Capstone/Dissertation Title

LEARNING DIFFERENCE/DISABILITIES AND THEATRE

Term

Summer 8-31-2020

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAT

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Vivian Johnson

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Dan Spriggs

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Molly Zupon

Abstract

Miller-Sherman, A. LEARNING DIFFERENCE/DISABILITIES AND THEATRE (2020)

The research question for this thesis was, how do students with learning differences and disabilities enrolled in a theater class describe their affective and cognitive learning during the class? The aim and purpose of this thesis is to explore how one to three students who are on the autism spectrum or have learning disabilities describe their experience of participating in a theater class. The goal is to understand from their perspective how they experience social learning in a theater class. The Capstone question focused on theater class because of the author's professional role as a theater teacher. Theater was also an environment where the author, who was diagnosed with a learning disability in elementary school, felt successful as a learner. This capstone used a narrative qualitative research approach to explore the question. Two participants with a documented learning difference completed a researcher designed semi-structured qualitative interview lasting approximately 30 minutes to one hour. The researcher also responded in writing to the interview questions and included her responses as part of the data analysis. The interview questions permitted the researcher to explore the meaning these participants' assigned to their theatre classes and the degree to which it provided them a safe space, and gave them opportunities to practice social interactions with character work, readings, and improvisation. The interview also explored the role of their theatre class in supporting their reading comprehension, self esteem, social skills, collaboration, self expression and ability to engage in creative play.

dc_type

text

dc_publisher

DigitalCommons@Hamline

dc_format

application/pdf

dc_source

School of Education Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations

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