Primary Subject Area
adapted, physical, activity, attitudes
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of an undergraduate adapted physical education course on the attitudes of pre-service physical educators toward individuals with disabilities. The participants for this study were 108 students enrolled in undergraduate adapted physical education courses at a faith-based university. The Physical Educators Attitude toward Teaching Individuals with Disabilities, third edition pre- and post-intervention was utilized to assess any changes in the participants’ attitudes toward individuals with disabilities.
Statistically significant differences were found between the participants’ pre- and post-intervention attitudinal scores on all measured areas (i.e. emotional disturbance, learning disabled, mild intellectual disability, severe intellectual disability, and total). There were no statistically significant differences in attitudinal scores based on the gender of the respondents. There were no statistically significant differences in the attitudinal scores based on the respondents either enrolling in both the lecture course and the laboratory, or alone enrolling in the lecture course.
The participants felt that by completing the adapted physical education course they were generally well prepared to work with individuals with disabilities. The participants also believed the adapted physical education course had positively influenced their views on individuals with disabilities. The participants generally did not believe that students coming from either a faith-based university were any more or less prepared to work with individuals with disabilities than students coming from a non-faith based university.
While the results of this study are consistent with those achieved by other researchers and the Theory of Planned Behavior, the results did not support the idea of spirituality training positively influencing empathetic behavior. Attending a faith-based university did not have a negative impact on the participants’ attitude toward individuals with disabilities; this attendance also did not appear to have had a positive influence on the participants’ attitudes toward individuals with disabilities. By examining various factors concerning change in attitudes, future researchers may be able to determine additional methods for improving the attitudes of physical educators toward individuals with disabilities and thereby positively influence the lives of persons with disabilities.