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Barry Lavay and Peggy Lasko-McCarthey

To successfully conduct quality research, professionals in adapted physical activity (APA) must address a number of unique and challenging issues. These issues include difficulty in acquiring large and homogenous samples; developing valid, reliable, and commercially available test instruments and protocols specific to persons with disabilities; properly training doctoral students to conduct quality research; and maintaining a specific research focus. With regard to these issues, this paper provides the following recommendations: utilize alternative research designs; acquire adequate graduate research training; develop a research focus as an adapted physical activity researcher; and promote an interdisciplinary, collaborative research effort among professionals. Most important, through continued scholarly research adapted physical activity professionals will be able to expand the scientific body of knowledge.

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Geoffrey D. Broadhead

It may be that important happenings during the 1960s and 1970s have helped to bring about the increased amount of published research in adapted physical education (APE), Three major research thrusts were identified which advanced the APE knowledge base: the evaluation of performance, physical education in the least restrictive environment, and effective programming. Specific suggestions were made for improving the quality of future research, and for the dissemination of research results.

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Michael W. Churton

This article comprehensively reviews national legislation that affects the delivery of adapted physical education services. Legislation includes the Education of the Handicapped Act as amended by PL 99-457, the Rehabilitation Act as amended by PL 99-507, and the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act as amended by PL 100-146. Direct and indirect references to physical education are presented for each act. An overview as to the legislative process is also described. Advocacy is discussed pertinent to the profession’s and the professionals’ responsibilities for ensuring that statutory language is implemented.

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Yeshayahu Hutzler and Claudine Sherrill

The purpose of this study was to describe international perspectives concerning terms, definitions, and meanings of adapted physical activity (APA) as (a) activities or service delivery, (b) a profession, and (c) an academic field of study. Gergen’s social constructionism, our theory, guided analysis of multiple sources of data via qualitative methodology. Data sources were online surveys, APA literature, and expertise of researchers. Findings, with the identification of further considerations, were provided for each APA component to stimulate reflection and further inquiry among international professionals with diverse backgrounds.

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Walter E. Davis

Establishing goals for adapted physical education is of paramount importance. However, establishing goals is more than writing behavioral objectives and completing an IEP. Understanding and using goals is essential for effective teaching behaviors and ultimately for learning. For this purpose three important aspects of goals are introduced: intention, purpose, and meaning. A distinction is also made between primary and concomitant goals. The primary goals are the improvement of physical and motor fitness and the development and acquisition of motor skills. Concomitant means being achieved along with, and these goals include language, social, and cognitive skills. Also, a distinction is made between abstract concepts and concrete actions or tasks. Finally, providing information about the goal of each task is a major function of the instructor. Three modes of presentation are described. Goals may be specified symbolically (verbally), iconically (by demonstrations), or actively (by having the students move in a structured environment). Adherence to and further development of these concepts is important to the improvement of the teaching/learning process in adapted physical education.

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

, 2018 ). Although attention has been paid to the experiences of PE teachers, fewer studies have focused on the workplace socialization experiences of adapted PE (APE) teachers who teach students with disabilities in educational settings ( Park & Curtner-Smith, 2018 ). Wilson, Richards, and Kelly

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Jean L. Pyfer

The vast majority of published research articles on adapted physical education between the years 1930 through 1969 were descriptive in design. During that 39-year span, 63 articles on adapted physical education appeared in Research Quarterly. Other journals that included adapted physical education studies were Training School Bulletin, American Journal of Mental Deficiency, Mental Retardation, Journal of the American Medical Association, Behavior Therapy, American Annals of the Deaf, Comparative Psychological Monographs, American Journal of Psychology, Perceptual and Motor Skills, and Exceptional Children.

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Barbara Tyree Smith and Grace Goc Karp

This qualitative study explored how students adapt to marginalization in a seventh-grade middle school physical education class in the Pacific North-west. The study’s focus included how marginalized students were excluded within the class and how students, identified as marginalized, adapted to exclusion or temporary acceptance. Marginalized students were those who were unable to be accepted into or remain in a group for a period of time (approximately one week). Data were collected through 60 field observations, over a 14-week time period. Informal and formal interviews were conducted with teachers and students. Three boys and 2 girls were identified as marginalized within the physical education class. Formation of groups and strategies used to exclude marginalized students were found to greatly influence how students became initially marginalized. Once marginalized, students rarely changed their status, although a few were able to use strategies that reduced their status temporarily.

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Sherry L. Folsom-Meek

The use of parents of handicapped children as support personnel to augment adapted physical education instruction is discussed. Reports in the literature support supplementary instruction by parents to enhance children’s physical and motor development gains. Possible benefits include improvement of students’ motor abilities and fitness levels, enrichment of parent-child relationships, and strengthening of adapted physical education programs.

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William A. Hillman

The development of adapted physical education over the past 20 years has been significantly influenced by the federal government through legislative statutes. A predecessor to Public Law 94-142 that may well have had the most impact on handicapped children was Public Law 90-170, which provided the foundation for adapted physical education by allowing monies for training research and development. This legislation established committees and conferences that brought together national figures to serve as advisory consultants. Programmatic support from the federal government has led to the training of many teachers and much published research in adapted physical education.