Turkey PDF Print E-mail

ACADEMIC EDUCATION IN THE FIELD OF DISABLED SPORTS IN TURKEY
Prof.Bilsen Sirmen, PhD PT.
Modified form presentation during 2009
11 th ICHPER-SD Europe Regional Congress& Exposition, ANTALYA-TURKİYE

Adapted physical education and activity, overall disability sports are rather new sports areas in the world when it is compared with regular sports. Since the beginning of the twentieth century, a special attention has been given on increasing the sports opportunities of people with disabilities (DePauw & Gawron, 1995; Annual Global Move, WHO, 2003; Paciorek, 2005; Winnick 2005). It is well known that, besides the accessibility of the sports facilities for different types of disabilities, education of the teachers and sports trainers in this area are also important for the promotion of sports among the people with disabilities. That is why, in the last two decades, in Turkey, there has been a special interest to make sports popular among the people with disabilities, as well as to increase the qualified people working in disability sports. However, there is still inefficiency of the accessibility of the public places, like sport centers, and public transportation, which are limiting the mobility of the people to join to the sports activities. On the other hand we believe that, education of the individuals dealing with people with disabilities, should be a part of the contemporary education system of the universities. Thus, in this study, we would like to present an overview of the adapted physical education and activity programs offered to physical education teaching, coaching and sports managing students in Turkey.

The outcomes of a study we have done on the attitudes of the teachers towards the students with disabilities and chronic diseases may give brief information on how necessary this education is. According to the results of the study, only 25% of the classroom teachers and 31% of the physical education and sports teachers take in consideration and focus on the disabilities and chronicle diseases of the students while planning their yearly course program. Unfortunately, 66,4% of the physical education and sports teachers and 76,85% of the classroom teachers left these questions unanswered (Kayapınar & Inal, 2002). That means they do not have any idea on what should be done in these circumstances. Thus, especially in the new millennium, it has been focused on the education system in physical education and sports schools to provide students and graduates with the necessary special skills and knowledge. This is aimed to enable them to cope with the individuals with different disabilities and in any age group during their classes and sports training.  

Legal Rights in Education:

The students having medical problems such as orthopedic, neurological or psychological etc...  conditions or  chronic diseases (diabetes, asthma, cardiovascular disorders, hemophilia etc..) have rights for sports education according to the TR Constitution Art. 27 stating that "every individual has the right to learn, to teach, to explain and to publish the science and the art freely and to conduct researches of all kind on these topics."  and Art. 42 expressing that "any individual can not be deprived of the right to have education" (Batum & Yüzbaşıoğlu, 2000).   In another word, it gives the right of freedom to have education   and states that this can not be limited due to the disabilities and diseases. However, individuals with disabilities or medical problems have right for sports training not only on educational basis but also for fun and enjoyment, which is one of the main objectives of sports (Martens 2004; Title VII-Physical Education for Progress Act.).  Although it is not supported by the authorities, when the students with disabilities are allocated to the separate schools, of course, they have right to have well donated, high quality of adapted physical education from their PE teachers (DePauw & Gawron,1995; Paciorek , 2005; Craft & Lieberman, 2006). Thus, the teachers assigned for example, to the special education schools (Krebs, 2005), blind or hearing deficiency schools (Craft & Lieberman 2000) should be professionally prepared for the different types requirements of their students during the adapted physical education and sports classes.

Integration Via Sports:

 The students with different problems may be in various medical needs, they deserve to have the same attention and teaching facilities as the others. They should have chance to involve with the class actively and feel themselves as a part of the class as well. Overall, they will rather feel integrated than abandoned in the class or in the school environment (DePauw, Gavron 1995; Winnick, 2005). The impact of integration could be seen on the children with disabilities as increased self-confidence, self-esteem and increased motivation. This will eventually help them to feel themselves physically fit, more comfortable and secure among the others. As they  become more active in the PE class and in their daily life,  no matter at what activity level they are, we could eventually expect some increase in their health and skill related  physical fitness due to the  improvement in their cardio respiratory endurance, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, and body composition (Young, 1997; Bezner, 2005; Stout, 2006). On the other hand, the children without any disabilities could have the chance to understand that, although some children are physically, mentally or sensorially different than them, they still enjoy the same way as they do; they also have courage to overcome the similar obstacles they are facing with during their childhood; they both laugh or get excided in the same situation. Thus, as they know and The consequences of these learnt behaviors during childhood might be the initial seeds of the integration of the people with disabilities in the society (Winnick 2005). Hence, sport as a very effective tool to combine people, ideas and the souls can unite the individuals in any age and gender with or without disabilities.

Adapted Physical Education and/or Activity in Turkey: 

Physical Education and Sports Departments/Schools in the universities are in the responsibility of the professional preparation of physical education (PE) teachers, sports trainers, coaches and sports managers in adapted physical education. In 2000, the curriculum of the more than fifty (50) Physical Education and Sports Schools (SPES) in different universities were rearranged to provide unique teaching system through the Turkish Higher Education Council. A course titled with Adapted Physical Education with two theoretical hours (2 0 2), which aimed to give general information to the students on adapted physical education, was introduced to the programs of the PE Departments.  However, since this informative course was not efficient for the students who are interested in working professionally in this area after graduation, as a pioneer, Marmara University, School of Physical Education and Sports (SPES) initiated two selective programs. These are Adapted Physical Education  Program for the students of Department of Physical Education  Teaching (Table 1) and  Physical Education Activity Program for the students of Department of Trainer Education and Sports Management in 2002 (Table 2). Among the third year students the ones who were "successful" and having at least medium of 65 out of 100 of the first two years, are eligible to select these programs. Although these are two separate programs, as an overview of the courses, we can conclude that, they aim to give brief information on medical, psychosocial conditions of people with disabilities in different ages, and teaching/training methods in addition to games and play for students with disabilities; types, rules and regulations of disability sports; classification systems, sports organizations and recreative activities. The students are having training on athletics, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair and standing table tennis, swimming, canoeing, goalball.  There are two apprenticeships for the last two semesters that students are having chance to practice their gained skills and knowledge on three weeks rotation base in the sports clubs, as well as in the integrated and special education schools. In this apprenticeship, the students are especially having chance to   practice with wheelchair basketball and goallball teams under the supervision of their PE teachers/coaches, and to work with the children having physical and mental challenges, and visual problems under the supervision of their PE teachers. 

Table 1: Adapted Physical Activity Elective Program for the  Department Physical Education Teaching of Marmara University School of Physical Education and Sports.

Year

Semester

Courses

Theoretical

Practical

Total

  Third

5

Sports for Physical Disabilities

2

2

3

Sports for Mental Disabilities

2

2

3

6

Special Education

   

3

Sports for Visually /Auditory Disabilities

2

2

3

Fourth

7

APPRENTICESHIP I

1

6

2

8

APPRENTICESHIP II

1

6

3

 

TOTAL

8

18

17

Table 2: APA Elective Program for the Departments  Trainer Education and Sports Management of  Marmara University School of Physical Education and Sports.

Year

Semester

Courses

Theoretical

Practical

Total

Third

5

Sports for Physical Disabilities

2

2

3

Sports for Mental Disabilities

2

2

3

6

Wheelchair Sports

2

2

3

Sports for Visually /Auditory Disabilities

2

2

3

Special Education

2

0

2

Fourth

7

Health Problem and Rehabilitation in Disabled Sports

2

0

2

Sports for Elderly

2

0

2

APPRENTICESHIP I

1

4

4

8

Recreation in Disability

2

2

3

APPRENTICESHIP II

1

4

4

 

TOTAL

18

18

27

Similarly, Istanbul University SPES, initiated a program for the students of Department of Trainer Education and Sports Management in 2005 (Table 3). The program has totally 21 credits (16 ECTS). The sport training is mainly on athletics, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair and standing table tennis, and goalball. This program has apprenticeship on rotation base for one semester similar to Marmara University SPES program. The students are also having chance to work in the project, which was sponsored by the University Research Fund with the title of "Health Promotion of Children with Mental Challenges through Sports" (No.512)  in their third year during some of the practicum  hours.

Table 3: Sports for Disability Elective Program for the Department of  Trainer Education and Sports Management of İstanbul University School of Physical Education and Sports.

Year

Semester

Courses

Theoretical

Practical

Total

Third

5

Introduction to Sports for Disability

 2

2

3

Disability and Health Matters

 2

2

3

6

Team Sports in  Disability

 2

2

3

Individual Sports in Disability

 2

2

3

Fourth

7

Sports for Elderly

 2

0

2

Recreation in Disability

 2

0

2

8

APPRENTICESHIP

 1

 4

 4

 

TOTAL

  13

12

21

Although, Marmara and Istanbul Universities are the pioneers in Turkey regarding to the training in Adapted Physical Education and Disabled Sports, many universities in the country are also working in this area. Mediterranean University, SPES has Adapted Physical Education and Sport as a secondary area for totally 9 credits (12ECTS) and graduate courses (Table 4). A research center was structured under the title of "Application and Movement Center for Mental and Physical Disabilities" where in-service courses are given for the undergraduates interested in adapted physical education and activity. In this center, special training is given to the mentally challenged children in swimming, athletics, gymnastics, individual and team sports as after school activity.

Table 4: Mediterranean University School of PE and Sports APE I -II Elective Program.

Year

Semester

Courses

Theoretical

Practical

Total

ECTS

Third

5

Sport and Disability

  3

0

3

4

6

Aging and Sports

  3

0

2

4

Fourth

7

Women and Sport

  3

0

2

4

 

TOTAL

  9

0

 9

12

The best ones among them have been trained as athletes to participate actively in the sports organizations of the Turkish Special Olympics and Sports Federation for Mental Disabilities.  Recreation Departments of Physical Education and Sports Schools of Kocaeli and Sakarya Universities in Marmara Region of Turkey, also have undergraduate courses for sport and disability (Table 5).

Table 5: Graduate courses of APE and Disability Sports in different universities in Turkiye.

University

 Graduate     Programs

Course

T

P

C

ECTS

Ege  University   

Department of Physical Education and Sports

Adapted Physical Education and Sports

2

0

2

-

Kocaeli University

Department of  Recreation

Sports for People with Disabilities

2

1

2.5

-

Sakarya  University

Department of  Recreation

Sports for People with Disabilities

1

2

2

-

Graduate courses given in the universities are aiming to prepare the educators, coaches and sports managers on the concepts of adapted physical education and activity regarding to modify, adapt and administer sports movements, organize sports activities, and increase the knowledge and awareness of the society in this area (Table 6).  The increasing number of   post-graduate thesis in disabled sports as Adapted Physical Education and   Activity   in different universities   are  very promising for the future of these areas in Turkey, not only for the effects of the  outcomes of these scientific studies, but also for their recognition and dissemination of adapted physical education and activity among people with or without disabilities.

Table 6: Post-graduate courses of APE and Disability Sports in different universities in Turkiye.

University

Post-graduate     Program

Course

T

P

C

ECTS

Marmara University

M Sc

-

-

-

-

-

PhD

Sports for Physical Disabilities

Sports for Mental Disabilities

2

2

0

0

2

2

-

-

Istanbul University

M Sc

Training in Disability Sports

2

2

3

-

Mediterranean University

M Sc

Physical Education and sports for Children with Mental  Disabilities

2

0

2

12

Ph D

Principles and Methods of Adapted Physical Education and Sports

2

0

2

12

Conclusion:

There has been an important progress in the education system of the adapted physical education and/or activity in Turkey. Graduate and post-graduate university education, research studies conducted in these areas are very promising for the future of the sports opportunities of the individuals with disabilities. We believe that this will be a notable step to promote  integration of people with or without any disability.

Acknowledgement:

The authors gratefully acknowledge to the Schools of Physical Education and Sports of Marmara University, Istanbul University, Mediterranean University, Sakarya University and Kocaeli University for sharing their programs while preparing this paper.

REFERENCES:

  1. Annual Global Move For Health Initiative: A Concept Paper, WHO, Geneva, 2003.
  2. Batum S, Yüzbaşıoğlu N. (2000) Anayasa Hukukunun temel ilkeleri. Fourth Edition, İstanbul, Beta.
  3. Bezner JR (2006). Prevention and the promotion of health, wellness, and fitness. (In) Therapeutic exercise, moving toward function. Editors Carrie m. Hall, Lori T. Brody. Second Edition, Philadelphia, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
  4. Craft DH, Lieberman L. (2000) Visual impairments and deafness. (In) Adapted physical education and sport. Ed. Joseph P. Winnick, Third Edition. p.160-180. Human Kinetics, Champaign, Il.
  5. DePauw KP, Gawron SJ. (1995) Disability and sport. Human Kinetics, Champaign.
  6. Kayapınar F,  İnal S. The behaviors of teachers responsible for the physical education and sports courses on motor development of the students. 7th. International Sports Sciences Congress, Sept. 27-29, 2002. Proceedings Book. (Abst.)
  7. Krebs PL (2005) Individuals with unique needs. (In) Adapted physical education and sport. Ed. Joseph P. Winnick, Fourt Edition. p.3-20. Human Kinetics, Champaign. IL.
  8. Martens R.(2004) Successful coaching.  Third Edition. Champaign, Illinois, Human Kinetics.
  9. Paciorek MJ.(2005) Adapted sport. (In) Adapted physical education and sport. Ed. Joseph P. Winnick, Fourt Edition. p.39-53. Human Kinetics, Champaign ,Il.
  10. Stout JL. (2006) Physical fitness during childhood and adolescence. (In) Physical therapy for children Ed. Suzan K. Campbell, Darl W. Vander Linden, Robert J. Palisano. Third Edition. p.257-287. Saunders, Elsevier, St.Luis.
  11. Title VII-Physical Education for Progress Act. Sec.701: Physical Education for Progress Title X of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Of 1965 (20 USC. 8001 et. Seq.)
  12. Winnick JP. (2005) An introduction to adapted physical education and sport. (In) Adapted physical education and sport. Ed. Joseph P. Winnick, Fourt Edition. p.3-20. Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL.
  13. Young J.C. (1997). National Standards for Physical Education. Eric Digest.   
 

EUFAPA menu

Login form



Creative Commons License

Copyright © 2007-2011, EUFAPA