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ERIC Number: EJ856982
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jul
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 25
ISSN: ISSN-1740-8989
Effect of a Physical Education Teacher's Disability on High School Pupils' Learning and Perceptions of Teacher Competence
Bryant, Lance G.; Curtner-Smith, Matthew
Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, v14 n3 p311-322 Jul 2009
Background: To date, most of the work done by those who do research in adapted sport pedagogy (a sub-discipline of sport pedagogy focused on modified forms of physical education that address the needs of pupils with disabilities) has focused on the experience of pupils with disabilities and relatively little work has examined the difficulties faced by physical education teachers who themselves have disabilities and teach "able-bodied" pupils. Previous research, conducted in both general education and sport pedagogy settings, indicated that a teacher's attire, physical appearance, and perceived competence influenced pupils' perceptions of the teacher's ability to teach and the degree to which they learned the subject matter. These findings suggest that physical education teachers who have a disability might be in for a particularly difficult time in terms of fighting negative perceptions of their competence and their ability to promote learning among their pupils. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of a physical education teacher's disability on high school pupils' learning and perceptions of the teacher's competence. Participants and setting: Participants were 109 (58 boys, 51 girls) 10th and 11th grade pupils (i.e., years 10 to 13 in British terms) enrolled at two high schools situated in the southeastern United States. The pupils ranged from 14 to 18 years in age and were mainly from middle socio-economic status neighborhoods. Research design: A positivistic research design, with quantitative research methods and techniques, was used during this study aimed at determining pupils' learning and perceptions of teacher competence. Data collection: Pupils were randomly assigned to view one of two videotaped swimming lessons. Both lessons were identical with one exception. In the first lesson, the teacher taught as an able-bodied teacher (ABL), while in the second she taught from a wheelchair (WCL) giving the impression that she had a physical disability. Directly following the viewing of their assigned lesson, pupils completed an examination on lesson content and a questionnaire asking them about their perceptions of the teacher. Data analysis: Descriptive statistics (means and standard deviations) from the content examination and perception questionnaire were computed for those pupils who watched the WCL and those who observed the ABL. The data were also analyzed using various inferential statistical tests (i.e. 2 x 2 repeated measures analysis of variance, paired comparison t-tests, and independent t-tests). Findings: Results indicate that pupils who viewed the ABL scored significantly higher on the technique section of the examination than pupils who watched the WCL. There were no significant differences between the perception scores of those pupils who viewed the WCL and the ABL. Conclusions: While the high school pupils in this study had an equally high regard for the teacher regardless of her apparent physical state, they learned less from her about swimming techniques when she appeared to have a disability than when she was able-bodied. Results of this study suggest that as pupils progress through their schooling, their beliefs about physical education teachers with disabilities gradually change for the worse because they are socialized into believing that sport, physical activity, and physical education are for what appear to be whole and fit bodies. (Contains 1 figure, 2 tables, and 1 note.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A