A pilot study of investigate the certificate system for teaching in adapted physical education in Mainland China


Research output: ThesisDoctoral Theses


Physical Education is outstanding and common cultural heritage of humanity because it can foster life's physical and spiritual qualities. Most nations have enacted laws and initiated regulations to protect rights of people with disabilities to participate and enjoy sports activities and physical education.

In 1994, more than 300 participants representing 92 governments and 25 international organizations converged in Salamanca to promote the objectives of "Education for All". They considered the fundamental shift in education policy needed to teach 'Inclusive Education' so that schools would serve every child, especially those with special educational needs. To provide a quality education (including physical education) to every child is now a globally accepted reality, and which is why school systems in developed countries are moving from "mainstreaming" and "integration" towards the development of "Inclusive Schools" (Ainscow, 1993). As a developing nation, China is also in this transition stage, but unlike developed countries, there are still some problems with inclusive physical education.

This research will try to solve some of the problems which are hindering special physical education in China moving towards inclusive physical education, such as the shortage of physical education teachers (existing teachers do not have the professional skills), and the amount of time needed to train APE teachers. This thesis aims to investigate and demonstrate to stakeholders how the teachers’ physical education certification system can be adopted in China.

This research is divided into four parts; part one is a review of current literature to determine how the physical education teachers’ qualification system is developing across the world. The “2013 Education Statistics report of China” (MEPRC, 2014) and the SPORTDiscus, Pubmed, Physical Education, and CNKI literature databases are two parts of data sources used in this research. The second part is the questionnaire survey that was carried out from February to June 2015, where the author distributed 100 questionnaires vial field visits and mailing, to about 100 teachers employed by more than 20 special schools. The third part used mathematical calculations to study the extent of demand and speed of training of current APE teachers. The fourth part compares the physical educators’ training and certification mode in mainland China and the USA with a four stage comparative methodology, to try and investigate a similar system in mainland China.

The research shows that after decades of development, the CAPE system in the US is the world leader. My survey shows that most teachers believe their existing skills will not cope with inclusive physical education, but they are willing to participate in training. The third part of my research shows that mainland China conservatively needs more than 24,000 APE teachers and the current training mode cannot meet this demand. The final part shows that China's legal protection, course system, training system, and quality evaluation has certain differences with the United States, which means a certification system with national standards is needed.

China's current education mode cannot meet the current requirements for the number and quality of APE teachers, and neither can it meet the goal of developing inclusive education. However, these problems can be solved by establishing an APE teachers’ certification system that is similar to the United States. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Education
Awarding Institution
  • The Education University of Hong Kong
  • LO, Sing Kai 盧成皆, Supervisor
  • CHEN, Shihui, Supervisor
  • SUN, Fenghua 孫風華, Supervisor
Award date10 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Adapted physical education
  • Inclusive education
  • Certification system
  • Theses and Dissertations
  • Thesis (Ed.D.)--The Education University of Hong Kong, 2018.


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