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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.

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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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George R. Biltz

In their article, Kemper and Koppes have presented their assessment of the long-term relationship between physical activity (PA) and aerobic fitness (AF). Specifically, their autoregression analysis did not support a significant causal relationship between current PA and subsequent AF as measured by VO2max. Thus, the authors question how to interpret this unexpected result. Which way does the causal arrow point between PA and AF? This reflection aims to conceptually reframe the causality question, not to resolve its behavioral or physiologic components. This reflection will explore potential sources of unexpected outcomes, analyze dimensions of cognitive difficulty in the context of exercise science, and introduce complex adaptive systems (CAS) as an alternative framework for asking questions and understanding outcomes in exercise research.

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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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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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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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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.

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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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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.