Secondary Physical Education Teachers' Beliefs and Practices in Teaching Students with Severe Disabilities: A Descriptive Analysis

By Ammah, Jonathan O. A.; Hodge, Samuel R. | High School Journal, December 2005 | Go to article overview

Secondary Physical Education Teachers' Beliefs and Practices in Teaching Students with Severe Disabilities: A Descriptive Analysis


Ammah, Jonathan O. A., Hodge, Samuel R., High School Journal


The purpose was to describe the beliefs and practices of general physical education (GPE) teachers at the high school level on inclusion and teaching students with severe disabilities. Participants were two experienced GPE teachers at separate suburban high schools. The research paradigm was descriptive using a combination of naturalistic observation and interviewing (Fontana & Frey, 2000; Gay, 1996). Data were collected from eighteen lessons using field notes, wireless microphones, a video camera, an observation instrument, and interviews. Descriptive statistics and thematic narratives were used to present findings. The teachers mostly verbally interacted with those students who had severe disabilities. They varied in their teaching efficacy. Three recurring themes emerged from the data: (a) wavering beliefs, complexities of inclusion, and troubled confidence. Teachers must believe they are adequately prepared, well equipped, and supported to confidently exhibit effective inclusive GPE pedagogies.

**********

Increasingly students with disabilities are being educated in general physical education (GPE) classes. To date, however, the extant literature on the efficacy of inclusion practice in GPE is sparse. Of note, Vogler, Koranda, and Romance (2000) evaluated the efficacy of a GPE program in which a people resource model (i.e., an adapted physical education [APE] specialist) was used to provide instruction for a child with severe cerebral palsy. They reported that this model was highly effective in time engagement and management. Moreover, the qualitative nature of inclusion was one of widespread social acceptance and successful motor participation.

Still today, there is limited research on the efficacy of inclusive practices. In contrast, the extant literature abounds in information on teacher effectiveness. For instance, scholars assert that effective GPE teachers: (a) demonstrate target skills and strategies for students, (b) provide multiple exemplars, (c) use guided and independent practice (Siedentop & Tannehill, 2000), and (d) reflect to inform their practice (Tsangaridou & O'Sullivan, 1997). It is reasonable to expect GPE teachers' teaching behaviors would be similar when teaching students with and without disabilities. But for teaching students with severe disabilities there would be more emphasis on adaptations, modifications, and supports (e.g., APE specialist, peer tutors) (Houston-Wilson, Dunn, van der Mars, & McCubbin, 1997; Vogler et al., 2000).

Theoretical Framework and Purpose

In addition to examining GPE teachers' efficacy-related behaviors, it is important to examine the beliefs that serve as the precursors to their behaviors. The theory of planned behavior (TPB) posits that three accessible belief aggregates (1) lead to the formation of a behavioral intention. The intent to perform various behaviors can be predicted from attitudes (Ajzen, 2001a, 2001b). If given sufficient control over the behavior, individuals are likely to carry out their intentions when presented with opportunities to do so (Ajzen, 2001a, 2001b).

Teachers' attitudes and how they are prepared for teaching students with varied disabilities are well-studied variables (Folsom-Meek, Nearing, Groteluschen, & Krampf, 1999; Hodge, Davis, Woodard, & Sherrill, 2002). We know far less about the behaviors of practicing GPE teachers who teach students with severe disabilities. Thus, the purpose of this study was to describe the beliefs and practices of two high school GPE teachers on inclusion and teaching students with severe disabilities. Implicit within that purpose is the question of teacher efficacy in teaching students with severe disabilities. TPB (Ajzen, 1991) was the theoretical framework for this study. Two research questions guided the study:

1. What were the behaviors of experienced high school GPE teachers toward students with severe disabilities in their classes? …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Secondary Physical Education Teachers' Beliefs and Practices in Teaching Students with Severe Disabilities: A Descriptive Analysis
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.