Experiential learning through a physical activity program for children with disabilities

K. Andrew R. Richards, Andrew D. Eberline, Sookhenlall Padaruth, Thomas J. Templin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Service-learning has become a popular pedagogical tool to promote academic and civic learning. One form of service-learning provides physical activity for underrepresented community groups, including children with disabilities. Using experiential learning theory, the purpose of this descriptive case study was to evaluate college students' experiences in a physical activity-based servicelearning program for children with disabilities. Through convenience sampling, 97 program participants (82 female, 15 male), most of whom were White (N = 85), were recruited for participation. Data included a pre- and postsurvey of civic learning, participant interviews, reflective journaling, and program observations. Qualitative data were analyzed using constant comparison and inductive analysis, and quantitative data were analyzed using Mixed ANOVAs. Results revealed that the program resulted in enhanced civic and academic learning. Themes included making a difference, academic and career connections, emotional and personal growth, and program reflection. Implications of the study and future directions for research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-188
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Teaching in Physical Education
Volume34
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Community service
  • Physical activity
  • Special needs populations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Education

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