Research into .....
The purpose of the study is to implement Heavy Work training techniques for Adapted physical education students to help them better achieve their IEP goals and build self-confidence. The gross motor achievement was measured using the standardized test as well as testing the student’s individualized goals. Self-confidence was measured using surveys given to both students and their teachers to identify any improvement over time.
Background and Need, Rationale, etc.
APE is a unique special education service that is often overlooked. Physical education is not often seen as an area where a student might need extra support. Students with unique circumstances or disabilities can qualify to receive dedicated time to allow them to better access PE content. Once a student is referred for APE service, we often focus on one specific skill that doesn’t meet the fundamental needs of the student. Now, each of these skills is individually important, but how they are addressed via training techniques is being critiqued. If students were to practice one skill until the goal is achieved, only one skill would have been developed and improved. For Example, if a student is qualified for Adapted Physical Education, the APE teacher then writes a goal that the student should complete in 1 year before their next IEP meeting.
Example goal: By 1/1/2022, (student) will be able to complete an overhand throw with proper form and technique 4 out of 5 trial days as observed by their APE instructor and data collection.
There is no argument; this is a great goal and an essential skill in physical education. The problem is how the training is approached to achieve this goal. A traditional approach would be to break down the throwing motion, modify the object being used to meet the needs of the students, and practice, practice, practice throwing until the goal is achieved. At the end of the yearly training, students now know how to throw a ball overhand. That is wonderful for activities that use an overhand throwing technique. What if we took a step back and looked at the root of the problem, identified the foundational skills required to throw, and focussed on those skills. These foundational skills and movement patterns would have more significant implications for physical activity than just throwing and catching. Development in areas of proprioceptive response and vestibular feedback would improve motor planning. It would help students meet their current goal/s and many other future goals because they build the foundation needed to succeed in physical activity. Improving upon how and what we teach APE students’ can have a very positive impact on physical activity and self-confidence.
An essential aspect of Adapted physical education is for students to gain skills and experiences that help them develop self-confidence during physical activity and in every day scenerios. Increased physical activity has been shown to increase quality of life and improve self-confidnce. By designing a personalized heavy work training program, students have the opportunity to develop gross motor skills and increase confidence in their abilities.