Recruitment and initial socialization into adapted physical education teacher education

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While much has been learned about the socialization of physical education teachers through occupational socialization theory, less is known about the socialization of adapted physical educators. The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences leading individuals to enrol in a graduate-level adapted physical education teacher education programme in the United States. Participants included 17 first semester preservice adapted physical education teachers (5 males, 12 females). Data were collected through two individual interviews with each participant and autobiographical essay writing. Results revealed similarities and differences in the recruitment of adapted physical educators and physical education generalists. Specific themes included: (a) individuals with disabilities were the most powerful socializing agents; (b) both positive and negative experiences in sport and physical education facilitated recruitment; (c) an incomplete apprenticeship of observation framed recruitment; and (d) participants had different background experiences and espoused diverse career goals. Results are discussed with implications focusing on the socialization of both physical educators and adapted physical education specialists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-69
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Physical Education Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020


  • Occupational socialization theory
  • adapted physical education teacher education
  • apprenticeship of observation
  • children with disabilities
  • qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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