature base that examines the experiences of students with disabilities in physical education, there is virtually no research that examines the experiences of physical education teachers with disabilities. Using the capability approach, this article explores the experiences of a physical education teaching intern with a physical disability, significant school members, and the students he interacted with through interviews and documents. The results yielded 3 primary themes. The first, "the fluid nature of the disability discourse," demonstrated the complexity of disability and explored the contrast between static tendencies that stereotype disability and the disability experience. The second theme, "doing things my way," reflected the intern’s need to distinguish himself as a teacher by defining contexts for experiencing competence. The third and final theme, "agent of change," explored how the intern’s experiences as a teacher with a disability informed his educational narrative.
Michelle Grenier, Karen Collins, Steven Wright and Catherine Kearns
The purpose of this qualitative study was to assess the effectiveness of a disability sport unit in shaping perceptions of disability. Data from interviews, observations, and documents were collected on 87 elementary-aged students, one physical education teacher, and one teaching intern. Comparisons were drawn between fifth graders engaged in a five-week disability sport unit to fourth graders participating in their standard physical education curriculum. Findings revealed differences in the way fourth and fifth graders came to view individuals with disabilities. The results support an analysis of curriculum development that underscores the significance of the social model in positively impacting constructions of disability. Recommendations include the use of disability sports in physical education as an effective strategy for educating students in game play, knowledge of the Paralympics, and the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in a variety of sporting venues.
Mey A. van Munster, Laureen J. Lieberman and Michelle A. Grenier
The aim of this case study was to describe the distinct approaches used by physical education (PE) teachers to accommodate students with disabilities in New York elementary school PE classes. The participants included 1 adapted PE specialist, 5 PE teachers, and 5 elementary school students with various impairments. Through thematic analysis, observations and interviews revealed 3 main approaches: (a) normalized instruction—traditional curriculum with no differentiation in the program; (b) differentiated instruction—adaptations tailored specifically to the needs of each student with disability; and (c) universally designed instruction based on the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and accessibility to all students. Differentiated instruction, entailing modifications in the program and pedagogical accommodations, was the most prevalent approach at the research site, but lessons based on UDL principles were also observed. In association, the 2 approaches (differentiated instruction and UDL) represented significant resources to accommodate students with disabilities in PE.