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12 Apr 2012

Apa professionals education related to inclusion

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Integration (inclusion) is frequent topic in the domain of school education. All school levels both elementary, secondary and university studies are touched with mentioned issue. Inclusive education can be successfully developed with educated PE teachers and/or Adapted Physical Activity teachers. The background of inclusive education should be basic knowledge of Adapted Physical Activity (APA) principles..

Autor(es):Válková, Hana
Entidades(es):Palacký University, Faculty of Physical Culture, Olomouc, Czech Republic
Congreso: VII congreso de la asociación internacional de escuelas superiores de educación física (AIESEP)
Úbeda A Coruña, 26-29 de Octubre de 2010
ISBN: 9788461499465
Palabras claves:education, inclusion, sports

Apa professionals education related to inclusion


Integration (inclusion) is frequent topic in the domain of school education. All school levels both elementary, secondary and university studies are touched with mentioned issue. Inclusive education can be successfully developed with educated PE teachers and/or Adapted Physical Activity teachers. The background of inclusive education should be basic knowledge of Adapted Physical Activity (APA) principles. APA studies are involved in the system of Human Movement Studies and/or its relevant domains like Sports studies, Kinanthropology, Kinesiology. APA study program on Bc, MA and Ph.D levels relevant with Bologna agreement has been developed in Olomouc, Palacký University since 1991 up to these days. APA program consists from four modules finished with state commission exam: Interactive pedagogy and/or teaching module, PE and sports, special education, APA. The important topic of the APA program is integration as life-concept and PA/PE and sports inclusion. Course focused on inclusion consists from theory and practice. Attention is paid to inclusive recreation PA event and, mainly to regular school PE. Individual education plan composition, PE lesson realization in different forms and programs evaluation are the main issues of inclusive education of future APA graduates. Examples of APA graduates with special needs are presented in the end.

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Integration (inclusion) is a frequent topic in the domain of school education. All school levels both elementary, secondary and university studies are touched with this issue. Inclusive education can be successfully developed with educated and trained PE teachers and/or Adapted Physical Activity teachers (e.g. Eichstaedt and Lavay, 1992; Sherrill, 2003; Dinold and Valkova, 2004).

The background of inclusive education should be basic knowledge of Adapted Physical Activity (APA) principles. APA study is involved in the system of Human Movement Studies and/or their relevant domains like Sports studies, Kinanthropology (Doll-Tepper and DePaw, 1996; Haag, 1994; Kirk,1999; Renson, 1990). APA study programs are developed in different way: specialized module, long-life additional courses, short courses in Central European Exchange Project of University Studies (CEEPUS), Erasmus intensive courses, Erasmus-Mundus (Válková, 1998; Válková, 2009; Válková and Tezzelova, 2007; Válková and Vute, 1998). Full APA study program on the level Bc, MA and Ph.D relevant with Bologna agreement has been developed in Olomouc, Palacký University since 1991 up to these days (Válková, 2009). The program respects basic definition of APA, basic approaches, principles, methods, domains of knowledge and skills (Doll-Tepper and DePaw, 1996; Rodrigues, 1995; Sherrill, 2003; Valkova and Morisbak, 2006; Válková et al., 2006; Van Coppenolle and De Potter, 2004). One of the important topics of the APA program is integration as life-concept and PE and sports inclusion.

Adapted Physical Activity – study program Adapted Physical Activity (APA) study program was founded in 1991 at Palacký University in Olomouc such as combination of PE teaching and special education teaching. Later the program was accredited according the Bologna agreement: ECTS system (European Credit Transfer System), Bc and Ma level (Bachelor, Master), module system. Module is understood as composition of subjects with formulated content, student´s study loading and requirements, which :

– provide professional competences,

– are closed with complex commission exam (in Czech Republic design – state exam),

– can be part of different study branches, including international studies (open system),

– can provide long-life education. According those principles APA study program is composed of 4 basic modules both for Bc and MA levels (Válková and Vute, 1998).

– Module: pedagogy-psychology (interactive, communicative, teaching competences) consists from courses, e.g.: pedagogy, psychology, development psychology, sport psychology, sport sociology, philosophy, sports history, law and legislation (including disabilities), research methodology, etc.

– Module: physical education and sports (competence in sports and/or PE/PA programs creation, realization) consists from courses with

a) bio-orientation, e.g.: anatomy, exercise physiology, first aid, nutrition, etc.;

b) sport skills, didactic skills orientation, e.g.: athletics, swimming, sports games, summer and winter outdoor activities, sports management, fitness, motor testing, etc.

– Module: special education (competence to provide program composition, realization and assessment in environment of minorities) consists from courses, e.g.: tyflopedy, surdopedy, somatopedy, psychopedy, giftedness, elderly, early intervention, special education advocacy and advising, etc.

– Module: Adapted Physical Activity (competence to provide PA and/or sports programs in separated or inclusive setting related to persons with special needs). The courses involved in this module summarize the knowledge, skills and experience obtained through three modules described before. The courses, e.g.: wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, boccia, show-down, adapted swimming, adapted skiing, APA programs evaluation, APA international perspectives, etc. The important part of the module is course focused on inclusion.

Bc study level as so as Ma level are finished with Bc/MA theses and public defense. The difference between Bc and MA level is confirmed in Czech School Law Act (2004).

a) in teaching competencies as MA graduates can be teachers, only,

b) in focusing on practical professional skills (Bc) and “didactics” skills and research (MA, c) in general profession level (Bc) or leading position (MA). Basic principles leading to inclusive approach understanding are respected in APA study: – personal experience in communication with persons with special needs,

– management of special events and activities,

– theory and practice in harmony,

– independent living approach,

– social inclusion.

Inclusive education in APA program

Inclusive school education was recommended since 1993 in Czech school legislation. Czech School Law Act (2004) proclaimed the parents can select either inclusive or special system of education for their children (Valkova, 2010). This system is valid from January 2005. Physical education as the part of general education seems to be specific issue. Even PE course is included in obligatory curricula of non-academic education at elementary and secondary schools problems of exclusion of students with special needs from PE persist in a lot of European countries due to different reasons. One of the crucial reasons is lack of trained teachers in inclusive PE (Dinold and Valkova, 2004). Personal experience of university APA teachers, field teachers experience, analyses of documents, literature, on-line sources were the main methods to collect data and summarize the results. (Block and Obrusnikova, 2007; Heikinaaro-Johansson and Sherrill, 1994; Heikinaaro-Johansson, Sherrill, French and Huuhka, 1995; Kelly, 2006). The obtained data served as a crucial information for the development of the course in APA MA study – Inclusive PA, PE and sports. The background of the course is based on principles:

– understanding the phenomenon „the other“, different, positive attitudes toward “differentness”,

– knowledge of categorical – non-categorical approach (Sherrill, 2003), principles of adaptation (Valkova and Morisbak, 2006),

– “didactic skills”: modification related to program content, age of students, individual differences, domains of PA and sports, type of PE lectors, etc.

Course “Inclusive PA, PE and sports” is offered to students on MA level. Three credit points program (1 Crp is equal approx. 25 hours of students´ work loading and finished with exam). The course is accredited in Czech and English languages. This fact is important for international students of CEEPUS, Erasmus or Erasmus-Mundus program. They can select and pass out this course (Válková, 2009; Válková and Tezzelová, 2007).

The content of the course consists from 9 basic topics:

1. Basic terminology, development of terminology and its impact on practice: the framework is relevant to APA terminology. It reflects both Czech and English terminology even home languages terminology of foreign students. The attitudes to “phenomenon the different” expressed in terminology is stressed. (Válková, 2007; Válková and Elfmark, 2008).

2. Sources of knowledge about integration: different-data bases are presented, self-work of students is focused on their orientation in networks, books and journals, legislation in both home country and European/world context. Legislation or theoretical knowledge is compared with reality in practice (special education centers, schools, etc.).

3. Integration as a life-span concept: the idea the integration process has to start with inclusive environment is stressed, eg.: architectonic, perceptive and other types of barriers such as personal, attitudes, transport, services, etc. are discussed and compare with local reality. (European Charter of Sports for all: handicapped people, 1987).

4. Attitudes towards integration (public, school, PE and sports): the background is repetition of “attitudes theories” follows up production and composition of realistic programs. Those ones which can influence positive attitudes of school staff, sports staff or public awareness toward inclusion are considered as the main goal of the sub-topic. Programs are tested in practice (e.g.: Paralympic Day; Get into it; Children Day; participation in UEFA Week; etc.).

5. Principles of modifications and adaptations: categorical as so as environmental approach is discussed. Students are trained in basic domains of adaptation: communication, methods, program contents and rules, regulations, environment and conditions, tool and equipments (Valkova and Morisbak, 2006).

6. Collective programs in the context of leisure time activities: subtopic is realized in practice

– management of inclusive event, like inclusive runs (Terry Fox), swimming, weekend, camps, etc.

7. Integration in the context of competitive sport: short sub-topic, analyzing biographies of some top sportsmen, inclusive or parallel setting in training and competitions.

8. Integration in the context of school management and school PE: is the main part of the course. Inclusive education policy is explained, conditions relevant to adequate inclusive school environment. School PE curricula are analyzed. Training in individual educational plan in the context of general school, individual education plan of PE lessons are applied in practice. Other forms, like outdoor-indoor activities are realized (Obrusníková, Válková and Block, 2003).

9. Evaluation of inclusive programs: principles of evaluation with respect to teachers, students and parents opinion. Questionnaires and techniques of observation of inclusive categories (DIC-CIT) are trained. (Ahmetasevic, Bartonova and Valkova, 2010). Groundwork of exam is based on: a) assessment of practical skills (teaching, arrangement, evaluation) presented during events in practice in domains: recreation and leisure time, school inclusive programs; b) written exam oriented on theoretical knowledge. Inclusive APA university study APA study program in Olomouc, both Bc and MA, is opened for students with special needs, which is great challenge for all students as so as for university teachers (Válková, 2008).

Integration on the level of university study is supported with University Law (1998). § 21 acts university has to be responsible (beside others): d) for advisory services related to study orientation, study process as well as job orientation in practice, e) for arrangement all services for leveling chances of study enrollment, process and graduation – for all students. Developmental granted projects oriented on better conditions of university study of students with disability started in 1994. Among several of them projects oriented on leveling chances for APA, sports/sciences study, etc. were included. This year (1994) Palacky University of Olomouc coordinated mentioned project. The most successful results seemed to be Bc. study program of motor activities, drama and pantomime of students with hearing disability (University in city Brno), APA structured program (Bc.-MA in APA) in Olomouc (Vaverka and Válková 1994).

Developmental projects of Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports go through the competition every year, up to these days. Financial support can be used for development relevant to characteristics of university: study classes and rooms, students dormitory, special advices, personal assistance, sign language interpreter, etc., as well as for APA study improvement, university conditions for sports and recreation of students with disability. APA study is based on principal non-discrimination, non-trusting forward. All of them have to go through entrance exam (with modification, advisory or other adequate support). Basic clause for access of the students is “sports mobility”. It means students are usually very good sportsmen on the international, European or world level of Paralympics, Deaflympics competitions. Students have the same rights and the same duty, only some of motors skills or performance achievements are modified related to individual diagnoses (hearing problems, motor problems, wheelchair user, etc.).

APA department of Faculty of Physical Culture has to provide special support for study process (sign language interpreters, special advices or tools, assistance, etc.). Recent situation of inclusive APA university study is supported with the APA Centrum due to European developmental funds (Ješina, 2010; www.apa.upol.cz). Approximately per 1-3 students with special needs who passed successfully entrance exam are included in full-time or part-time APA study every year. Program is selected mostly by students with hearing or mobility problems. It is possible to present summary of inclusive students from 1996 to 2010:

a) students with hearing problems: 1 Ph.D graduate, employed in university research centre, 5 MA graduates in practice, 2 undergraduates continue in MA degree, 3 before Bc leaving exam. 3 of them on World or European Deaflympics winners level. b) students with mobility problems: 3 continues in MA, 4 in Bc program, 1 Bc graduate in school practice. 5 of them participated in winter Paralympics in Salt Lake City or summer para-games in Bejing (3 medals together). Some of the students did not finish study, of course.

Inclusion of the students is the great contribution for mutual education. All students can obtain very good experience with “different” sports environment and they are able to present high level of specific skills, they can motivate of other students, all students can get experience with inclusionexclusion, with study modifications related to motor limits or limits in communication of included students. They live together on the same students issues: study requests, exams, research obligations, accommodation, trips, meal, parties, pubs, loves… In spite of special support study is not easy for students, inclusive process is not easy for teachers, but possible and important. (Válková,2008)


Process of integration has to be understood as the life concept of independent living of all individuals. PE is considered as the fixed part of school education. In spite of the European legislation the reality of inclusive PE in practice is different. One of the important markers of weak development there is a lack of teachers education on secondary schools level as well as on university level. The APA program which has been developed for nearly 20 years at Palacký University in Olomouc on Bc and MA level is focused on inclusive education in general, in PE as well. The theory and practice in course “Inclusive PA, PE and sports” is completed with APA students with special needs.

Effort toward inclusion of students with special needs – sportsmen (with adequate support) can serve as positive features for understanding of phenomenon “the others” of all PE inclusive process participants. APA curricula and topic “integration” has to be supported with experienced and enthusiastic staff and students. Centers of support for inclusion through adapted physical activity are very important, too. The last challenge is to share APA graduates to practice and improved services in inclusive APA university studies.


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