There are basic philosophical and paradigmatic assumptions that guide scholarly research endeavors, including the methods used and the types of questions asked. Through this article, kinesiology faculty and students with interests in adapted physical activity are encouraged to understand the basic assumptions of applied behavior analysis (ABA) methodology for conducting, analyzing, and presenting research of high quality in this paradigm. The purposes of this viewpoint paper are to present information fundamental to understanding the assumptions undergirding research methodology in ABA, describe key aspects of single-subject research designs, and discuss common research designs and data-analysis strategies used in single-subject studies.
Justin A. Haegele and Samuel Russell Hodge
The purpose of this paper is to identify and describe key research contributions that have shaped the field of adapted physical activity. That was not an easy task as the area of adapted physical activity is relatively new. The field is also quite broad and has been influenced by many people and sociopolitical influences. In an effort to constrain the scope of influences, this paper will focus on studies related to motor performance and health-related physical fitness of persons with intellectual disabilities (ID). This was done in part because that is an area where I believe that my work and that of students and colleagues at Oregon State University, helped to contribute small fraction of what is known and in a way to help substantiate how much more there is to know. It is challenging to answer the questions of whose work significantly influenced what we now know about the health and fitness status of persons with ID. And more importantly what direction does this area of research need to go for us to change health related outcomes of this group?
Amaury Samalot-Rivera and David L. Porretta
The purpose of this study was to determine adapted physical educators’ perceptions and practices about teaching social skills to students with disabilities. A questionnaire based on Bandura’s social learning theory concept of modeling was developed and mailed to an entire frame of 426 adapted physical education teachers in the state of Ohio. Face and content validity as well as test/retest reliability (0.89) were established. Of those that were surveyed, 53% (225 teachers; 148 females and 77 males) responded. Results indicate that 93% (209) believe it is important to explicitly teach social skills in PE; however, 60% (135) expressed not feeling properly prepared to teach them. Teachers with more than 20 years of teaching experience were more likely to actually teach social skills. When compared with other teachers with less years teaching, however, they identified a greater need for training in the teaching of social skills. Results are discussed relative to teacher preparation and practices as well as social skills taught for general education and community integration.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.