Monday, August 13, 2018

The dissertation process and special education administrator's understanding of adapted physical education

Hello APE podcast listeners/readers! This post/podcast is different than most, as I made a post/podcast that focused on my experience of going through the dissertation process and the investigation I conducted for my dissertation. Within this short podcast episode I discuss how I chose my dissertation topic and what it meant for me to complete my PhD program. 

My dissertation investigation consisted of developing three validated podcast and delivering them to 29 special education administrators throughout the state of Texas. The special education administrators had to complete a pretest, post test, and retention test on APE content. In addition the participants completed a  perceptions survey on each podcast they listened too and on the whole intervention. After the investigation was completed, there were several interesting findings:

- The podcast, as a single intervention, appeared to have little impact on special education administrators' knowledge of APE

- Special education administrators have very positive views on podcast as a professional development tool

- Special education administrators had very low test scores (< 50%). This was apparent across all three test.

The dissertation findings led to the conclusion that more research is needed to better understand how to utilize podcasts as a professional development tool, as well as special education administrators are in need of targeted professional development with regard to APE content. I hope to continue researching how to develop high quality APE professional development and podcasting. Please click the link to the dissertation defense presentation PowerPoint for further details on my dissertation findings. 







In addition, here is a link to a free webinar I recently conducted with a focus on APE and assistive technology for the Center on Assistive Technology and Disability (CTD). Also check out CTD website for other free webinars on the topic of assistive technology!

Sunday, July 22, 2018

APE Teaching Endorsements: Why they are important and why we should advocate for them

In this episode, I had an in-depth conversation about the need for APE teaching endorsements at the state and national level with Dr. Suzanna Dillon, an APE professor and my dissertation adviser at Texas Woman's University and Toni Bader, a APE teacher for the Seattle Public Schools. In this podcast, we discussed some of the experiences and successes that the panelist have had in advocating for the need for an APE endorsement at local, state, and national levels. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

NCPHAD: Building Healthy Communities Part 2

I am excited to be bringing you a new episode of What's New in Adapted Physical Education (APE). This episode is the second part of a two part series that focuses on NCPHAD: Building Healthy Communities, which is a public health practice and resource center on health promotion for people with disabilities.  NCPHAD has a multitude of resources for all types of adapted physical activity professionals, including APE teachers. For this episode we were able to do a in-person interview with two staff members at NCPHAD. The two interviewees were Dr. Jim Rimmer, a professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and the director of the UAB-Lakeshore Foundation Research Collaborative and Director of NCPHAD; and Alex Martinez, the Expert Inclusion Specialist for NCPHAD. My hopes from this episode are to share resources from NCPHAD to my listeners/readers, please go to their website to see all of the resources that they offer! This episode focuses specifically on (a) whether people with disabilities can be healthy, (b) archiving adaptions in our field (grades), and (c) how we can use research in our field and how we can help researchers. 

Friday, June 1, 2018

NCPHAD: Building Healthy Communities Part 1

I am excited to be bringing you a new episode of What's New in Adapted Physical Education (APE). This episode focused on NCPHAD: Building Healthy Communities, which is a public health practice and resource center on health promotion for people with disabilities.  NCPHAD has a multitude of resources for all types of adapted physical activity professionals, including APE teachers. For this episode we were able to do a in-person interview with two staff members at NCPHAD. The two interviewees were Dr. Jim Rimmer, a professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and the director of the UAB-Lakeshore Foundation Research Collaborative and Director of NCPHAD; and Alex Martinez, the Expert Inclusion Specialist for NCPHAD. My hopes from this episode are to share resources from NCPHAD to my listeners/readers, please go to their website to see all of the resources that they offer! 

This podcast is part one of a two part episode. Part one focuses specifically on (a) what NCPHAD is and how it came to be, (b) how to navigate their website, and (c) some of the different resources they have available and how they developed them. 




Checkout some of the great resources NCPHAD offers for inclusion in physical activity & youth with disability below: 

Quarterly Digest Educators
The National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD)’s Quarterly Digest, our new quarterly supplement designed especially for educators who are seeking for information to make their classes inclusive for students with disabilities.
To subscribe to NCHPAD's target audience quarterly digest, please provide your area of interest and email address by clicking here or copying and pasting the following URL into your browser: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KMH8YHH.
You can access April’s Quarterly Digest by clicking on the following link https://conta.cc/2FgWdqS

Discover Inclusive Physical Education: A Guidebook for Educators
The goal of the Discover Inclusive Physical education Guidebook is to provide you with a “playbook” to help you create such an environment for all of your students, regardless of ability level, by providing appropriate assessment tools, games, and inclusion strategies to help you improve your teaching methods and implementation processes.https://www.nchpad.org/1402/6261/Discover~Inclusive~Physical~Education

Discover Inclusive Playgrounds
This guide provides information that will help you create learning environments at playgrounds from both design and usage perspectives. The information is specific and tailored to teachers, administrators, parents, caregivers, recreation specialists, and health professionals that utilize playground settings for emotional, cognitive, and physical child development.

Discover Inclusive School Wellness
The goal of the Guide to Inclusive School Physical Activity Programs is to promote inclusion of children and youth with disabilities in school physical activity programs.

Activity and Adaptation Cards
These cards offer information, tips, and pictures on how to adapt sports, activities, games, and equipment.  On the front of the card, you can find a brief introduction, description, and history of the sport.  On the back of the card, you can find information and pictures on how to adapt each sport.


Thursday, May 17, 2018

Service Learning in APE: Part 2

In this part 2 episode, I continued my in-depth conversation with Dr. Monica Lepore, an APE professor at the West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Lepore recently was given a sabbatical to go around the country to examine different practicums (college courses that give college students the opportunity to work with students with disabilities). She took this journey to find out the status of the different programs out there and how we can attempt to assist all APE practicum programs to be as strong as possible. Dr. Lepore was able to travel to 8 APE practicums within the last few months, and joined us on the podcast to share her findings and reflect on her experience. This podcast is part two of a two part episode. Part two focuses specifically on (a) the key points that make practicums successful, (b) the idea of volunteerism and how it relates to APE, and (c) we discuss the realities of housing our practicum experiences within a segregated APE setting, rather than in a more inclusive setting. 


One of the universities practicums (i.e., California State Long Beach) that Dr. Lepore visited was also nice enough to send us their manual they use for their practicum. Please click here for the manual! 

Friday, April 27, 2018

Service Learning in APE: Part 1

In this episode, I had an in-depth conversation with Dr. Monica Lepore, an APE professor at the West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Lepore recently was given a sabbatical to go around the country to examine different practicums (college courses that give college students the opportunity to work with students with disabilities). She took this journey to find out the status of the different programs out there and how we can attempt to assist all APE practicum programs to be as strong as possible. Dr. Lepore was able to travel to 8 APE practicums within the last few months, and joined us on the podcast to share her findings and reflect on her experience. This podcast is part one of a two part episode. Part one focuses specifically on (a) why Dr. Lepore decided to take a sabbatical to learn more about APE practicums, (b) how each practicum was interesting and also similar to her own program, and (c) how to those in higher education can develop stronger practicum experiences for their students.  



Sunday, March 25, 2018

SHAPE America Reflection and Book Review on Assessment in Adapted Physical Activity

Hello APE podcast listeners/readers! This post is different than most, as it is focused on my experience at the SHAPE America conference this year and on a book review of the new textbook 'Developmental and Adapted Physical Activity Assessment (2nd Ed)' by Horvat, Kelly, Block, and Croce.

After attending the SHAPE conference, I felt that I needed to do an informal reflection, as it was truly a unique experience. In the podcast, I discuss my experiences with some of the engaging presentations that I saw, and some of the great networking that occurred.


The 'Developmental and Adapted Physical Activity Assessment' textbook was sent to me by the great staff at Human Kinetics and they asked me to conduct a book review. Overall, I really enjoyed reading through the text and felt that each chapter had really nice structure that made the textbook feel like an easy to use tool, rather than just a traditional textbook. I also really enjoyed the use of case studies throughout the text that highlighted a variety of key topics. These case studies used real-life scenarios on when and how one would use certain types of assessment tools. In addition, the textbook covers a wide-range of assessments types that can be used in a variety of physical activity settings. While going over the different types of assessments, the book does a great job of putting everything into both researcher and practitioner terms. For example, for each test that is covered, the authors discussed the validity and reliability, and gave examples of when and how to use the test in a practical setting. In addition, a ton of assessment tools and surveys are given throughout the textbook, which would be very valuable for practitioners. I discussed the textbook in a little more depth on the podcast as well.

Overall, here are some of the major positives of purchasing this textbook:
+ Provides a ton of assessment tools
+ Very user-friendly and well-structured for both practitioners and researchers
+ Discusses a variety of modifications that might be needed for different types of tests
+ Uses case studies throughout the text to explain when, why, and how different assessments may be used
+ Two new chapters have been added that focus on (a) cognition and perception AND (b) behavior and socializing

Here is a list of the major topics discussed in relation to assessment in this textbook:
  • Assessment terminology
  • How to select the correct assessment tool
  • Steps to administer an assessment
  • Assessing motor development/skill performance
  • Assessing physical function
  • Assessing posture, gait, and balance
  • Assessing perception and cognition
  • Assessing behavior and social competence 
Please click here to learn more or to purchase this textbook from Human Kinetics!