Trying to implement curriculums for students with disabilities can be tough, especially since we don’t know not only how the students feel about having students with disabilities in their classrooms, but also how the students with disabilities feel. Teachers have their own perspective as to how a classroom is to be administered, but that can only go so far. With both of these perspectives, there can be certain tips and strategies established that will help make my first experience as a physical educator better and improve on having classes with students with disabilities mainstreamed into my classroom.
Students’ Perspective on Mainstreamed Physical Education
Students in the general population have their own perspective on students with disabilities in their classrooms. One main thing general students thought was that they wanted students with disabilities in their classroom. This made the students with disabilities feel like they were part of the group. Obrusnikova, Block, and Dillon (2010) stated that “students said that they thought it would be easy to play with Lee (disabled student) if the class played games that Lee could play,” which seemed like students were welcoming the students with disabilities in their classroom. General students also said they would like the teacher to make modifications necessary to make sure that the student with a disability was able to participate just like any other student. The general students in this article also mentioned how they were concerned about the student’s safety and making sure that the student doesn’t feel left out at all during class time.
Students with disabilities have their own perspective as well on how they felt about being mainstreamed in physical education and how they are learn in those classes. In an article by Goodwin (2001), students with physical disabilities said that they experienced positive and negative behaviors brought on by the general students in class. A lot of the students showed that they wanted to help with moving around and participating in the class. Also, students would show that they cared by asking if the students needed any help and that grew positive relationships between the general students and the students with disabilities. There were negative aspects as well that were present in the classrooms. The main issues were that the students would help even if the student with a disability didn’t want help. Another issue was that the students wanted to help, but they didn’t what they could do to help out that student with a disability.
In another article by Goodwin and Watkinson (2000), students with disabilities had “good days and bad days” in class. A good day consisted of the students feeling like they belong in the classroom, the teacher was making attainable goals for all students and that skillful participation was being achieved when the students valued being involved for knowledge and intrinsic purposes. When these continued, the students with disabilities felt like they could be in the general physical education classes. But there were bad days as well. Those bad days consisted of students being isolated or picked on, having their competence be put into question by students and teachers, and there was no support of engagement from not only the students, but the teachers as well. These situations brought the students’ self-efficacy way down and made those students not want to be in class.
The main thing that I feel comes from general students’ perspective on students with disabilities is that it’s not like they don’t want to help, it is that they are not educated enough about disabilities that will allow them to help the students with disabilities. Also, students with disabilities have their own way of learning and how they want to feel being in a mainstreamed classroom. I feel like these two perspectives are not being implemented in the classroom enough. Teachers...