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ERIC Number: ED524401
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 251
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1244-4281-5
Exploring the Meaning of Parental Involvement in Physical Education for Students with Developmental Disabilities
An, Jihoun
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Ohio State University
Parental involvement has been studied in the field of education since the 1970s. Scholars assert that parental involvement affects students' achievement and performance (Christenson, Rounds, & Gorney, 1992; Epstein, Sanders, Simons, Salinas, Janson, & Van Voorhis, 2002; Fan & Chen, 2001; Herman & Yeh, 1983; von Voorhis, 2003). However, there is minimal research on the effects of parental involvement, particularly in physical education. For children with disabilities, there is even less attention and research given to this area. Although Public Law 108-466, Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEIA) supports physical education as part of the general education curriculum, many parents are not fully aware of the importance of their involvement in the physical education. In order for general physical education (GPE) teachers to develop best practices for students with disabilities in inclusive settings, it is necessary for the GPE teachers to work with the parents of children with disabilities because parents and teachers are the most influential agents in the development of children; therefore, positive collaboration between parents and teachers should be placed in GPE, as well. In light of this, this study focuses on exploring the meaning parents of students with developmental disabilities ascribed to their involvement in physical education and their relationships with GPE teachers. This phenomenological qualitative inquiry is situated in Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory and was conducted to capture the experiences of the parents of students with developmental disabilities (Bronfenbrenner, 1979; Bronfenbrenner & Morris, 1998). Eight parents from a large metropolitan area in the Midwestern region of the United States of America participated in this study and their experiences were captured by using participants' demographic questionnaires, a series of three semi-structured interviews, photographs, documents and the researcher's journals. A thematic analysis was utilized to identify the common structures of parents' experiences (van Manen, 1997). The data was sorted by highlighting, coding, and categorizing with similarities and distinguishing aspects. It was then subsequently organized into themes. Three themes emerged from this thematic analysis; (a) Advocacy, (b) Involvement, and (c) Positive but Superficial Relationship. The findings of this research unpacked the followings: (a) the parents' understandings and values of involvement in their children's physical education programs, (b) the parents' roles in their children's educational programs, and (c) the importance of collaborative partnerships between home and school. However, relationships between parents and the GPE teachers were not formally constructed due to the limited number of opportunities that parents had to interact with GPE teachers. Parents had limited knowledge of the physical education program, although they perceived physical activity and sports participation as influential venues for their children's development. The findings also suggested that a need exists for building partnerships between parents of students with developmental disabilities and GPE teachers. This may become possible if GPE teachers were to have a presence and participate regularly in IEP meetings, as well as sharing the GPE program objectives and contents with parents. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act 2004