Secondary Physical Education Teachers' Beliefs and Practices in Teaching Students with Severe Disabilities: A Descriptive Analysis
- The High School Journal
- The University of North Carolina Press
- Volume 89, Number 2, December 2005-January 2006
- pp. 40-54
- View Citation
- Additional Information
The purpose was to describe the beliefs and practices of general physical education (GPE) teachers at the high school level on inclusion and teaching students with severe disabilities. Participants were two experienced GPE teachers at separate suburban high schools. The research paradigm was descriptive using a combination of naturalistic observation and interviewing (Fontana & Frey, 2000; Gay, 1996). Data were collected from eighteen lessons using field notes, wireless microphones, a video camera, an observation instrument, and interviews. Descriptive statistics and thematic narratives were used to present findings. The teachers mostly verbally interacted with those students who had severe disabilities. They varied in their teaching efficacy. Three recurring themes emerged from the data: (a) wavering beliefs, complexities of inclusion, and troubled confidence. Teachers must believe they are adequately prepared, well equipped, and supported to confidently exhibit effective inclusive GPE pedagogies.