The Socialization of Adapted Physical Educators: What is Known and Future Directions


  • Wesley J. Wilson University of Virginia
  • K. Andrew R. Richards University of Alabama
  • Luke E. Kelly University of Virginia


Occupational socialization theory, teacher training, teacher experiences


Adapted physical education (APE) teacher training programs are threatened by the documented reduction of the number and size of physical education teacher education programs. Thus, it has become more important to better understand why individuals enter the APE field and how they may be socialized through formal training and their induction into their APE teaching careers. The goal of this paper is twofold: 1) to review what is known about APE teacher socialization through the perspective of the occupational socialization theory, which explores an individual’s experiences in the acculturation, professional, and organizational phases of socialization; and 2) to provide future direction for this line of research. In meeting this goal, a background on the occupational socialization theory in general physical education (GPE) literature is first discussed before applying the theory to the understanding of APE teacher socialization.

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