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(Re)imagining Inclusive Physical Education Pedagogy: teachers and pupils’ perspectives

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences

About the Project

With a diverse pupil population, inclusive education has become an important aspect of educational policies internationally (UNESCO, 2017). The term ‘inclusive education’ now acknowledges the importance of equal access and equal opportunities for all (not just those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities - SEND). It is about rejecting segregation or exclusion of learners for whatever reason – ability, gender, language, care status, family income, disability, sexuality, colour, religion or ethnic origin. Inclusive education has of course a number of implications for educational and sport organisations and its staff. However, very little research has been conducted on how physical education (PE) teachers understand and practice inclusive physical education (IPE) as well as what the possibilities and challenges of different approaches/strategies to IPE are. Pupils are also rarely consulted to inform teachers’ practices.

To address this gap, the proposed study seeks to: (i) review the available research on effective inclusion and IPE; (ii) carry out school case studies to develop in-depth insights on PE teachers and pupils’ understanding of inclusion and the pedagogical possibilities and challenges embedded in existing practices (phase one); (iii) develop, administer and analyse a teacher survey examining PE teachers’ understanding and practices at a wider scale (phase two); (iv) consider the implications for policy makers, schools, teachers and other stakeholders (e.g., governors, parents, pupils); and (v) provide concrete recommendations on what effective IPE looks like and how teachers and schools can improve their provision.

A mixed methodological approach will be adopted.


Florian, L. & Black-Hawkins, K. (2011) Exploring inclusive pedagogy. British educational research journal, 37 (5), 813-828.
2. Makopoulou, K. & Thomas, G. (2017). Educating Teachers for Effective Inclusive Pedagogies. In: C.D. Ennis (Eds) Routledge Handbook of Physical Education Pedagogies (London: Routledge)
3. Rouse, M. and Florian, L. (2012). Teacher education for inclusive education: Final report of the inclusive practice project. Available at: (accessed Monday 31st August 2015)
4. UNESCO (2017). A guide for ensuring inclusion and equity in education (Paris: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization)

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