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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.

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Steven Wright, Michael McNeill, Joan Fry, Steven Tan, Clara Tan and Paul Schempp

This study examined 49 student teachers’ actions and perspectives when implementing a curricular innovation (the tactical games approach). Data were collected via videotaped lessons, interviews, and follow-up questionnaires. Questions for interviews and questionnaires were pilot tested and data were analyzed using the constant comparison method. Videotape analysis was facilitated by Noldus’s Observer (4.0) software and was tested for interobserver reliability. Results revealed that pupils were actively engaged for more than half (52%) of class time. The majority of student teachers’ questions were of low order (76%). The greatest challenges student teachers faced were pupils being new to the approach, or lacking skills. The greatest facilitators to implementing the tactical approach were physical education teacher education courses. Student teachers suggested that more opportunities to teach using the tactical approach in schools during methods classes would better prepare them for practicum. A follow-up questionnaire, one year later, determined that 87% of participants were still using the “innovation” in their teaching.

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Samuel R. Hodge, Deborah Tannehill and Mary Ann Kluge

This phenomenological qualitative study explored the meaning of practicum experiences for physical education teacher education (PETE) students. Participants were 10 PETE students majoring in teaching and enrolled in an introductory adapted physical education course with an inclusion-based practicum requirement. Data were collected from participants’ self-reflective journals and analyzed using thematic analysis procedures (Giorgi, 1985). Eleven themes emerged that reflected the meaning of practicum experiences for these students. Our findings suggest that journaling provides a medium for PETE students to identify issues, address problems, and think critically about best practices.

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Bonnie L. Tjeerdsma

This study examined cooperating teacher (CT) experiences in and perceptions of the student teaching practicum, and the impact of the practicum on their beliefs about teaching in physical education and on their perceptions of the practicum. Constructivism, particularly social constructivism, provided the theoretical framework. The participants were 7 elementary physical education teachers serving as CTs. The primary data sources were standardized, open-ended interviews with the CTs and journals kept by the CTs throughout the practicum. The results showed that these CTs saw the practicum as a positive experience that caused them to increase reflection on and revitalize their teaching. Few changes were noted from pre- to postpracticum in the CTs’ beliefs about teaching physical education or their perceptions of the practicum. CTs with positive practicum perspectives have in common certain contextual factors and social interactions that differ from CTs with negative perspectives; these are discussed.

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Samuel R. Hodge and Paul Jansma

Attitude change of physical education majors was studied in relation to number of weeks in an introductory adapted physical education (APE) course and type of practicum location (on- or off-campus). Data were collected using the Physical Educators’ Attitude Toward Teaching Individuals with Disabilities-III (PEATID-III) (Rizzo, 1993b) and a practicum information questionnaire (PIQ). Participants completing the PEATID-III during Weeks 1, 10, and 15 of their course were 292 males and 182 females in 22 institutions of higher education (IHEs) representing 17 states. Participants completing the PIQ were 17 faculty members. A nonequivalent comparison group, pretest-posttest experimental design was used with factorial ANOVA, post-hoc measures, ANCOVA, and Kruskal-Wallis tests. Findings indicated that off- and on-campus practicum both promoted positive attitude change between Weeks 1 and 10 and Weeks 1 and 15. On-campus practicum experiences improved attitudes significantly more than off-campus ones.

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Samuel R. Hodge, Ronald Davis, Rebecca Woodard and Claudine Sherrill

The purpose was to compare the effects of two practicum types (off campus and on campus) on physical education teacher education (PETE) students’ attitudes and perceived competence toward teaching school-aged students with physical disabilities or moderate-severe mental retardation. PETE students, enrolled in a 15-week introductory adapted physical education (APE) course and involved in eight sessions of either off-campus (n = 22) or on-campus (n = 15) practicum experiences, completed Rizzo’s (1993a) Physical Educators’ Attitudes Toward Teaching Individuals with Disabilities-III (PEATID-III) two times. Analysis of pretest data revealed that groups were equated on gender, experience, attitude, and perceived competence. Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA revealed no significant difference between practicum types on posttest attitude and perceived competence measures. Attitude scores did not differ significantly from pretest to posttest. Perceived competence improved significantly from pretest to posttest under both practicum types. Implications for professional preparation are discussed.

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Maureen Connolly

The central concern of this paper is how an adapted physical education practicum and the journal writing of that experience affected the lives of the students involved. The paper uses as its resource material the fieldwork journals of physical education students who were involved in practicum experiences with people of varying abilities and disabilities. The stories in the journals disclose something of what it is like to come to terms with others and with oneself in the “adapted” teaching-learning adventure. These disclosures will be presented thematically, the themes describing a journey through an adapted physical education practicum. The thematic composite of this journey is based upon content, critical, and thematic analyses of the data, coupled with the experiences and insights of the student collaborators. The potential for these kinds of experiences in physical education and teacher education is discussed.

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Melissa Pangelinan, Marc Norcross, Megan MacDonald, Mary Rudisill, Danielle Wadsworth and James McDonald

Experiential learning via internships, practicums, and research provides undergraduate students with rich opportunities to enhance their knowledge of core concepts in kinesiology. Moreover, these types of experiences increase job-related skills (e.g., leadership development, critical thinking

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Emily Tonn and Robert J. Harmison

This article provides an account of a trainee’s initial sport psychology practicum experience. Experiential knowledge gained by the trainee performance enhancement consultant with a junior college women’s basketball team is shared via a self-narrative in the form of a log she kept during the season and self-reflections. The log entries and self-reflections are organized around several themes that emerged over the course of the trainee’s practicum. The narrative outlines the trainee’s theoretical orientation and philosophy, highlights her experiences with the team, and reveals her thought processes related to the various situations she encountered. A better understanding of the process of sport psychology service delivery by a trainee is offered to guide other aspiring professionals during their initial training experiences.

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Andrea R. Taliaferro, Lindsay Hammond and Kristi Wyant

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of completion of an adapted physical education (APE) course with an associated on-campus practicum on preservice physical educators’ self-efficacy beliefs toward the inclusion of individuals with specific disabilities (autism, intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities, and visual impairments). Preservice students in physical education teacher education (N = 98) at a large U.S. Midwestern university enrolled in 1 of 2 separate 15-wk APE courses with an associated 9-wk practicum experience were surveyed at the beginning, middle, and conclusion of each course. Results of 4 separate 2-factor fixed-effect split-plot ANOVAs revealed significant improvements in self-efficacy beliefs from Wk 1 to Wk 8 and from Wk 1 to Wk 15 across all disability categories. Significant differences between courses were found only for autism in Time 1.