The Syllabus Is a Living Document: An Examination of Introductory Adapted Physical Education Syllabi


  • Scott McNamara University of New Hampshire
  • Kylie Wilson Arizona State University
  • Lauren Lieberman The State University of New York at Brockport



adapted physical education, teacher training, syllabi, advocacy, disability



 Physical education college preparation programs continue to require only one adapted physical education (APE) course. Due to the importance of the one APE course often provided to preservice physical education, this study investigated the status of introductory APE courses across the United States. A content analysis of the course descriptions and objectives was completed on 30 syllabi from introductory APE courses, and descriptive information from the syllabi was collected. The most common topics covered included intellectual disability (n = 21), physical disability (n = 21), and assessment (n = 20). The content analysis revealed four area of emphasis: (1) disability characteristics, (2) teaching strategies, (3) advocating for individuals with disabilities, and (4) history and legislation. Further research needs to determine faculty’s rationale behind the content they choose to cover and the effectiveness of physical education teacher training programs in preparing future physical educators to teach students with disabilities. 

Author Biographies

Scott McNamara, University of New Hampshire

Scott McNamara, Department of Kinesiology, University of New Hampshire. Scott McNamara is now at Department of Kinesiology, University of New Hampshire.

Kylie Wilson, Arizona State University

Kylie Wilson , Kinesiology Department, University of Northern Iowa. Kylie Wilson is now at College of Health Solutions, Arizona State University.

Lauren Lieberman, The State University of New York at Brockport

Lauren Lieberman, Department of Kinesiology, Sport Studies, & Physical Education, The State University of New York at Brockport.