In-service physical education teacher training in adapted physical education for students with disabilities Print E-mail

Target group: Physical education teachers, physical education students, sport instructors.

Purpose: Provide PE teachers with theoretical and practical knowledge about using adapted physical activities within general PE programme to increase safe, meaningful and successful participation of students with disabilities.

Description of EGP

The in-service training for PE teachers in adapted physical activity for students with disabilities is a four day (36 hours) workshop organised by the Education Centre "A Sports" in Latvia. Participants acquire knowledge, effective methods etc. for improving their skills toward more efficient and competent provision of PE services to diverse groups of students. The location is a special school for students with physical impairments in Riga. Since in- service training courses usually are organised during school holidays (Autumn and Spring), organisers have full access to all facilities needed for workshops, for example, the gym and sport equipment, small gyms with mirror walls, hall, changing rooms etc.

Inservice1 Inservice2

The themes of workshops are:

  1. Special exercises for students with posture problems (e.g., scoliosis, orthopaedic problems)
  2. Adapted physical activities for students with visual impairments
  3. Adapted physical activities for students with hearing impairments
  4. Adapted physical activities for students with intellectual impairments
  5. Adapted physical activities for students with physical impairments
  6. Dancing for people with intellectual impairments
  7. Adapted physical activities for students with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder
  8. What PE teachers should know about health issues and physical load of students with disabilities?
  9. Information on sport organisations providing out of school sport activities for children with disabilities in Latvia

All workshops are provided by highly experienced specialists with more than 10 years experience in working with students with disabilities. 70 % of training sessions are practical activities so that teachers learn themselves and understand the exercises and activities taught in workshops. Also, the in-service training promotes cooperation between various people in the same field. It is a proper place for exchanging ideas and helping to solve problems.

Relevance of EGP to EUSAPA project

In-service training example from Latvia is an excellent example in physical education in-service teacher training helping teachers to acquire basic competencies needed to work with students with special needs and to change their attitude toward inclusive PE.

EUSAPA competencies presented in this EGP

  1. Ability to use appropriate instructional strategies (e.g., physical/verbal cues, prompts, feedback, reinforcement)
  2. Ability to adapt the rules of games, physical setting , equipmentc. Ability to collaborate with other specialists providing PE/APE
  3. Ability to collaborate with health and rehabilitation professionals (e.g., physiotherapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, psychologists)
  4. Ability to collaborate with sport organisations, relevant professional organisations for persons with disabilities
  5. Ability to identify needs for professional development in the area of APE
  6. Ability to engage in continuing professional development activities (e.g. reading professional publications; attending conferences (workshops, seminars) to learn about new trends in APE

Example of good practice was described by Aija Klavina from Latvian Academy of Sport Education.