Let the children have their say: children with special educational needs and their experiences of Physical Education – a review

Peer-reviewed article
(2008 Nov) Support for Learning, 23 168-175

Authors

Janine Coates and Philip Vickerman

Abstract

This paper reviews literature examining the perspectives of children with special educational needs related to their experiences of Physical Education (PE). The extent to which literature addresses inclusion in PE was determined and emerging themes arising from consultation with children with special educational needs regarding PE were examined. Qualitative studies, concentrating on consultation with special educational needs children, were reviewed and six key themes were identified: children's experiences of PE; their experiences of PE teachers; discrimination by others; feelings of self-doubt; barriers to inclusion; and empowerment and consultation. Findings indicate children with special educational needs enjoy PE when fully included; however, participation is restricted by discrimination, limited teacher training and material barriers to inclusion. Consequently, teacher training in special educational needs and the education of non-disabled children about special educational needs requires extensive consideration.

Education