Survey shows demand for adapted PE teachers

By Marianne Renner

A shortage of physical education teachers for the handicapped has been proven by a needs assessment survey.

More than 150 of these teachers, called adapted physical education teachers, are needed in Illinois special education programs according to the survey conducted by Garth Tymeson, assistant professor of physical education.

Tymeson said the need for adapted PE teachers has evolved over the past eight years. He said a law requiring handicapped students to participate in physical education brought about this need.

To accommodate this need NIU’s Physical Education Master’s program focuses on the training of adapted PE teachers.

Tymeson said the program combines courses in regular and adapted physical education with public school teaching experience at various northern Illinois sites.

e said the one-year training program is one of about 20 in the nation and is attended by students from all over the country.

The PE department recently received a 3-year grant of nearly $200,000 which will aid the master’s program. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services and was the third of its kind received by the PE department in the past seven years.

Tymeson said some students who have completed the program are now employed in special eduacation programs in Peoria, Elgin, Glen Ellyn, Lombard, Chicago, Joliet, Naperville, Normal and DeKalb.