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EDPH444 Adapted Physical Education

Unit rationale, description and aim

Teachers need to ensure that all students with disability are able to participate in the Curriculum on the same basis as their peers through rigorous, meaningful and dignified learning programs.

This unit is designed to provide opportunities for pre-service teachers to develop the confidence and competence to effectively include students with a variety of disabilities in primary school physical education. Through lectures, practical sessions and fieldwork, students learn about a wide range of disabilities, including the aetiology, diagnosis and prognosis of specific conditions. Participants gain knowledge about the most common types of disabilities and ways of making reasonable adjustments to activities for children with additional needs. In addition, pre-service teachers learn about necessary consultation between the school, student, parents or carers, and other relevant parties. Preservice teachers will learn how to cater for the interests, needs and abilities of individuals when planning and implementing physical and outdoor education programs in the regular and special school setting and recreation programs in the community. 

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1     identify and explain the nature of students with diverse learning needs (APST 1.3; GA1, GA5, GA8)

LO2    demonstrate an understanding of strategies for adapted physical or outdoor education utilising relevant policy and resources (APST 1.5, 1.6, 2.1, 4.1; GA1, GA4, GA5, GA8) 

LO3     critically analyse and evaluate the inclusivity of a community sporting or recreation organisation (APST 1.4, 1.5, 1.6; GA1, GA4, GA8) 

LO4     plan for consultation and working collaboratively with relevant stakeholders (i.e. learning support teacher, parents/carers, community organisations) (APST 1.6, GA7) 

LO5     produce a unit of work using curriculum, assessment and reporting knowledge to organise content; and design effective learning sequences to meet the needs of diverse learners and support inclusive student engagement in physical education (APST 1.3, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 3.2, GA 1, GA5, GA9).

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 


On successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should be able to:

1.3 Demonstrate knowledge of teaching strategies that are responsive to the learning strengths and needs of students from diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds.

1.5 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of strategies for differentiating teaching to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities. 

1.6 Demonstrate broad knowledge and understanding of legislative requirements and teaching strategies that support participation and learning of students with disability.

2.1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the concepts, substance and structure of the content and teaching strategies of the teaching area.

2.2 Organise content into an effective learning and teaching sequence.

3.2 Plan lesson sequences using knowledge of student learning, content and effective teaching strategies.

3.4 Demonstrate knowledge of a range of resources, including ICT, that engage students in their learning.

4.1 Identify strategies to support inclusive student participation and engagement in classroom activities.

4.2 Demonstrate the capacity to organise classroom activities and provide clear directions.

4.3 Demonstrate knowledge of practical approaches to manage challenging behaviour.

6.2 Understand the relevant and appropriate sources of professional learning for teachers.

6.4 Demonstrate an understanding of the rationale for continued professional learning and the implications for improved student learnings. 


Topics will include:

  • Celebrating differences within school learning environments
  • Planning for practical indoor/outdoor experiences within schools
  • Participation- ‘on the same basis’
  • Consultation- who is involved?
  • Managing inclusion within schools; decision models in inclusive sport education
  • Intellectual disabilities and adapted physical education
  • Physical disabilities and adapted physical education
  • Vision, sensory and hearing impairments and adapted physical education
  • ADD/ADHD; Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorder and adapted physical education
  • Teachers continued professional learning needs focused on students with disabilities and adapted physical education.
  • Inclusivity in outdoor education
  • Relevant policies for inclusion
  • The TREE model and inclusive practices (e.g. Sports Ability resources)
  • The 7 pillars of inclusion

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit is designed to give pre-service teachers an understanding of how to engage in research, consultation, planning and engagement with community organisations to enable students with a disability to participate in physical and outdoor education ‘on the same basis’ as their peers. To achieve this, the unit will comprise lectures, individual and group work, workshops, and engagement with community organisations. The unit is specifically designed to provide reflective learning experiences for pre-service teachers to construct their own understandings of effective pedagogy meeting students’ needs, underpinning the learning required to complete the assessment tasks and meet the learning outcomes of the unit.

Pre-service teachers should anticipate undertaking 150 hours of study for this unit. This unit will be delivered face to face on a weekly basis across a 12-week semester or in intensive mode. Where in exceptional circumstances small cohort groups of pre-service teachers exist studying in multi-modal programs, delivery may involve a combination of face-to-face and multi-mode delivery. Pre-service teachers should expect to participate in a range of the following: online engagement, lectures, tutorials, seminar presentations and group discussions, both online and face-to-face, self-directed study activities and assessment tasks.

Technology Enhanced Learning

Technology will be used throughout the unit. Lectures will be recorded and accessible for review via LEO. Practical workshops and tutorials are not possible to record. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment in this unit follows the acquire, assimilate and apply model, whereby assessment tasks enable preservice teachers to acquire information about disabilities and teaching strategies to adapt to cater for students’ needs, assimilate that knowledge by critiquing and reporting on a community organization, and apply their learning to produce a unit of work. As such assessment tasks are designed to progressively meet the learning outcomes and include written and oral components.


Minimum Achievement Standards

The assessment tasks for this unit are designed to demonstrate achievement of each learning outcome.

In order to pass this unit, students are required to students are required to submit all assessment tasks and achieve a cumulative mark of more than 50%.

Electronic Submission, Marking and Return

Written assignments will be submitted and returned via TurnItIn

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1

Group presentation:

Research a specified disability and explain ways this disability can be catered for in a physical education session. 


LO1, LO2

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8

Assessment Task 2

Community organisation critique and report:

Students will investigate a community sporting or recreation organisation and critically analyse their inclusion policies and procedures (written report). 



GA1, GA4, GA8

Assessment Task 3

Unit of work:

Plan and write an inclusive physical education unit of work that incorporates collaboration with relevant stakeholders. Students will need to utilise relevant policy and resources in the unit plan. 


LO2, LO4, LO5

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9

Representative texts and references

Required text(s)

Australian Curriculum

Australian Curriculum – Health and Physical Education

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA)

Relevant State and Territory curriculum documents. 


Recommended references

Davis, T., & Dillon, S (2010). Adapted physical education. Blacksburg VA: PE Central.

Pangrazi, R., & Beighle, A. (2014). Dynamic physical education for elementary school children (17th ed). Essex, England: Pearson Education Ltd.

Williams, A. & Cliffe, J. (2011). Primary PE: Unlocking the potential. Maidenhead, UK: McGraw-Hill International Ltd.

Dudley, D., Telford, A., Peralta, L., Stonehouse, C., & Winslade, M. (2018). Teaching quality health and physical education. South Melbourne, Vic: Cengage Learning Australia.

McMaster, N. (2019). Teaching health and physical education in early childhood and the primary years. Australia: Oxford University Press.

Meldrum, K., & Peters, J. (2012). Learning to teach health and physical education: The student, the teacher and the curriculum. Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Australia.

Block, M. E. (2016). A Teacher's Guide to Adapted Physical Education. Paul H. Brookes Publishing..

Lieberman, L. J., & Houston-Wilson, C. (2017). Strategies for inclusion: Physical education for everyone. Human Kinetics.

Winnick, J., & Porretta, D. L. (2016). Adapted physical education and sport. Human Kinetics.

Representative websites

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