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Pre-Service Physical Educator Attributes and Confidence In Teaching Individuals With Disabilities

Mihye Jeong
East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

The purpose of this preliminary study was to examine pre-service physical educators’ professional attributes and confidence in teaching individuals with disabilities (IWD) during their practicum within an Introduction to adapted physical eduction course. A convenience sample of 106 pre-service physical educators (female 52% and male 48%) participated in this preliminary study. A questionnaire with 11 questions was developed to examine pre-service physical educators’ previous teaching experience, confidence, and professional attributes. The data were collected through an online survey using Survey Monkey. The results indicated that there was a significant relationship between confidence and previous experience (r = .72, p < .001) and the relationship was moderate to strong (r² = .52). Also, a relationship between previous experience and professional attributes (r = .36, p < .001) and a relationship between professional attributes and confidence (r = .29, p < .01) were statistically significant, but both relationships were considered too low to be meaningful (r² = .13, and r² = .08, respectively). As this study indicated that previous experience working with IWD was directly related to the pre-service physical educators’ confidence in teaching IWD, further studies should focus on how to provide pre-service physical educators with more practical experiences working with IWD and how to support pre-service physical educators to be confident in teaching IWD.

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