Pedagogies for Inclusion in Finnish PE: The Teachers’ Perspective

Christopher Mihajlovic

Abstract


This paper analyses teachers‘ points of view regarding the changes and differentiations in their teaching content and didactic choices that they find necessary to ensure the participation of children with disabilities in physical education (PE) classes. The study consists of a qualitative approach that utilised semi-structured interviews, field notes and participant observation as data collection tools. Three subject teachers of PE, four special education teachers and one class teacher located in the Metropolitan area of Helsinki participated in the research. Given this small sample group, the results of the study make no claims for generalisability, but the findings could help other teachers share
their perspectives and justify their educational choices. Findings revealed that the participants faced challenges when teaching in inclusive settings by making pedagogical modifications to ensure a learning environment suitable for all students. The findings from the research identified two main didactic approaches for including pupils with special needs in physical activities: The adaption of rules and equipment of traditional sports, and the implementation of suitable sports niches or specific games. The research also identified strategies for creating supportive learning environments and the importance of perceived teaching competence in adapted physical education (APE).


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