Document Type


Degree Comments

Submitted to the College of Graduate Studies Bridgewater State University Bridgewater, Massachusetts in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in English

Degree Program

Physical Education

Degree Type

Master of Science In Physical Education with an Individualized Concentration


Students graduating from physical education teacher education (PETE) programs are not being adequately prepared to teach students with disabilities. Their perceived lack of confidence and comfort may be due to lack of disability awareness, hands-on experience, and course content surrounding disabilities and inclusion. Ultimately, students with disabilities’ educational experiences may be negatively impacted- in regard to physical, emotional, and social growth—if their PE teacher lacks adequate preparedness. Students are also being placed in inclusion settings at a higher rate, making it even more imperative that teachers are adequately prepared, and students are given guidance from a knowledgeable source. The purpose of this research was to unveil characteristics garnered and honed from my own lived experiences which lead to me having a perceived heightened confidence and comfort working with and teaching students with disabilities. This study used an autobiographical narrative inquiry to explore my lived experiences from my own memories and analyze how they have helped me become the person that I am today. I utilized three autobiographical stories, “Meeting Connor”, “Becoming More Involved in Connor’s Life”, and “Changing Perspectives”, as well as a reflective journal to complete this research.


Matthew Patey