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Garry D. Wheeler

The biological area of adapted physical activity research has traditionally been dominated by the positivist or rational empirical paradigm, or the scientific method. Underlying assumptions of the inquirer and inquired’s objectivity and independence have generated much criticism. Researchers have argued that the scientific method produces an impoverished view of reality and that claims to an objective and value-free stance are ideological and mythical. Critique of rational-empiricism, the scientific method, present science, or the received-view may be understood at three levels: intraparadigmatic, extraparadigmatic, and intramethod. Dr. Shephard (1998) addresses the latter in his paper and as such, his is a method-based approach. A methodological analysis, however, requires examining the underlying tacit assumptions of the scientific method. In this paper, critique of the scientific method is offered and justification of the critique examined. Proposed alternatives include an expansionist view of research, inclusion of subjective elements, triangulated designs, and empowerment of subjects.

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Melinda A. Solmon and Amelia M. Lee

This study explored the cognitive responses of adapted physical education teachers during lesson planning. The focus was to determine whether expert (n=4) and novice (n=4) teachers varying in experience and expertise differ in the information they need to plan a lesson and how they conceptualize a lesson. Subjects were given information about a fictional class of handicapped students and were asked to plan a lesson. After writing a lesson plan, they were asked to explain it to the experimenter. The results provided clear evidence of the experienced teachers’ superior knowledge base and repertoire of teaching strategies. Their responses were filled with contingency plans based on the actions and abilities exhibited by the students. In contrast, the novices generated plans that were unidirectional and failed to accommodate the range of ability levels in the class.

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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.

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Luke E. Kelly and Bruce Gansneder

A national job analysis was conducted to determine the preparation perceptions, job demographics, and decision-making roles of adapted physical educators (APEs). Participants were 293 teachers, representing a 51% return rate. Most had master’s degrees in physical education, an average of 10 years teaching experience in APE, and APE job titles. Teachers emphasized a greater need for training in teaching, motor development, and continuing education. Most respondents worked in urban settings (56%), served an average of 4.4 schools, and reported an average caseload of 104 students. Teachers worked an average of 36.1 hr per week. Of this time, 52% was spent providing direct APE services and 26% providing indirect APE instruction. Teachers worked with all age groups and all degrees of disabilities. Findings were discussed in relation to the 219 APEs taking the first national APE certification examination in 1997, professional preparation concerns, and service delivery issues.

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Carla Filomena Silva and P. David Howe

This paper is a call to Adapted Physical Activity (APA) professionals to increase the reflexive nature of their practice. Drawing upon Foucault’s concept of governmentality (1977) APA action may work against its own publicized goals of empowerment and self-determination. To highlight these inconsistencies, we will draw upon historical and social factors that explain the implicit dangers of practice not following policy. We propose that APA practitioners work according to ethical guidelines, based upon a capabilities approach (Nussbaum, 2006, 2011; Sen, 2009) to counteract possible adverse effects of APA practitioner action. A capabilities approach is conducive to the development of each individual’s human potential, by holistically considering the consequences of physical activity (i.e., biological, cultural, social, and psychological dimensions). To conclude, this paper will offer suggestions that may lead to an ethical reflection aligned with the best interest of APA’s users.

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Jennifer Leo and Donna Goodwin

Disability simulations have been used as a pedagogical tool to simulate the functional and cultural experiences of disability. Despite their widespread application, disagreement about their ethical use, value, and efficacy persists. The purpose of this study was to understand how postsecondary kinesiology students experienced participation in disability simulations. An interpretative phenomenological approach guided the study’s collection of journal entries and clarifying one-on-one interviews with four female undergraduate students enrolled in a required adapted physical activity course. The data were analyzed thematically and interpreted using the conceptual framework of situated learning. Three themes transpired: unnerving visibility, negotiating environments differently, and tomorrow I’ll be fine. The students described emotional responses to the use of wheelchairs as disability artifacts, developed awareness of environmental barriers to culturally and socially normative activities, and moderated their discomfort with the knowledge they could end the simulation at any time.

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Takahiro Sato, Justin A. Haegele and Rachel Foot

The purpose of this study was to investigate in-service physical education (PE) teachers’ experiences during online adapted physical education (APE) graduate courses. Based on andragogy theory (adult learning theory) we employed a descriptive qualitative methodology using an explanatory case study design. The participants (6 female and 3 male) were in-service PE teachers enrolled in an online graduate APE endorsement program. Data collection included journal reflection reports and face-to-face interviews. A constant comparative method was used to interpret the data. Three interrelated themes emerged from the participants’ narratives. The first theme, instructor communication, exposes the advantages and disadvantages the participants perceived regarding communication while enrolled in the online APE graduate courses. The second theme, bulletin board discussion experiences, described participants’ perceptions of the use of the bulletin board discussion forum. Lastly, the final theme, assessment experiences, described how the participants learned knowledge and skills through online courses related to assessment and evaluation.

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James R. Whitehead

This project was a study of the validity and reliability of adapted versions of Fox and Corbin’s (10) Physical Self-Perception Profile (PSPP) and Perceived Importance Profile (PIP) for use with seventh- and eight-grade students. The Children’s PSPP and PIP (C-PSPP and C-PIP) questionnaires were completed by 505 students. Results supported the reliability and the construct and concurrent validity of the C-PSPP scales. Factorial validity of the C-PIP was not demonstrated. Similar to Fox and Corbin’s (10) results, regression analysis revealed that a large proportion of the variance in general physical selfworth (PSW) was explained by the C-PSPP scales. The hypothesis that PSW mediates between general self-worth (GSW) and the four C-PSPP scales in a hierarchical arrangement was also supported. Failure to psychologically discount the importance of perceived incompetence in specific areas impacted global self-worth. Correlations with physical fitness test scores provided evidence of concurrent validity of the C-PSPP scales.

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I. Roy Hunter, Ronald P. Reynolds and M. Laura Williams

The purpose of this article is to introduce practitioners involved in the provision of adapted activity service to the elaboration model of data analysis. The authors contend that the use of the elaboration model for the analysis of program evaluation data: (a) can be used by activity specialists who do not have extensive training in statistics, and (b) can increase the potential for the production of empirically based programmatic recommendations from such data.

The example presented herein involves the secondary analysis of data collected during the evaluation of a child life activity program. The original study concluded that the children studied showed less regressive behavior on nights that the child life program was offered. The findings from the secondary analysis enabled the identification of children who were: (a) more likely to experience regressive behavior, and (b) more likely to be responsive to existing child life programs. It was concluded that the use of the elaboration model significantly increased the value of recommendations which were derived from the data.

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Emily Cole, Terry M. Wood and John M. Dunn

Tests constructed using item response theory (IRT) produce invariant item and test parameters, making it possible to construct tests and test items useful over many populations. This paper heuristically and empirically compares the utility of classical test theory (CTT) and IRT using psychomotor skill data. Data from the Test of Gross Motor Development (TGMD) (Ulrich, 1985) were used to assess the feasibility of fitting existing IRT models to dichotomously scored psychomotor skill data. As expected, CTT and IRT analyses yielded parallel interpretations of item and subtest difficulty and discrimination. However, IRT provided significant additional analysis of the error associated with estimating examinee ability. The IRT two-parameter logistic model provided a superior model fit to the one-parameter logistic model. Although both TGMD subtests estimated ability for examinees of low to average ability, the object control subtest estimated examinee ability more precisely at higher difficulty levels than the locomotor subtest. The results suggest that IRT is particularly well suited to construct tests that can meet the challenging measurement demands of adapted physical education.