Health, Exercise, and Sports Sciences ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 4-7-2023


The purpose of this study was to analyze what factors contribute to the self-efficacy/teacher efficacy (TE) of pre-service teachers (PSTs) as they instruct physical education (PE) to students with disabilities (SWDs). Self-efficacy theory, SET, (Bandura, 1977; Maddux, 2013) was used to make meaning of what SET tenets the PSTs found valuable as it pertained to boosting their teacher efficacy as they taught physical education to SWDs. Data collection involved three semi-structured interviews, three reflections, one critical incident account (Flanagan, 1954), ten to twelve non-participatory observations of the PSTs teaching PE in an elementary school with SWDs, informal conversations, email communication, and collection of relevant artifacts that pertained to the purpose of this study. Data trustworthiness was established through the use of multiple researchers, triangulation, an audit trail, member checks and the search for negative cases. Inductive analysis (Huberman & Miles, 1994) of the data generated themes pertaining to self-efficacy theory. Derived from SET, data analysis revealed that the PSTs highly value vicarious experiences, mastery experiences, and social persuasion when considering factors that elevate their TE with SWDs in the PE setting. Implications for Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) programs are discussed.


teacher efficacy, physical education, students with disabilities, adapted PE, motivation research

Document Type




Degree Name

Physical Education, Sports and Exercise Science

Level of Degree


Department Name

Health, Exercise, and Sports Sciences

First Committee Member (Chair)

Karen Gaudreault

Second Committee Member

Victoria Shiver

Third Committee Member

Glenn Hushman

Fourth Committee Member

Amanda Young