Physical Education Teachers' Beliefs and Intentions toward Teaching Students with Disabilities

Article excerpt

The Theory of Planned Behavior (TpB) measures the effect that individuals' behavioral belief normative belief, and control beliefs have on their intentions to perform a specific behavior. The purpose of this study was to examine: (a) whether the TpB could predict physical educators' intentions and (b) whether physical educators' intentions and control beliefs could predict their self-reported teaching behavior. A sample of 220 physical educators completed the questionnaire, stepwise multiple regression analysis revealed that the TpB significantly predicted physical educators' intentions, F(3, 216) = 57. 21, p <. 01. However, only intention was a significant predictor of pyhsical educators' self-reported behavior in teaching students with disabilities, F(2, 123) = 34.04, p <. 01.

Key words: inclusive physical education, Korean physical educator, physical educators' teaching behaviors, Theory of Planned Behavior


In Korea, special education services have traditionally been provided in separate, special schools. The term inclusion was introduced in special education in Korea in the late 1980s, and inclusion was clearly mentioned in Korean law in the third reauthorization of the Special Education Promotion Act (SEPA) in 1994. According to the SEPA Section 2, inclusion means placing students with disabilities in regular classrooms or teaching students with disabilities in special schools using the regular curriculum to develop students' academic and social skills (SEPA Reauthorization, 1994). Since then, Korean students with disabilities have gradually been transferred from segregated special schools to general schools. The number of students with disabilities who receive special education in the primary and secondary education system was approximately 65,940 in 2007. Among them, 22,963 (35 %) students were educated in special schools, 35,340 (54%) students were educated in special classes, and 7,637 (11%) students were included in regular classes with support from special education teachers (Ministry of Education and Human Resources, 2007). Inclusion is still mainly focused on placement, and many students with disabilities still spend most of their schooling in separate educational environments in regular schools (Kown, 2005). However, the shift from special schools to general schools has resulted in Korean physical educators having more students with disabilities in their general physical education (GPE) programs. With this shift, many problems arose in inclusive physical education classes, because physical educators were not prepared for inclusion. This was primarily due to a lack of knowledge and a lack of support from the government (Roh, 2002). Findings from Roh's study revealed 85% of students with disabilities in general classes in general schools were either not fully included or excluded from GPE classes. Also, physical educators had limited training and experience teaching students with disabilities, and these factors seemed to affect their attitudes toward including students with disabilities. Most of all, Roh's study showed the unique situation of inclusive physical education in Korea in that approximately 30% of Korean physical educators let students with disabilities remain in the classroom and not attend GPE classes and/ or take a break during GPE classes. In other words, Korean physical educators chose whether or not to accept a student with a disability into their GPE classes.

Some studies have examined Korean physical educators' attitudes toward inclusive GPE in Korea (Cho, 2003; Oh & Lee, 1999). However, these studies did not look at the current GPE situation for students with disabilities in Korea, used poor instrumentation, and/or did not provide a good definition of inclusion. For example, Oh and Lee (1999) used Rizzo's (1993) Physical Educators' Attitudes toward Individuals with Disabilities (PEATID-III) to examine Korean physical educators' attitudes about teaching students with disabilities. …