Inclusion of children with mental and physical disabilities in ordinary school PE – a conceptual framework

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review


Children with mental and physical disabilities are less often participating in school PE in Danish primary and secondary schools. Engagement in physical activity is equal important for all children, and the exclusion from PE can have negative consequences for their current physical and mental health and future possibilities for an active and healthy life. The purpose of the current study is to conceptualize a practical framework to ensure the inclusion of all children regardless of mental and physical abilities in school PE.
The development of the conceptual framework is based on three methodological approaches. Firstly, the current evidence base is systematically reviewed for practical approaches and guidelines for inclusion in sport and PE. Secondly, qualitative interviews are conducted with PE teachers to identify needs, constraints and opportunities for inclusion. And finally, the framework is developed and reviewed by a coalition of scientific and practical experts in the area.
The framework consists of two levels: a strategic level focusing on prioritization, communication and organizational preparation; and a practical level focusing on didactical and pedagogical approaches for PE. Fundamentally, all children should be able to learn from each PE lesson regardless of physical and metal condition. Teachers must therefore plan, present and accomplish PE there meet individual needs in relation to the curriculum demands. This approach entails: 1) Setting a clear focus on both physical and social learning outcome of the lessons; 2) Selecting activities there are adaptable to meet the individual needs; 3) structuring lessons and communication to decrease disturbing noise and interruptions; 4) focus on positive peer-to-peer feedback to promote supportive social climate; and 5) meet all children with a positive and understanding attitude and focus on their abilities and motivational drivers.
The conceptual framework will be available for all Danish PE teachers from august 2019 at the educational platform hosted by the Ministry of Education. At the same time an educational strategy is planned to include the conceptual framework in the teacher education and professional development. The conceptual framework will increase the inclusion of children with physical and mental disabilities as well as other children with special needs regarding PE. This will ground the foundation for their health and well-being.
Support/Funding Source:
The study is funded by the Danish Ministry of Education

Original languageEnglish
Publication date2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventHEPA Europe 2019 - SDU, Odense, Denmark
Duration: 28. Aug 201930. Aug 2019


ConferenceHEPA Europe 2019
Internet address

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Inclusion of children with mental and physical disabilities in ordinary school PE – a conceptual framework'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this