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.
Luke E. Kelly and Bruce Gansneder
Jiabei Zhang, Debra Berkey, Luke Kelly, Daniel Joseph and Shihui Chen
The purpose was to develop a method for projecting the need for adapted physical education (APE) teachers in the public schools in the United States. This method was derived from a prevalence-based model—dividing the number of APE students enrolled by the APE student-teacher ratio and then subtracting the number of APE teachers hired. This model used the findings of Kelly and Gansneder (1998) that (a) 4% of the school population required APE services and (b) the overall national APE student-teacher ratio was 104:1. The results revealed a need for 22, 116 additional APE teachers nationwide as well as specific projections for each state. The prevalence-based projection method is recommended for policy makers at local, state, and national levels; for APE advocates; and for all concerned with APE personnel preparation and employment.
Øyvind Standal and Gro Rugseth
The purpose of this study was to investigate what adapted physical activity (APA) students learn from their practicum experiences. One cohort of APA students participated, and data were generated from an action research project that included observations, reflective journals, and a focus group interview. The theoretical framework for the study was Dewey’s and Wackerhausen’s theories of reflections. The findings show the objects of students’ reflections, the kind of conceptual resources they draw on while reflecting, and their knowledge interests. In addition, two paradoxes are identified: the tension between reflecting from and on own values, and how practicum as a valued experience of reality can become too difficult to handle. In conclusion, we reflect on how practicum learning can be facilitated.
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.
Jiabei Zhang, Daniel Joseph and Michael Horvat
The purpose was to investigate marketable features of the adapted physical education (APE) career in higher education. A total of 560 APE job openings (297 APE first priority and 263 APE second priority were identified from the Chronicle of Higher Education between 1975–1976 and 1997–1998. These data were analyzed by regression, chi-square, and descriptive statistics. The results indicate that the APE career is a growing employment market demanding candidates who specialize in APE to prepare in one or more other areas and encouraging candidates who specialize in other areas to minor in APE. The market shows that APE second priority openings increase more quickly than APE first priority openings. Personnel for the APE career in higher education appear to be in short supply.
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.
Judy Potter Chandler and J. Leon Greene
The purpose of the study was to examine student placements, use of least restrictive environment (LRE) options, teachers’ perceived needs, curriculum content, and activity options in regular physical education (RPE) and adapted physical education (APE) during a period of restructuring from segregated to LRE placements. The Integration Status Questionnaire (ISQ) was used to obtain data with a return rate of 37% among RPE teachers and 78% among APE teachers. Of the 1,627 students receiving APE, 714 were being served in self-contained settings, with no reliable data available as to disability categories of children served or other LRE options being used. The majority of teachers in both groups had received general in-service training for inclusion, but only 4% had received in-service training specific to physical education content. The examination of curriculum content indicated that RPE teachers spent the majority of teaching time on sport skills and traditional games while APE teachers concentrated on sensory motor development and health-related fitness.
David L. Porretta, Francis M. Kozub and Fabio L. Lisboa
Articles related to adapted physical activity appearing in professional journals (1984-1998) were analyzed. Of the 111 articles reviewed, 30 (27%), 39 (35%), and 42 (38%) were published during the 1984-1988, 1989-1993, and 1994-1998 time periods, respectively. Two thirds of the studies concerned conditions/demographics/practices rather than attitudes. Only 34 (31%) surveys were mailed as opposed to other forms of delivery (e.g., face to face interviews, telephone, etc.). While validity and reliability reporting increased over the three time periods, in total, only 59 (53%) reported validity and 62 (56%) reported reliability. A sample frame was clearly identified in only 43 (39%) studies. Only 7 (6%) articles addressed nonresponse bias, a critical element in survey research design. Future investigators need to report validity and reliability, clearly define sample frames, and account for nonresponse bias.
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.
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.