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Analysis of a Physical Education Teacher Education Field Experience of Working One-on-One With Students With Severe and Profound Disabilities in a Self-Contained Environment

Todd Estel Layne, Jennifer Blasingame


Previous research suggests that physical education teacher education (PETE) programs offer few adapted courses and provide limited hands-on experiences with teaching students with disabilities, specifically those in a self-contained environment. This study aimed to analyze PETE students’ and classroom teachers’ perceptions of a field experience designed to provide PETE students the opportunity to work one-on-one with a student with severe and profound disabilities in a self-contained environment. Seventy-one pre–post electronic surveys (female = 20, male = 51) measuring the perceptions of PETE students working one-on-one with a student with a severe disability in a self-contained environment were collected. PETE student and classroom teacher interviews were also conducted. Results revealed a significant difference in confidence for all PETE students pre– to post–field experience (p < .001) and a moderate level of enthusiasm at the beginning of the experience and great satisfaction at the conclusion. PETE students reported a lack of experience prior to the field experience, but experienced growth through one-on-one instruction and gained a greater appreciation for life. Teachers appreciated the increased instructional time and their students’ enjoyment. They also expressed a desire for the field experience to be lengthened. Based on the results of this study, it is evident that providing PETE students with field experiences to work with students with severe or profound disabilities can be a valuable part of a university PETE program. It is recommended that PETE programs seek opportunities in their area to assist programs that work to meet the needs of these students.

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Adapted Physical Education; Severe Disabilities; Self-contained; Field Experience

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