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ERIC Number: EJ856993
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Apr
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 53
ISSN: ISSN-1740-8989
Trainee and Recently Qualified Physical Education Teachers' Perspectives on Including Children with Special Educational Needs
Vickerman, Philip; Coates, Janine Kim
Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, v14 n2 p137-153 Apr 2009
Background: In recent years within the UK the inclusion of children with special educational needs (SEN) in mainstream physical education (PE) has escalated up the statutory and political agenda. Despite this increased focus in schools, empirical research demonstrates that inequalities still exist in relation to the readiness of government, teacher training providers, schools and PE teachers to deliver this agenda. Furthermore, there is little empirical research regarding the experiences of trainee and recently qualified PE teachers related to the development of their knowledge, understanding and application of strategies to include children with SEN. Aims: The present study aimed to examine the views and opinions of trainee and recently qualified PE teachers to gain an insight into their views and experiences of both their initial teacher training, and confidence once in schools to include children with SEN. Methods: Five PE teacher training providers in England were identified as the sample group in which the views and opinions of 202 trainee and 19 recently qualified teachers (up to 2 years' post qualifying experience) were examined. A mixed methodological research design was constructed in order to examine "the extent to which trainee and recently qualified PE teachers' perceived readiness to include children with SEN was evident". Data were collected via two questionnaires comprising a series of open and closed responses (one to trainee teachers, and one to recently qualified PE teachers). Questions focused upon respondents' present experiences and perceived confidence in teaching children with SEN; reflections on the effectiveness of their training; professional development and training; links with schools and mentors; interpretations of inclusive PE and general values and attitudes. Data were analysed via the Statistical Package for Social Scientists. The open-ended responses were analysed using protocol analysis in order to code key themes and provide a rich insight into the general and specific issues related to trainee and recently qualified PE teachers' perceived readiness to include children with SEN. Results: The study found training experiences gained by students and recently qualified teachers to be rather mixed, with many indicating a lack of perceived readiness to include children with SEN satisfactorily. Eighty-four percent of recently qualified PE teachers, and 43% of trainees identified their initial teacher training had not prepared them sufficiently to work with children with SEN in schools. Conclusion: In the future, trainee PE teachers need more opportunities to work, and be assessed on SEN as part of their school-based experiences, alongside gaining practical PE experience. Moreover, it is evident trainee teachers need opportunities to experience the full continuum of learning needs if they are to respond effectively to the individual needs of all pupils. A key factor in addressing this in the future will necessitate schools, training providers and government listening to the voices of trainee and qualified PE teachers and children with SEN in order to address the high levels of dissatisfaction that are currently present. (Contains 3 tables and 1 note.)
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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
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom