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ERIC Number: EJ1153257
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1740-8989
Professional Development in Adapted Physical Education with Graduate Web-Based Professional Learning
Sato, Takahiro; Haegele, Justin A.
Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, v22 n6 p618-631 2017
Background: The field of adapted physical education (APE) has long struggled to overcome significant and persistent personnel shortages [Healy, S., M. E. Block, and J. Judge. 2014. "Certified Adapted Physical Educator's Perceptions of Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Teacher Development." "Palaestra" 28 (4): 14-16]. Moreover, many PE teachers are inadequately prepared to provide support and accommodations needed in self-contained and/or inclusive classrooms [Erickson, A. L., P. M. Noonan, and Z. McCall. 2012. "Effectiveness of Online Professional Development for Rural Special Educators." "Rural Special Education Quarterly" 31 (1): 22-32. doi:10.1038/vital1285]. Career long professional development in APE is limited in scope, can be ineffective or inappropriate [Armour, K. M. 2010. "The Physical Education Profession and Its Professional Responsibility … or … Why '12 Weeks Paid Holiday' Will Never Be Enough." "Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy" 15: 1-13], and is conducted as one or two day workshops. However, scholars recommend that intensive programs where participants spend several months in a cohort together can produce better results. The purpose of this study was to investigate in-service PE teachers' professional development experiences during and after online APE graduate professional learning. Participant and setting: Eight participants were purposefully selected for this study. All participants were in-service PE teachers enrolled in a state-approved online graduate APE endorsement program at a Midwestern public university in the United States. The program included two online courses (three credit hours each and 45 contact hours) titled "Introduction of APE and Practicum in APE." All students were required to complete one course each semester (15 weeks) and program completion took two semesters (30 weeks). Data collection included face-to-face interviews (during courses and follow-up), e-mail communication, and bulletin board discussion logs. Research Design: This study adopted a descriptive-qualitative methodology using an explanatory case study design [Yin, R. 2003. Case Study Research Design and Methods. 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage]. Qualitative studies typically focus "in depth on relatively small samples, even a single case (n = 1), selected conveniently" ([Patton, Q. M. 2002. "Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods." 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage], 169). The main principle of the case study method is to better understand complex educational and/or social phenomena while retaining the holistic and meaningful particularities of real-life circumstances [Yin, R. 2003. "Case Study Research Design and Methods." 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage]. Data Analysis: A constant comparative method [Boeije, H. R. 2010. "Analysis in Qualitative Research." London: Sage.] was used to interpret the data, and this allowed themes to emerge from the data as well as from the theoretical framework generated by researchers and peer debriefers. We defined andragogy theory concepts as overarching themes. The basic strategy of this analytical process was to do what its name implies--that is, constantly compare pieces of data. Findings: Explainable in the logic of andragogy theory [Knowles, M. S. 1989. "The Making of an Adult Educator." San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass], three interrelated themes emerged from the data. The first theme, role transformation, described how participants expanded their roles as physical educators, and were motivated to gain knowledge of medical conditions and intervention techniques, which could be embedded into PE lessons for students with disabilities. The second theme, "professional community development--mentorship," explained experiences where participants, during and after completion of their courses, were assigned to serve as APE resource specialists to help their PE colleagues learn to teach, assess, and evaluate students with disabilities at their school district. The last theme, "understanding the current status of PE," represented the participants' views that taking online APE professional development courses was the only opportunity to know about work conditions, APE resources, and policy of other school district.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A