Understanding Career Changes: Physical Educators to Adapted Physical Educators


  • Takahiro Sato Kent State University
  • Justin A. Haegele Old Dominion University




Mid-Career Change, Adapted Physical Education & Teachers, Public Schools


The purpose of this study was to understand career changes of in-service teachers transitioning to the adapted physical education (APE) profession after completing online APE professional development graduate courses. This study was based on intentional change theory (Boyatzis, 2006). Participants were five in-service teachers who decided to change their careers from physical education to APE in their school districts. Data collection consisted of a career reasoning questionnaire, semistructured interviews, and e-mail communication. A constant comparative method (Boeije, 2010) was used in the interpretation of the data, which allowed themes to emerge. Three interrelated themes emerged from the in-service teachers’ narratives: factors and influences of APE career choices, administrative and transition planning duties, and career motivations and expectations. The participants demonstrated strong leadership that built on opportunities for innovation and renewal through provision of APE professional culture. Through the online professional development courses, the teachers gained lifelong learning opportunities and increased satisfaction, motivation, and expectations for APE.Subscribe to TPE

Author Biographies

Takahiro Sato, Kent State University

School of Teaching, Learning, & Curriculum StudiesAssociate Professor of Adapted Physical Education

Justin A. Haegele, Old Dominion University

Department of Human Movement SciencesAssistant Professor of Adapted Physical Education