Attitudes towards inclusive physical education: An assessment of kinesiology students


The United National Education Scientific and Cultural Organization requires children with disabilities to be provided with physical education (PE) that includes participation opportunities in an inclusive, adapted, and safe environment (UNESCO, 2015). There is a strong relationship between teachers' attitudes towards inclusiveness and their willingness to create an inclusive PE environment. As part of a larger study assessing preservice teachers' attitudes towards inclusive PE (Salters et al, in prep), this study focused on potential PE teachers (i.e., kinesiology students who may/may not pursue teachers' college). Participants (N=91) completed the Attitudes Towards Inclusive Physical Education (ATIPE) questionnaire (Meier & Ruin, 2019). The ATIPE scale uses two-factor analysis to assess wide and narrow attitudes. Wide attitudes reflect holistic approaches to PE (inclusive), while narrow attitudes reflect normative expectations (exclusive). Participants responded on a Likert scale from strongly agree to strongly disagree. Regression analyses considered if attitudes of kinesiology students could be predicted by age, gender, year of program, intention to a degree in education, or strand of the program. There were no significant predictors. Pre-service teachers from the larger study had more wide attitudes (M = 3.71; SD = .44) than kinesiology students (M = 3.34; SD = .56) in the current research. Results contradict literature that training can enhance inclusive mindset (Schwab, 2015), but may reflect the lack of a specific PE course in kinesiology programs. Overall, findings demonstrate further need to investigate possible predictors of attitudes towards inclusion to ensure PE classrooms are a positive learning environment.