Background/Purpose Recent research validated the efficacy of models based instruction in schools in general (Metzler, 2005) and Sport Education (SE) in particular (Siedentop, Hastie, van der Mars, 2011). However, there has been less research on how pre-service teachers (PTs) learn to teach SE (Curtner-Smith & Sofo, 2004), and no research on how they learn to include students with special needs into their teaching. Therefore, the purpose of the study was to examine the perceptions and experiences of PTs of including students with special needs into a season of SE.
Method Four PTs taught a SE season of soccer to a group of 8-9th graders. There were three students with documented special needs among the class (autism, ADHD, and English as a second language). Data were collected through individual and group interviews, informal interviews, critical incidences (Flanagan, 1954), field observations, and lesson plans.
Analysis/Results The data were organized using NVivo 8 and analyzed using thematic analysis. Overall, PTs enjoyed teaching SE and were able to teach a complete season. However, the results also revealed PTs' deficiencies in pedagogical content knowledge relative to inclusion and its content development.
Conclusions Learning and implementing the SE model while including students with special needs is challenging for PTs. It requires a prerequisite set of specific knowledge about the model as well as individualized knowledge about the student with special needs and his or her abilities. It is recommended to embed some of the content of the adapted PE course throughout the PETE curriculum and early field experiences.
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