Project CAPER: Preparing Leadership in Adapted Physical Education through an Interuniversity Collaboratory
The overarching purpose of this newly formed interuniversity partnership is to prepare well-trained doctoral-level leaders in adapted physical education and create a research-based collaborative culture to build capacity in the field of adapted physical education. The proposed project supports a newly formed interuniversity collaboratory, which is pleased to train 15 high-quality and competent scholars at the doctoral degree level at two universities who will (a) serve as higher education faculty and (b) train pre-service physical educators, adapted physical educators, and related service professionals to appropriately educate high-need children with disabilities.
U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education & Rehabilitative Services
Personnel Development to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities
Old Dominion University
T. Nicole Kirk
Assistant professor, Department of Kinesiology
Wesley J. Wilson
University of Utah
University of Georgia, in collaboration with Old Dominion University and University of Utah, is pleased to propose Project CAPER: The Collaboratory for Adapted Physical Education Research. The overarching purpose of this newly formed interuniversity partnership is to prepare well-trained doctoral-level leaders in adapted physical education and create a research-based collaborative culture to build capacity in the field of adapted physical education.
Adapted physical education is an often overlooked yet vitally important area of special education. Physical education provides a means by which individuals engage in and learn about health-enhancing behaviors. In fact, physical education is the only subject within the public school curriculum specifically designed to develop motor skills and health-enhancing behaviors and promote regular physical activity for individuals with disabilities. IDEA recognized this significant contribution, which mandates that all children with disabilities receive physical education services. Indeed, since PL 94-142 was signed in 1975, physical education, specially designed if necessary (i.e., adapted physical education), has been (a) the only academic subject matter directly mentioned in the statute, and (b) identified as an essential, direct service component of special education.
Unfortunately, many physical educators report being inadequately prepared to educate individuals with disabilities in their classes, which can lead to instances where students with disabilities do not receive adequate educational experiences that facilitate regular participation in physical activity and the development of health-enhancing behaviors. Institutions of higher education play a critical role in preparing competent, highly qualified physical educators for all students, including those with high-intensity needs. However, our data indicate that the number of leaders being trained to go into faculty positions in adapted physical education is significantly less than the number of position openings nationally.
The project supports a newly formed interuniversity collaboratory (i.e., a center without walls where researchers work collectively without regard to physical location), which is pleased to propose the training of 15 high-quality and competent scholars at the doctoral degree level at two universities who will (a) serve as higher education faculty and (b) train pre-service physical educators, adapted physical educators, and related service professionals to appropriately educate high-need children with disabilities.
This training will occur through coursework, practica, community-based service-learning programs, research engagement, and a unique CAPER Enrichment program, which will include monthly online seminars, bi-annual research institutes, and an exchange program. The faculty engaged in this collaboratory are known leaders nationally and internationally in adapted physical education, which places this project in an advantageous position to provide quality and essential doctoral-level training. Bringing together faculty from three universities, this project is innovative because it not only proposes to prepare leadership personnel, but also to create a collaborative community to advance knowledge in adapted physical education and disseminate scholarly works derived from this project to build capacity in the field of adapted physical education.
Scholars in this proposal will benefit from a multi-dimensional preparation program and the varying methodological and high-intensity needs (e.g., autism spectrum disorder, visual impairment) expertise of adapted physical education, physical education, and special education faculty.