Background: Students with disability show an increasing incidence of school failure. Quality teaching and appropriate support may foster high self-efficacy, a predictive factor for successful school outcomes. Physical Education (PE) can provide students with a context in which self-efficacy and participation are promoted leading to improved academic achievement. The transition into secondary school can be challenging for many students with increased educational demands, developmental changes and individual social identification coinciding. A disability may add to the challenge of success.Methods: Three groups of students, aged 13 years and enrolled in Swedish mainstream schools were targeted (n=439). Groups included students with 1.A diagnosed disability, 2.Low grades in PE (D-F) and 3.High grades (A-C) in PE. Questionnaires were collected and analyzed from 30/439 students with a diagnosed disability (physical, neuro-developmental and intellectual) from 26 classes, their classmates and their PE-teachers (n=25). Relationships between student self-reports and PE-teachers' self-ratings were investigated. Also examined was the potential to which students' functional skills could predict elevated general school self-efficacy, PE specific self-efficacy and aptitude to participate in PE. Results were compared with the total sample and between the three target groups (n=121).Results: For students with disabilities, better self-rated teaching skills were related to lower student perceived general school self-efficacy, PE specific self-efficacy and aptitude to participate in PE. The impact of classroom climate in PE was more obvious among students with disabilities. Perceived functional skills were associated with elevated general school self-efficacy, PE specific self-efficacy and aptitude to participate in PE. Better socio-cognitive functional skills had an overall positive effect on all outcomes. Students with disabilities reported results similar to the total sample, the D-F group scored lower and the A-C group higher than the total sample and the disability group. Elevated self-efficacy in PE is six times less probable in students with disabilities, compared to the A-C group.Conclusions: Our findings that better teacher planning and grading skills, are detrimental to students disadvantaged by disability is contradictive. Improving the establishment and communication of adapted learning standards at the transition to secondary school is a crucial and a predictive factor for promoting positive school experiences for students with disability. Students with disabilities need to be assured that the intended learning outcomes can be reached by doing activities differently than their typically functioning peers. Consideration of class composition is suggested as a means of promoting a positive learning climate, which would particularly benefit students with disabilities. Allocation of resources to support student socio-cognitive skills would improve experiences for the D-F group and likely promote a positive learning environment.
- Psykologi (501)