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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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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.

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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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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, 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.

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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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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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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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David J. Langley and Sharon M. Knight

The broad purpose of this paper is to contextualize the meaning and evolution of competitive sport participation among the aged by describing the life story of a senior aged participant. We used narrative inquiry to examine the integration of sport into the life course and continuity theory to examine the evolution of his life story. Continuity theory proposes that individuals are predisposed to preserve and maintain longstanding patterns of thought and behavior throughout their adult development. Based on this theory, we suggest that continuity in successful competitive sport involvement for this participant may represent a primary adaptive strategy for coping with the aging process. Successful involvement in sport appeared to mediate past and continuing patterns of social relationships, the development of personal identity, and a general propensity for lifelong physical activity.

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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.