Should Adapted Physical Educators Be Required to Pass the Adapted Physical Education National Standards Exam?
Polles, Dan, JOPERD--The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance
Each state should have an endorsement process for individuals who teach adapted physical education. Although some states currently offer adapted physical education certification, most states do not. The Adapted Physical Education National Standards (APENS) represents a comprehensive body of knowledge that specifically identifies what an adapted physical educator needs to know and be able to do to be a successful teacher. This issue relates to a previous question (in the Feb. 2009 JOPERD) in which it was debated whether or not a three-credit introductory course in adapted physical education adequately prepares a physical educator to teach inclusive classes. I believe that it takes more than one introductory course in any subject area to be adequately prepared to teach it. All states should develop adapted physical education certification or adopt the APENS to certify and endorse all individuals teaching adapted physical education.
--David G. Lorenzi, assistant professor, Special Needs Activity Program Director, Department of Health and Physical Education, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA.
Adapted physical education teachers should be required to have a certification for teaching students with disabilities. While having certification is a way to ensure that students with disabilities are being taught by highly qualified individuals, a simple test for certification is not the way to go. Just taking a test for certification does not guarantee that a person can teach students with disabilities. A better way of achieving certification is through mini-sessions throughout the school year. An on-the-job training should be put in place to make sure that the APE teachers are keeping up with different and new methods in teaching students with disabilities in the physical education setting. Adapted physical education teachers must expand their knowledge about the different disabilities that students may have and receive the proper training in knowing how to teach physical education to these students. Knowing the standards or having knowledge of how to teach to the standards does not make someone highly qualified.
--Ryan Mohammed, health and physical education graduate student, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA.
Adapted physical educators should be required to pass the Adapted Physical Education National Standards (APENS) exam. In addition, however, adapted physical education professional preparation programs should be guided by the standards so that all graduates have the necessary knowledge base and competence. The purpose of such standards is to hold adapted physical educators accountable for providing quality physical education to students with disabilities. With that goal in mind, beyond passing the APENS exam, adapted physical educators should be adequately prepared by their professional preparation programs to meet such high standards. …