The Journal of Special Education Apprenticeship


The number of public-school students with disabilities has increased in the last decade, as has support for teaching students with and without disabilities in the same setting. Consequently, sufficient adapted physical education (APE) training for pre-service physical education teachers is critical to ensure meaningful physical education experiences for all students. Few studies on how physical education teacher education (PETE) programs are preparing future physical educators to teach students with disabilities exist. The purposes of this study were to preliminarily describe current undergraduate APE introductory courses, including: (a) instructor demographics, (b) course characteristics, (c) course content and (d) practicum experiences. Twenty-six faculty members currently teaching an introduction to APE course completed a 35-item web-based survey (26% response rate). Demographic characteristics of instructors were mainly homogenous, suggesting a lack of diversity among those teaching these courses. Twenty-four reported their program offered a practicum. Varying coverage of APE concepts explicates important content gaps in curricula that may hinder the quality of physical education services for students with disabilities. These findings deepen the understanding of who is instructing the courses, how the APE introductory courses are being taught across the US, and can serve as a reference for creating and improving PETE programs.