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Wesley J. Wilson

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Wesley J. Wilson and K. Andrew R. Richards

Occupational socialization theory has been used to understand the recruitment, education, and socialization of physical education teachers for nearly 40 yr. It has, however, only recently been applied to the study of adapted physical education teachers. The purpose of this descriptive case study was to understand the socialization of preservice teachers in an adapted physical education teacher education graduate-level program. Participants included 17 purposefully selected preservice teachers (5 male and 12 female) enrolled in a yearlong graduate-level adapted physical education teacher education program. Qualitative data were collected using interviews, reflective journaling, and field notes taken during teaching and coursework observations. Data analysis resulted in the construction of 3 themes: overcoming contextual challenges to meet learners’ needs, the importance of field-based teacher education, and coping with the challenges of marginalization. The discussion connects to and advances occupational socialization theory in adapted physical education and suggests that professional socialization may have a more profound influence on preservice adapted physical education teachers than on their physical education counterparts.

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Justin A. Haegele, Chunxiao Li and Wesley J. Wilson

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between interpersonal/intrapersonal mindfulness, contact anxiety, and attitudes toward students with visual impairments among certified adapted physical educators. Participants included 115 certified adapted physical educators who completed a 31-item online survey, composed of a 10-item demographic questionnaire, a 14-item mindfulness in teaching scale, a four-item intergroup anxiety scale, and a three-item attitude scale. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed that intrapersonal mindfulness was a negative predictor of contact anxiety (β = −0.26, p = .007) and contact anxiety negatively predicted attitudes (β = −0.22, p = .02). A mediation analysis revealed that intrapersonal mindfulness had an indirect effect on attitudes through contact anxiety, b = 0.09, SE = 0.05, 95% confidence interval [0.006, 0.22]. Collectively, both intrapersonal and interpersonal mindfulness appear to be responsible for the formation of attitudes, but with different underlying processes involved.

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Wesley J. Wilson, Luke E. Kelly and Justin A. Haegele

Purpose: To examine how physical educators and adapted physical educators make decisions regarding the implementation of the least restrictive environment law and what factors influence those practices. Methods: This study utilized a descriptive survey design through an online platform. Participants included 78 teachers (30 physical educators and 48 adapted physical educators). Descriptive statistics and group comparisons through a multivariate analysis of variance were conducted. Results: A significant difference in the implementation of the law between physical educators and adapted physical educators was detected, F(44, 33) = 2.60, p = .003; Wilk’s Λ = .224, ηp2=.78. Adapted physical educators were more involved in making decisions regarding the individualized education program process and student placement. Access to qualified staff was reported as a major barrier to implementation. Discussion/Conclusion: The implementation of the least restrictive environment law and its barriers are discussed.

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Wesley J. Wilson, Justin A. Haegele, Steven K. Holland and K. Andrew R. Richards

Service-learning (SL) has become popular as part of the formal curriculum and as cocurricular experiences for college students. Some SL programs serve individuals with disabilities, but their influence on college volunteers is not well understood. The purpose of this study was to understand the experiences and perspectives of preprofessional college students who volunteered at a cocurricular, SL-based sports camp for youth with visual impairments. Participants included nine (five males and four females) preservice professionals who taught youth with visual impairments during the week-long sports camp. Data were collected using semistructured and conversational interviews, reflective journaling, and participatory observations. Four themes were constructed: (a) camp experience elicited a strong emotional response, (b) fostering professional growth and development, (c) doing too much and expecting too little, and (d) developing close bonds with the athletes. This study highlights the benefits of developing cocurricular SL programs for college students across a variety of fields.

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Wesley J. Wilson, Steven K. Holland, Justin A. Haegele and K. Andrew R. Richards

Purpose: To better understand the workplace experiences of adapted physical education teachers with particular attention given to differences between those with and without Adapted Physical Education National Standards certification. Role socialization theory was used as the theoretical framework to explore how teachers navigate the contexts of their work environment. Methods: The participants included a total of 233 adapted physical education teachers, 131 with certification and 102 without it. The participants completed an online survey examining marginalization and isolation, perceived mattering, role stress, resilience, job satisfaction, perceived organizational support, and emotional exhaustion. Results: Certified adapted physical educators perceived less marginalization and role ambiguity and more perceived mattering than their noncertified counterparts. Discussion/Conclusion: These findings are consistent with other research suggesting the positive association between workplace experiences and advanced certifications. As the requirements for certification continue to advance and change, this study highlights the need for the continued study of advanced certification.

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Justin A. Haegele, Samuel R. Hodge, Xihe Zhu, Steven K. Holland and Wesley J. Wilson

The purpose of this study was to examine the perspectives of individuals with visual impairment toward inclusion and the inclusiveness of their integrated physical education experiences. A retrospective, qualitative-description research approach was used, and 10 adults (age 20–35 years) with visual impairments acted as the participants. The data sources included one-on-one telephone interviews and reflective interview notes. A theoretical thematic analysis approach was used to analyze the data. Three interrelated themes were identified: “I always felt like a misfit”: a missing sense of belonging, acceptance, and value; “I felt very excluded, very pushed to the side”: lack of access to activity participation; and “Even though it sucked, I do agree with it”: preference for integrated settings. Collectively, the participants recalled that experiencing feelings of inclusion during physical education were rare. Despite this, they expressed a perceived importance of being integrated in contexts with their peers.

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K. Andrew R. Richards, Wesley J. Wilson, Steven K. Holland and Justin A. Haegele

Although much has been learned about the workplace experiences of physical education teachers, less is known about the unique experiences of adapted physical educators (APEs). Grounded in role socialization theory, the purpose of this study was to understand the relationships among perceived organizational support, resilience, perceived mattering, emotional exhaustion, and job satisfaction in APEs. The participants included 237 APEs from the United States, who completed an online survey. The primary data analyses included confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling. The final structural model was a good fit for the data, χ2(199) = 327.25, p < .001, χ2/df = 1.64; root-mean-square error of approximation = .052 (90% confidence interval [.042, .062], p = .354); standardized root-mean-square residual = .050; nonnormed fit index = .959; comparative-fit index = .964. The results of this study highlight the importance of developing a workplace environment in which APEs feel supported in developing perceptions of matter, reducing emotional exhaustion, and improving job satisfaction.