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Drama and its role in the integration of mentally challenged students : a case study Powell, Jane E 1991

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DRAMA AND ITS ROLE IN THE INTEGRATION OF MENTALLY CHALLENGED STUDENTS - A CASE STUDY  by  JANE E. POWELL B.Ed.  (Secondary), The University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1982  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FLIFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS  in  THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES _  (Department of Language Education)  We accept t h i s thesis as conforming t o the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (2)  September, 1991  In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia/ I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department  or by  his  or  her  representatives.  It  is  understood  that  copying or  publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission.  Department of  Language Education  The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada r w o  DE-6 (2/88)  October  1991  ii ABSTRACT  The purpose of t h i s study was to b u i l d up a picture of what was happening to two mildly mentally challenged students i n an integrated Grade 9 Drama c l a s s . A case-study design was employed and the students were observed over one semester. events i n the second  References were also made to related  semester.  After analysing the f i l e s of the subjects, the teacherresearcher kept journals t o track her thinking, planning, and responses to the events of the classroom.  A videotape of two  classes was made and a c h e c k l i s t was used to obtain feedback an observer.  from  A D i s t r i c t Counsellor interviewed the subjects at  the end of the f i r s t semester.  The regular students i n the  subject class also wrote about the integration process and i t s effect on them. Because the study was descriptive, the objective was not t o make conclusive statements that would apply t o other classrooms. However, the issues that emerged concerned teacher and regular student readiness for the integration of the mentally challenged, the need to respond to the mentally challenged as individuals, the necessity for f l e x i b i l i t y i n programming, and the p o s s i b i l i t i e s that mainstreaming those involved i n the process.  o f f e r s for the growth of a l l  iii TABLE OF CONTENTS Page Abstract Acknowledgement  i i iv  INTRODUCTION  1  CHAPTER ONE Statement of Problem Introduction D e f i n i t i o n of Terms The Problem Summary of Problem  3 4 5 6  CHAPTER TWO The Mentally Challenged Drama i n Education A Personal Perspective The Research Questions  7 13 15 19  CHAPTER THREE Research Design Method Time Setting Data C o l l e c t i o n Recorded Observations Analysis of Data Limitations of the Study The Subjects  21 21 22 23 24 25 25 26  CHAPTER FOUR The Planning The Implementation  32 38  CHAPTER FIVE  78  REFERENCES  91  APPENDIX APPENDIX APPENDIX APPENDIX  94 95 96 97  A B C D  iv ACKNCWLEDGEMENT Sincere appreciation i s expressed to: administrators of School D i s t r i c t Number 24 (Kamloops) B r i t i s h Columbia:  Superintendent, Mr. Tarry Grieve; Norkam  Secondary School Principal, Mr. Ted Paravantes; D i s t r i c t P r i n c i p a l , Mrs. Lorraine Kastelen; and Beattie Elementary School P r i n c i p a l , Dr. Chris Rose. D i s t r i c t Resource teacher, Ms. Marilyn Hogg. D i s t r i c t Counsellor, Mrs. Brenda Simpson. Fine Arts Coordinator, Ms. Pamela Hughes. Norkam L i f e S k i l l s teacher, Mr. Bob Chenoweth. Teacher aide, Mrs. Lynne Fraser-Olson. Drama 9 students and the subjects for being w i l l i n g t o share t h e i r thoughts and feelings with me. Dr. Patrick Verriour, my advisor, who helped me shape an idea into a study. Dr. David Bateson and Dr. B i l l McKee f o r t h e i r encouragement and guidance.  1 INTRODUCTION Fifteen years ago, whiie I was attending university, a professor showed a f i l m about mentally challenged children. Because of the recent deaths of two of my children, I was overcome with sadness at what I saw as a waste of human p o t e n t i a l . the room.  I left  It was not u n t i l seven years l a t e r , when a colleague  invited my drama students to become involved i n teaching l i f e s k i l l s to mentally challenged students at Overlander Secondary School, that I chose to confront my feelings about the mentally challenged. As I v i s i t e d Overlander School with my students, I was learning along with them.  I was devastated to learn that one boy  had swallowed a bottle of A s p i r i n and that t h i s action had him severely challenged.  left  As I started working with the students,  I learned from their teachers how  to respond to them and began to  feel more at ease. I also discovered that the interaction provided by drama resulted i n moments of magic between the two groups of students. The cooperative ventures between drama students and Overlander School continued for two years. They started with the presentation of scenes to demonstrate appropriate dating behaviour.  With t h e i r experience with the Overlander students,  Nbrkam students then created and presented scenes to their peers designed to change the way regular students related to the  2 challenged.  Later, Drama 10 students taught drama  such as tableau, to the Overlander  techniques,  students.  During one v i s i t to the s p e c i a l school, I remember one of the teachers rushing down the h a l l to thank me for bringing the drama students; he stressed how important i t had been for h i s severely challenged students to see regular students.  I remember thinking  that he was the one who deserved the thanks, but i n h i s manner, I read a yearning for a normal l i f e for h i s students. when I learned that Overlander School was c l o s i n g and that students would be attending neighbourhood schools, I wondered how the students would survive outside the protection that the s p e c i a l school offered. Perhaps p a r t l y from concern, and c e r t a i n l y because of the moments of magic, I was anxious to become involved i n integration at Norkam. It so happened that the journey of School D i s t r i c t #24 towards inclusive schools and my own journey were i n step.  Throughout the study, I s h a l l return to the f i r s t person perspective where relevant, as dictated by the methodology and content.  3 CHAPTER ONE STATEMENT OF PROBLEM  Introduction Over the l a s t twenty years, we have seen a growing concern with the rights of the individual.  This concern has been  formalized by l e g i s l a t i o n and has had i t s impact on a l l areas of our l i v e s .  In North America, recent l e g i s l a t i v e actions have  required that a l l children have a r i g h t to be educated i n "the least r e s t r i c t i v e environment" (Education for A l l Handicapped Children Act of 1975. U.S.C.). At one time, children with special needs were segregated i n order to give them the opportunity t o work i n a smaller group with a s p e c i a l l y trained teacher, but this p o l i c y has been c a l l e d into question by those who believe that to separate children from their peers i s to deny them important opportunities for growth.  "The  best language, s o c i a l , dress, and behaviour models are i n regular education classrooms"  (Brown, Schwartz, Udvari-Solner, Frattura  Kampschroer, Johnson, Jorgensen,  & Grenwald, 1991).  While i t i s d i f f i c u l t to disagree with a p o l i c y that offers equal opportunity for a l l , the subject of mainstreaming does raise some important issues i n i t s application.  I t appears that, for  the moment, most of these questions are being asked at the  4 classroom l e v e l and, because the inclusive schools movement i s i n i t s infancy, many of the questions remain, as yet, unanswered.  D e f i n i t i o n of Terms Several terms used i n this report have s p e c i f i c meanings i n the context of classroom teaching.  Definitions of these terms as  used i n t h i s report are offered for the purpose of c l a r i f i c a t i o n . Mainstreaming.  Mainstreaming i s the "temporal, i n s t r u c t i o n a l  and s o c i a l integration of exceptional children with normal peers" (Kaufman, Gotlieb, Agard, & Kukic, 1975, Mentally challenged.  p.  40).  The term mentally challenged refers to  those students who possess " s i g n i f i c a n t l y subaverage general i n t e l l e c t u a l functioning" (American Psychiatric Association, p.  1980,  360). Drama.  Drama i s an a c t i v i t y characterized by the taking on  of r o l e s . Dramatic playing.  Dramatic playing i s a role-drama strategy  i n which the participants spontaneously take part i n a f i c t i o n a l s o c i a l event without the intention of playing to an audience. Performance mode.  Performance mode i s a drama strategy i n  which the participants are concerned with the e f f e c t of t h e i r actions upon an audience. Role drama.  Classroom strategies that include dramatic  playing and performance mode a c t i v i t i e s .  5 Teacher i n r o l e .  Teacher i n role i s a strategy i n which the  teacher assumes a role within the f i c t i o n a l , s o c i a l context i n order to extend^ the learning.  The Problem For the two years prior to the i n i t i a t i o n of the study, Kamloops School D i s t r i c t had been preparing for the of special needs students into the regular classroom. of mentally handicapped  mainstreaming Inclusion  students into their neighbourhood school  became a r e a l i t y with the closure of Cverlander Secondary School i n June, 1990.  Not only did this school provide s p e c i a l programs  such as L i f e S k i l l s for i t s special needs students, but i t offered a somewhat protective environment. The closure of Cverlander Secondary School meant that between f i v e and seven special needs students were attending Norkam Secondary School.  Although these students were placed with a  special education teacher for Language Arts and Math, they were able to attend regular classes i n e l e c t i v e areas. Several research studies have examined the attitudes of teachers and non-handicapped students to mentally challenged children i n their schools; some research studies have attempted to evaluate the process of mainstreaming  i n s p e c i f i c cases; few, i f  any, studies have focused on the mentally challenged students  themselves.  As my drama students have worked with Overlander  students from time to time, of interest to t h i s study was to explore how these mentally challenged students fared i n regular classes. Two integrated students have chosen Drama as an e l e c t i v e , so t h i s study focused on them as they took part i n a regular drama class.  Summary of Problem While many researchers have focused on the attitudes of the host community, i t seemed of interest t o determine the e f f e c t s of mainstreaming  on those students who have the most to gain and the  most to lose from the inclusive schools movement, the mentally challenged students themselves.  Therefore, t h i s study focused on  two mentally challenged students who were integrated into a regular drama class.  7 CHAPTER TWO The Mentally Challenged Because so many professionals have been involved i n providing services to the mentally challenged over the years, mental retardation has been described from many viewpoints and i n many ways.  Although d e f i n i t i o n s are s t i l l not fixed, the American  Psychiatric Association suggests that any d e f i n i t i o n of mental retardation should include three factors: 1.  s i g n i f i c a n t l y subaverage general i n t e l l i g e n c e functioning,  2.  r e s u l t i n g i n or associated with d e f i c i t s or impairments i n adaptive behaviour, and  3.  with onset before the age of 18 (A.P.A., 1980, p.36). If i t has been d i f f i c u l t to reach a consensus on the  d e f i n i t i o n of mental retardation, i t has been doubly d i f f i c u l t for educators to a r r i v e at an agreed response to t h i s condition. Most s p e c i a l education services p r i o r to the 1960s were administered i n self-contained classrooms that segregated the retarded c h i l d from non-retarded peers (Drew, Logan, Hardman, 1989, p.259).  In 1954, i n the case of Brown versus Board of  Education of Topeka, a court decision came down i n favor of the rights of the p l a i n t i f f to regular schooling, and i t was stated that the doctrine of "separate but equal" had no place i n the  8 education system (Drew et a l . , 1988).  More recently, public laws  i n the United States, such as the Education for A l l Handicapped Children Act (1975) and the Vocational R e h a b i l i t a t i o n Act (1973), have ensured f u l l educational opportunities for the handicapped, and have l a i d out procedural safeguards such as the right to be f u l l y informed and included i n a l l decisions.  In order to  guarantee appropriate education for e l i g i b l e handicapped children, the  law requires that individualized education programs be  developed i f and when necessary (Drew et a l . , 1988).  The clause  stating the right of handicapped persons to an education i n "the least r e s t r i c t i v e environment" continues to be put to the test i n the  courts. Integration i s an affirmation of the importance of learning  and performance opportunities provided by s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n with peers (Drew et a l . , 1988).  Research into cooperative learning  suggests that having children working together ensures the use of higher reasoning strategies and c r i t i c a l thinking than those that are  used i n a more t r a d i t i o n a l classroom organization.  Its  proponents claim, also, that peer relationships are a c r i t i c a l element i n the development and s o c i a l i z a t i o n of children and adolescents (Johnson, 1980). However, given the complex nature of retardation, the integration of mentally challenged students i s by no means a  9 simple process.  Mainstreaming  i s described as  "temporal,  i n s t r u c t i o n a l , and s o c i a l integration of e l i g i b l e exceptional children with normal peers" (Drew et a l . , 1988). i s the misconception that just placing mentally students i n a school constitutes integration.  However, there handicapped  In fact, " i t i s  necessary to provide a systematic program to increase s o c i a l integration" (Lewis & Doorlag, 1987). promising i s the use of peer tutors.  One intervention that seems The number of p o s i t i v e group  a c t i v i t i e s increased among even severely mentally  handicapped  students when peer tutoring was employed (Rose, 1979). intervention i s the " C i r c l e of Friends"  Another  program whereby a group  of non-handicapped students gets together with the integrated c h i l d and a teacher to brainstorm solutions to problems that arise.  There i s evidence to suggest that these types of  intervention provide positive feelings for the helpers, as well as providing support for the handicapped  (Sasso & Rude, 1988).  Certain teaching methods have also been suggested to help the integration process.  In a study of integrated pre-schcol  children, spontaneous make-believe play was  found to be an  a c t i v i t y that promoted interaction between the two groups of students (Gardner, 1982).  Cooperative learning groups that  include the mentally challenged have also been suggested.  Other  a c t i v i t i e s that enable students to work at their own pace, such as  lO project work, use of learning centres, and i n d i v i d u a l i z e d educational programs have been recommended (Bowd, 1986). Teacher attitude towards mainstreaming i s perhaps the most c r u c i a l variable i n the measure of success of mainstreaming (Winzer & Rose, 1986).  However, many teachers are not advocates  of integration, and the regular classroom teacher f e e l s prepared to meet the challenges" (Berra, 1989. p. 57).  "illTeachers  do not have the knowledge or the experience to cope well with integrated classrooms, nor do they have access to appropriate i n s t r u c t i o n a l techniques (Berra, 1989).  Part of the problem  appears to be that many teacher t r a i n i n g programs stress academic content rather than methodology (Berra, 1989).  Working with the  handicapped requires the teacher to make a s h i f t i n focus; i n the regular classroom, the system dictates the curriculum, whereas i n special education, i t i s the c h i l d who dictates the curriculum (Lieberman, 1985).  Dorothy Heathcote, a leading drama educator,  sums up t h i s d i f f e r e n t approach when she suggests that when working with special needs students "you have to r e l y more on what you are than on what you know" (Wagner & Heathcote, 1979, p. 210). It appears that the attitude of the teacher to the student i s fundamental to successful integration.  Teachers who use a  developmental approach may be more successful since they look at a l l children as individuals i n terms of cognitive, s o c i a l , moral,  sexual, physical and emotional functioning (Berra, 1989).  In  analysing Dorothy Heathcote's work with handicapped students, Wagner states that "Heathcote s approach i s not d i f f e r e n t i n kind 1  from the way she works with any class" (Wagner & Heathcote, 1979, p. 210). Research into the effects of mainstreaming points out the tendency toward rejection of the handicapped i n regular school (Home, 1985).  Rose and O'Connor (1989) c a l l i n t o question the  p o l i c y of mainstreaming when they state that the p r a c t i c e may have to be re-examined as teachers become more aware that handicapped students are experiencing "increased stigmatization and s o c i a l r e j e c t i o n as a result of mainstreaming" (p. 279).  Other research  indicates that mentally challenged students experience lower s e l f concept i n integrated schools (Gruen, Ottinger, & Ollendick, 1974). Part of the d i f f i c u l t y of mainstreaming the mentally handicapped stems from the d e f i c i t s i n the students.  In order to  be accepted, students need an awareness of appropriate s o c i a l behaviours, and the d e f i c i t i n i n t e l l e c t u a l functioning often indicates a d e f i c i t i n s o c i a l behaviour (Kramer, P i e r s e l , & Glover, 1984).  Social awareness includes s o c i a l s e n s i t i v i t y ,  s o c i a l insight, and the a b i l i t y to communicate (Greenspan, 1979). These components tend to be impaired i n mentally challenged students.  S o c i a l competence has been improved i n some cases by  12 role-taking and sociodramatic a c t i v i t i e s conducted i n segregated classrooms (Blacher-Dixon, & Simonsson, 1988) and the question arises whether even more success would have resulted from similar activities  i n an integrated setting.  Although i t has been found that the mere presence of handicapped  students does not disrupt the classroom (Bowd, 1986),  several issues around mainstreaming  remain problematic.  Although  peer programs seem to be a useful way of f a c i l i t a t i n g interaction (as are c e r t a i n other s p e c i f i c classroom a c t i v i t i e s ) ,  i t appears  that the very d e f i c i t s that separate the mildly mentally handicapped  from the normal population are those that prevent them  from being r e a d i l y accepted by the normal population.  Also,  i n order for interventions and a c t i v i t i e s to be put i n place, leadership from teachers i s essential.  At present, many teachers  are r e s i s t a n t to the idea of integration.  Unless t h e i r attitudes  change, i t seems unlikely that teachers w i l l acquire the s k i l l s and b e l i e f s necessary to make the inclusive schools movement a success. If c e r t a i n a c t i v i t i e s are more l i k e l y to promote integration than others, one might assume that drama, which deals with s o c i a l interaction, might y i e l d interesting r e s u l t s .  The following  section deals with the question "What might drama o f f e r as a way of f a c i l i t a t i n g the integration of the mentally challenged?"  13 Drama i n Education In the 1950's, Peter Slade (1954) proposed a child-centered approach t o drama i n education as a reaction t o what he considered the imposition of adult forms of drama on young people - notably the scripted play.  He drew up a l i s t of the kinds of drama  suitable for the developmental stages of c h i l d r e n .  His follower,  Brian Way, saw drama as a way of developing the " i n d i v i d u a l i t y of i n d i v i d u a l s " (Way, 1967, p. 3) and suggested s p e c i f i c exercises to increase the sensory awareness of young people. However, Dorothy Heathcote (1971) and Gavin Bolton (1984) raised questions about learning i n drama.  Bolton (1984) claims  that the purpose of drama education i s "to exercise mental powers" so that a 'common' understanding of l i f e can be. mastered  (p. 150).  More recently, i n the Report of the Royal Commission on Education (1988) , i n B r i t i s h Columbia, the author states the need for " a l l members of a society to share a set of common understandings" (p. 92) about themselves and their world. In the same document, a l l subjects, including drama, are acknowledged as a "way of knowing" (p.  95) and the Fine Arts strand comprises one of the four main  strands i n the proposed Intermediate curriculum (p. 42). Drama i s characterized by the taking on of r o l e s .  Bolton  (1989) has defined two modes of dramatic a c t i v i t y - dramatic playing and performance mode.  In dramatic playing, he suggests  14 the p a r t i c i p a n t s have "the intention of managing a s o c i a l event" (p. 128), and working spontaneously within i t . they bring the resources they use i n everyday  To t h i s a c t i v i t y , life.  Whereas dramatic playing i s an e x i s t e n t i a l experience, Bolton (1989) suggests that the performance or i l l u s t r a t i n g mode requires the p a r t i c i p a n t s to look with "an outside eye" (p. 130). They become involved i n modelling behaviour, i n communicating ideas and taking r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for "interpreting, manipulating, and d i r e c t i n g the players" (p. 130).  Like Slade (1954), Bolton  suggests that d i f f e r e n t a c t i v i t i e s are appropriate for d i f f e r e n t developmental states - dramatic playing for younger children, and both dramatic playing and performance mode for fourteen years and above. The content of drama has to do with human behaviour.  O'Neill  and Chambers (1982) say that students i n drama learn about "human behaviour, themselves and the world they l i v e i n " (p. 13). Not only i s the content of a s o c i a l nature, but the way students learn i s through interaction.  Through drama, students create and  interpret human meanings through imagined actions and language that simulates and corresponds to r e a l - l i f e actions and language (Neelands, 1984).  15 A Personal Perspective Having examined the current thinking i n the area of drama i n education, I s h a l l now use a more personal s t y l e to explain how these themes translate into my classroom p r a c t i c e . In my experience, drama yields four learning areas. f i r s t i s the content.  The  Drama has to be about something, and to  teach drama without paying attention to the topic i s t o read A Tale of Two C i t i e s (Dickens, 1988) and study only the parts of speech and the punctuation while ignoring the phenomenon of the class system or the notion of s a c r i f i c e . student essays for grammatical  It would be l i k e marking  correctness while ignoring the  sophistication, complexity, or development of ideas. learning area i s s o c i a l learning.  The second  Drama, unlike writing, i s a  s o c i a l a c t i v i t y as i t takes place when individuals i n t e r a c t . Working i n drama offers many opportunities for students to learn how to r e l a t e to others.  Third, drama gives students a chance to  develop their a b i l i t y to use language. can adopt d i f f e r e n t language registers. learn about the a r t form of drama. and space to create an e f f e c t ;  By taking on roles, they F i n a l l y , the students  They learn t o manipulate  time  they use tension, focus and other  dramatic devices i n their plays. However, the learning that i s available through the drama process w i l l only occur i f teachers are clear i n t h e i r minds about  16 what they want the students to learn and i f they allow them time to r e f l e c t on the experience of drama.  I t i s possible for  students to do drama, enjoy themselves immensely, and learn nothing, i f r e f l e c t i o n i s emitted. Let  me share an example from my practice to explain how the  four learning areas are brought into play. a unit on the soap opera.  In Grade ten, I teach  Students are already familiar with this  dramatic form and they come to understand i t s a t t r i b u t e s by brainstorming; then they work with the d i f f e r e n t elements by creating an episode of a "soap".  While the students become  involved i n learning about the a r t form, developing s o c i a l s k i l l s , and finding appropriate language i n order t o produce a scene, I am wondering how to lead them towards an understanding of the difference between power and love.  This i s the content;  what the  lesson i s r e a l l y about for me as the teacher. I encourage students to r e f l e c t on the drama a f t e r each presentation, or at the end of the session. Students w i l l either discuss or write about the drama experience and my role w i l l be to ask questions that w i l l focus their thinking.  One day, i n  response to one of my questions, a low-achieving student volunteered: "In  soap operas, they use love as a t o o l to get what  they want."  17 Thus, even when I am involved i n performance mode, and some of my questions touch on other learning areas,, my goal i s also to increase students' awareness of the way human beings interact through focusing on the content of the drama. Sometimes I find that the learning arises from student input and moves the class i n a direction I had not envisioned. On Racial Awareness Day, I asked my Grade ten students to produce a scene about someone who was d i f f e r e n t .  1 broadened the topic i n  case they d i d not f e e l comfortable dealing with race i n a multicultural class.  One group presented a scene that was about a  homosexual hairdresser and i t was c l e v e r l y done, so we laughed a lot. the  A f t e r several students had commented on the scene, I t o l d c l a s s that I had found the scene very funny, but that my  laughter at t h i s topic made me f e e l uncomfortable. the  I then asked  same group to produce a scene that would b u i l d audience  empathy for the homosexual, who must be played by the same boy who played the 'gay' hairdresser.  Because I had put the challenge i n  performance language - i . e . "audience empathy" - I avoided a long and boring lecture on how l i f e cannot be much fun when you f i n d no acceptance i n society, but 1 achieved my goal of having the students, both performing and as audience, look at the other side of  the coin.  The scene they produced stunned us a l l .  I t was  about a teenage boy who was dating a g i r l and discovered that he  18 was not reacting the way he would be expected to.  I t showed the  scorn that he was subjected to by h i s so-called friends.  Many of  us had tears i n our eyes at the end of the performance and we arranged to share the scenes with the English c l a s s next door.  We  c a l l e d the presentation "Two Sides of the Coin". Although the learning objectives i n t h i s c l a s s were not planned, the class was characterized by a period of r e f l e c t i o n and by focus on the content.  By juxtaposing the two scenes, the  students gained an understanding that drama can make us laugh and make us cry, and that drama can deal with topics i n a s u p e r f i c i a l or a thoughtful way.  Most important, however, i t was demonstrated  that we can look at issues, such as homosexuality,  i n different  ways. Even though I have separated these four learning areas for the purpose of explanation, drama i s an integrated form and the reader w i l l not necessarily be able t o separate them, although she/he may be able to detect the four threads that are woven into the p r a c t i c e .  The Research  Questions  In the context of the problem, and i n the l i g h t of information about mainstreaming  and drama i n education, these are  the questions that the study explored:  19 1.  What i s meant by the term "least r e s t r i c t i v e environment"?  2.  Are we o f f e r i n g equal opportunities i f we f a i l to modify our teaching s u f f i c i e n t l y for special needs students?  3.  If we do modify the curriculum and change the methodology i n order to accommodate special needs students, how w i l l these changes a f f e c t the regular students i n the class?  4.  Do teachers require special t r a i n i n g i n order to adapt their teaching to accommodate special needs students i n the regular classroom?  5.  What e f f e c t does mainstreaming  mentally challenged  students have on the attitudes of the regular students and the teacher? 6.  If we are teaching the student and not the subject, w i l l mainstreaming  change the nature of what happens  i n the classroom? In addition, t h i s study attempted to answer more s p e c i f i c questions about two mentally challenged students and their a b i l i t y to benefit from p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the drama process (see checklist, Appendix D).  Phrased i n more general terms, some of these  questions were:  What kinds of dramatic behaviours do these students exhibit during drama class? To what extent are these students able to r e f l e c t on the drama? What modifications to the content of the course and what changes i n the methodology have to be made i n order to accommodate the mentally challenged student  21 CHAPTER THREE  The purpose of this chapter i s to describe the methodology of the study, the time l i m i t s , the setting, the data c o l l e c t i o n and analyses.  The limitations of the study are o u t l i n e d and,  finally,  a f i r s t person perspective i s adopted i n order to introduce the subjects.  RESEARCH DESIGN Method This case-study focuses on CW. and Clayton, two mentally challenged students who took part i n a Grade 9 drama c l a s s .  As  well as building up a picture of how the students were experiencing drama i n a regular class, reference i s made to the adaptations made by the other students and the teacher to the integrated  students.  The participant-observer r o l e allows the  researcher to become aware of changes i n her/his perceptions, methods, and a b i l i t y to r e f l e c t on her/his practice, and these observations form an integral part of the study.  In t h i s way, the  research methodology, classroom practice, and inner dialogue of the teacher become woven together to create the study.  22 Time The study took place between September, 1990 and 1991,  February,  the f i r s t semester of the school year, although reference i s  a l s o made to incidents that occurred i n the second semester.  Setting The setting for the study was Room 100 at Norkam Secondary School, Kamloops.  The school i s located i n North Kamloops, the  older part of the c i t y , where the population i s m u l t i - c u l t u r a l . Norkam i s a school which i s proud of the ethnic d i v e r s i t y of i t s population and i t i s known for the f r i e n d l i n e s s of i t s students and  staff. The school i s on the semester system, a fact appreciated by  many of i t s Grade 12 students who are able to complete courses i n h a l f a year. The classroom i n which the study took place i s a lecture theatre.  It has a raked auditorium which seats ninety people.  Lighting equipment i s i n evidence and boxes, chairs, blankets, and tables are a v a i l a b l e for the use of the students.  Because i t i s a  theatre, there are no windows and the walls and f l o o r are painted black.  In an attempt to relieve the sombre atmosphere, t h e a t r i c a l  posters have been placed cn the auditorium walls. Three or four times a year, the room i s used as a gathering  23 place for students attending a presentation.  In t h i s event, the  drama students move to the l i b r a r y or another  classroom.  Data C o l l e c t i o n I n i t i a l Student P r o f i l e s P r o f i l e s of the two subjects were made before the beginning of  the school year.  These were drawn up from interviews with  teachers, parents, and the students themselves, as well as from files.  This i n i t i a l data c o l l e c t i o n not only provided a basis for  the research, but also helped the teacher to design suitable a c t i v i t i e s for the integrated c l a s s . Observation The teacher/observer noted student behaviour during the class and used a c h e c k l i s t (see Appendix D) to help focus on s p e c i f i c drama behaviours.  The checklist was drawn up to enable an  observer to ascertain what kind of understanding C.W. and Clayton may have of the drama process and t o guage t h e i r a b i l i t y to assume roles.  The checklist was designed before the beginning of the  semester and remained i n i t s o r i g i n a l form.  Two outside observers  also attended the classes during the semester and used the same c h e c k l i s t to observe behaviour.  Responses from the checklists  were analysed and formed part of the data.  24  Recorded Observations Videotape A video camera was used i n the classroom to record activities.  It was positioned i n the auditorium i n order to  capture the a c t i v i t y that occurred on the stage area and was  used  for two sessions of one hour and twenty minutes respectively. Interviews At the end of the f i r s t semester, the subjects were interviewed by a School D i s t r i c t #24 counsellor, who has some r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the integration of s p e c i a l needs students.  She  conducted semi-structured interviews with each student i n order to shed l i g h t on the way he experienced the c l a s s .  Information  c o l l e c t e d on a more informal basis from the s p e c i a l education teacher and aide was also incorporated. Journals The teacher kept a journal to record thoughts and feelings about the progress of the students i n the class, the lesson plans, and the research i t s e l f .  In this way,  the teacher's thinking was  tracked. Toward the end of the semester, the teacher asked other students to write journals about the integration of the special needs students and those writings have a l s o become part of the research.  The students were urged to be honest about t h e i r  experience of integration.  25 Analysis of Data The data were collected from the beginning to the end of the semester.  As i t was examined, patterns emerged which enabled the  researcher to categorize the information. No attempt was made to apply pre-specified codes or categories as t h i s p r a c t i c e may tend to measure overt behaviour at the cost of ignoring intentions and other less e x p l i c i t variables i n the classroom.  Instead, a more  h o l i s t i c approach was taken so that a p i c t u r e of classroom l i f e could be painted i n order to " c l a r i f y relationships, pinpoint c r i t i c a l processes and identify common phenomena" (Delamont & Hamilton, 1976, p. 13).  Limitations of the Study This study of two special needs students i s limited by several factors. F i r s t , to study a classroom i n a l l i t s complexity i s beyond the a b i l i t y of one person; i n order to study and present the happenings i n a readable form, the researcher has to make decisions about what to look for, what to record, and f i n a l l y , what to report.  These decisions were based to a large extent on  knowledge, experience, and personality.  Second, the very role of  teacher-researcher assumes an involvement and emotional  investment  that would not be present i n an outside observer, so researcher o b j e c t i v i t y i s not an objective.  Third, t h i s study i s a case  26  study so i t i s r e s t r i c t e d to the subjects; data on the students w i l l not be able to be transferred to any other s p e c i a l needs students, since a b i l i t i e s , reactions and learning are individual matters.  Therefore, the study w i l l be d e s c r i p t i v e rather than  prescriptive.  The Subjects Although the two subjects were participants i n the various a c t i v i t i e s we had conducted between Overlander and Norkam p r i o r to t h i s study, my f i r s t real meeting with C.W.  and Clayton was at  Overlander School where they were performing i n a play.  They  seemed f r i e n d l y and very excited about dressing i n costume and acting i n front of an audience. C.W. I learned from C.W.'s f i l e that he was born on August 4, 1974.  His Grade Two teacher noticed h i s delayed development and,  i n her r e f e r r a l to Special Services i n School D i s t r i c t  #34  (Abbotsford), she noted that he was unable to copy from the board, could not recognise l e t t e r s of the alphabet, and h i s speech and sounds were at a pre-school l e v e l . and said he was  She referred to h i s enthusiasm  "an eager student".  Following the assessment, C.W. Golden Ears Elementary.  moved to a s p e c i a l class at  There followed a number of assessments,  27 and, i n October, 1984, test scores were said to indicate "neurological problems" and placed him at the low average range of measured i n t e l l i g e n c e ; he seemed to experience " s i g n i f i c a n t problems with v i s u a l motor integration". Subsequently, the family moved to Kamloops and then moved within the boundaries of School D i s t r i c t #24 several times, so C.W.  attended four different schools i n the next four years.  was always placed i n special attention classes. Marion S c h i l l i n g Elementary suggested:  He  His teacher at  "He deserves much greater  success than he achieves" and "he always enjoys doing kind things for other people".  She noted that he had a d i f f i c u l t time with  academic learning but that he always remained "cheerful and cooperative".  There was a considerable problem with attendance at  one time, and the p r i n c i p a l even c o l l e c t e d C.W.  from home on one  occasion, but t h i s d i f f i c u l t y seems to have corrected i t s e l f . C.W.  spent two years at Cverlander Secondary School.  This  school offered courses such as L i f e S k i l l s and Crew Work as well as the more usual Language Arts, Math, Shop, and P.E.  I t catered  to the needs of mentally handicapped students ranging from mildly mentally handicapped to severely and multiply handicapped. It i s l i k e l y that C.W.  found himself to be one of the more  able students at Cverlander. His p r i n c i p a l , Lorraine Kastelen, remarked that he was "borderline M.R."  and suggested that he found  28 himself there p a r t l y because of h i s delayed s o c i a l development. Certainly, C.W. was described by two teachers as one of their best students. Apart from the occasional squabble with classmates,  C.W.  seems to have done well at Overlander, c o n t i n u a l l y working hard to improve h i s s k i l l s .  In h i s time there, he showed great  improvement i n P.E. At f i r s t , he was "unmotivated" but by the end of 1989, he was taking part i n a l l classes and was an enthusiastic p a r t i c i p a n t i n the Special Olympics. organisation continues  His association with t h i s  into the present.  C.W. was again referred to Special Services i n 1990, t h i s time to a speech pathologist.  The report which came out i n May of  that year suggests that he had a frontal l i s p which was not believed to be caused by any structural or coordination difficulties.  He was able to c o r r e c t l y a r t i c u l a t e the /s/sound  i n i s o l a t e d exercises and i n words during p r a c t i c e sessions. His prognogis for change was good, given h i s p o s i t i v e attitude and h i s a b i l i t i e s to correct errors. When I interviewed C.W. at the beginning of the year, I learned that he had come to Norkam the previous September, but he had been so unhappy that he returned t o Overlander.  He f e l t that  i t was quite d i f f e r e n t this year "cos of my f r i e n d s " .  C.W.  told  me that he'd been invited to "come back" t o Special Olympics and  29 was anxious to show me pictures of h i s team and a brochure about one of the events. When describing drama at Cverlander, he said he had enjoyed p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n Charlie Brown's Christmas, but found i t "embarrassing" his thumb.  C.W.  to be captured as Linus i n the yearbook, sucking also l i s t e d the names of h i s nine brothers and  s i s t e r s and said "there are eleven of us altogether".  He  was  r e f e r r i n g to h i s blended family.  Clayton Clayton was born on November 5,  1975.  The most obvious challenge that Clayton faces i s that he i s 50% hearing impaired i n each ear. was  The diagnosis was made when he  four years old, and he was prescribed binaural hearing aids.  He was placed i n the kindergarten for hearing impaired at John Tod School.  His bus journey from Chase, where he was l i v i n g at the  time, took 45 minutes. However, when he was six years old, h i s teacher was  concerned  that problems he was experiencing with fine motor control, eyehand coordination, and counting might not be related to the hearing impairment alone.  A formal assessment was not possible  then, because Clayton was so uncooperative.  I t was even suggested  that the main d i f f i c u l t y could be h i s avoidance t a c t i c s and weak  30  attention to task. A subsequent report from-Children's Hospital dealing with many aspects of h i s development confirmed that there was of neurological involvement  which was  evidence  indicated by a tremor and  ataxia, which would be cerebellar i n o r i g i n .  It was believed that  h i s severe delay i n language development stemmed from language processing d i f f i c u l t i e s as well as hearing impairment.  Clayton  was a l s o found to have congenital ptosis, which would require surgery to correct.  Clayton also experienced a mild balance  problem and v i s u a l motor problems which were apparent i n v i s u a l memory and p e n c i l and paper a c t i v i t i e s . Clayton spent two years i n special classes i n each of three Elementary schools i n Kamloops. In 1988, Secondary School.  he e n r o l l e d at Overlander  Although reports from h i s Elementary schools  indicate that he was uncooperative and used avoidance t a c t i c s , none of t h i s behaviour was apparent by the time he Secondary school.  reached  Indeed, he was described by h i s shop teacher as  "an excellent student" who was pleasant and cooperative.  He  received an "A" i n Crew Work, and h i s L i f e s k i l l s teacher c a l l e d him "a model student". It i s possible that Clayton, with a l l h i s challenges, l i k e h i s friend, C.W., Secondary.  was  one of the more able students at Overlander  Indeed, when I interviewed him,  I was  surprised by h i s  31 comment that he liked drama because of "dressing up i n costume" and "trying to believe you're someone else".  Not only did he l i k e  the process of drama, but he showed that he understood i t . Clayton would not share feelings about h i s new school, but commented on the l i g h t s instead of b e l l s and the fact that i t was further for him to walk.  He enjoyed other forms of exercise,  however, naming v o l l e y b a l l , football, soccer, floor-hockey, and skateboarding as pastimes he enjoyed. When i t was time to leave, he asked about which door he should use and what time we'd be meeting; I sensed that he would be quite open about asking for help.  I t ' s the f i r s t week of September and I t e l l the Learning Assistance teacher that I read her detailed notes on Clayton and C.W..  She says:  "You know, coming to Norkam  may be just the right thing for those two. get the best of both worlds."  They might just  32 CHAPTER FOUR  It would be some time before I would be able to judge whether coming to Norkam was indeed "the best thing" for C.W.  and Clayton.  1 s h a l l now outline some of the planning for the integrated class and then I w i l l describe the  implementation.  The Planning. Once I had some background knowledge of Clayton and C.W., could plan for the f i r s t semester. can be divided into two parts:  I  The Drama 9 course at Norkam  the f i r s t part serves as an  introduction to processes such as role-playing, brainstorming, improvisation, reading aloud, g i v i n g feedback, and review-writing. Once the students understand some of the ways that we can work i n and respond to drama, we move on to s p e c i f i c units that apply these understandings.  We examine Interview Technique,  Theatre, Stage Terminology,  Medieval  Stage Lighting, and Mythology.  Perhaps i t would be valuable to look at one unit i n more d e t a i l i n order to understand what challenges the special needs students might be facing.  I have chosen the Medieval Theatre  project as i t i s i n t e l l e c t u a l l y challenging. The curriculum guides suggest that students need to acquire a knowledge of the history of drama, so each year at Norkam students are introduced  to a d i f f e r e n t time period of Theatre h i s t o r y .  In Grade nine,  students watch a videotape of a medieval play and we l i s t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of that theatre form.  the  the  In groups, they prepare  improvisations which may be modern i n content, but which incorporate some of the attributes of the Medieval theatre.  We  respond to the content and the dramatic elements of each scene. A l i b r a r y project follows which includes note-taking and drawing. The unit ends with a test, which asks the students to trace the evolution of Medieval theatre from i t s o r i g i n s i n the Church. Looking at the Medieval theatre unit and at the other course components, I r e a l i s e d that the presence of the integrated students might cause me to modify some units, or create alternate projects for them.  However, at this stage I was  uncertain about  what would have to be changed.  It i s now seven weeks into the course and I have decided to do the Medieval theatre project. decided that Clayton and C.W. complexity  However, I have  would be confused by i t s  and i t s demands i n the area of comprehension.  I  assign the two drama helpers to help them create an improvisation on a topic of their choice. days, the scene i s ready to show.  A f t e r about four  I am impressed by the  students' a b i l i t y to stay i n character, t h e i r naturalness  on  the stage, the fact that they are taking the main parts i n the scene and by their use of dramatic devices.  I persuade  them to show the scene to the whole c l a s s and they, too, are impressed and break into spontaneous applause.  [We do  not applaud often i n drama class, so a performance has to be outstanding for that to happen.] The scene i s about a teenager who becomes pregnant.  Clayton plays the boyfriend  and C.W. plays a friend of the pregnant g i r l , who i s portrayed by one of the helpers.  I have a conversation  with C.W. and Clayton after the scene: J.P.  "I thought that was very well done.  What  do you think was good about i t ? " Clayton:  "Participation."  J.P.  "What do you mean, Clayton?"  Clayton:  "We a l l participated."  J.P.  "Yes, that's right.  C.W.:  "The bathroom."  J.P.  "What about the bathroom?"  C.W.:  "Melissa talked into the mirror."  J.P.  "Yes, Melissa used the frame for a mirror  What else was good?"  and Jay said her thoughts.  Clayton, when  you said: 'You would i f you loved me', did you find that d i f f i c u l t to say?"  35 Clayton:  "No.  J.P.  "So,  It's not r e a l .  It's only a play."  in a play you can do things that  might be d i f f i c u l t to do r e a l l y ? " Clayton nodded. From this conversation, I gathered that the students learned three things about Drama: dramatic  p a r t i c i p a t i o n was  had  important,  techniques l i k e shadowing were e f f e c t i v e , and that  drama gave one permission to do things that might be d i f f i c u l t in r e a l l i f e .  I have had regular students who  would be hard-  pressed to understand these aspects of drama.  The f i r s t decision I made was that C.W.  and Clayton had to be  i n c l a s s on the f i r s t day of term, even though the idea of administrators at the time was to "ease them i n t o " e l e c t i v e s . my classes, the f i r s t few days are important  In  as I use games to get  to know students' names and exercises that allow students to get to know their classmates.  We establish the c i r c l e as a way  of  beginning the class because i t allows everyone to make eye contact and i t suggests democracy.  We throw the b a l l to each other saying  the person's name as we throw.  Students might talk to someone  they've not met before, learn three things about the person, and introduce him/her to the rest of us.  In c e r t a i n Drama manuals  these exercises might be referred to as " t r u s t exercises" and  they  are considered a basis for a l l drama work.  I hold a wider view  and consider such exercises important before any group a c t i v i t y . I believed that C.W. important a c t i v i t i e s .  and Clayton should be i n class for these  Luckily, I was able to persuade the  resource teacher and administrator of this necessity.  It proved  to be a sound decision, as students got to know names and I could explain q u i e t l y to Clayton and C.W. the beginning of a drama course.  that everyone f e l t strange at Further proof of the Tightness  of the decision came i n the form of a regular student incorrectly b e l i e v i n g that a regular student was one of the integrated ones. This fact was revealed i n a quiet interaction between teacher and two students.  [As I worked with the integrated class, I came to  r e l y more and more on quiet interactions with i n d i v i d u a l students as a way of feeling the pulse of the class and I have subsequently adopted t h i s habit i n other classes too.] The second decision I made was to include drama helpers i n the Drama 9 c l a s s .  The Drama Helper Program allows a student i n a  higher grade who has some knowledge of drama to a s s i s t i n the class by organizing games and a c t i v i t i e s , helping groups to plan scenes and by taking on parts whenever necessary; sometimes the helper takes part i n planning class a c t i v i t i e s and I found that I r e l i e d on the helpers' ideas a l o t i n t h i s class - p a r t l y because they were closer i n age to the students and knew what was  37 happening from the inside. for his/her work.  The helper receives an e l e c t i v e c r e d i t  My decision to include drama helpers stemmed  from the fact that the teacher aide could obviously not accompany each of the seven mentally challenged students to his/her elective class and, as I was to work with two of the more able students, I could not expect this type of support.  On the other hand, I knew  I would be wanting f l e x i b i l i t y i n the way class:  I could organize the  I envisioned times when the subjects would work i n groups  with the others, times when they might work together, times when they would be working on individual assignments, and times when the whole group would take part i n a class dramatic-playing exercise.  Also, i f a problem arose, there would be more than  myself to deal with i t .  To have the support of drama helpers  proved to be invaluable for a l l of these reasons. The choice of the drama helpers proved f a i r l y easy.  One  Grade ten student found herself i n the Grade nine class because of timetable d i f f i c u l t i e s .  She was not an academic student and  working on building up her confidence. enjoyed drama.  was  She was cooperative and  She readily agreed to become a drama helper and  was quite excited at the thought that she might help the students. Another student found her way  into the program as i t solved  her timetable puzzle and she was also a suitable candidate, having successfully completed Drama 9 the year before.  38 It i s May,  1991.  The resource teacher i n the s p e c i a l  needs class has decided to use drama as a way of looking at how  relationships begin.  After a preliminary discussion,  the students move into two groups - one headed by Clayton, one by C.W..  The teacher aide wrote of  C.W.:  "It was super to see him planning and d i r e c t i n g .  He had  so much energy and enthusiasm that i t s p i l l e d over to the others and students who would never get up and speak i n front of the class became involved.  They a l l had a  lesson i n drama terminology, too, as C.W.  r e l i s h e d the  director's role as well as being one of the lead characters.  They had at least four scenes.  Clayton's  group presentation was much shorter - only one  scene,  but i t was t e r r i f i c to see the students taking chances and enjoying themselves at the same time."  The  Implementation. In drama, part of the learning i s s o c i a l learning.  One of my  objectives i s to o f f e r students the opportunity to work with students whom they have not worked with before.  In t h i s  way,  students who do not have close friends i n the class f e e l part of the group.  Strategies are successful when students move w i l l i n g l y  to work with others and stay with their group, r e s i s t i n g the  39 temptation to wander over and talk to friends i n another part of the room. At the beginning of each class, students tend to s i t with their friends u n t i l new groupings are formed.  However, even at  t h i s stage, I encourage them to s i t as one large group i n the auditorium. The subjects were no different from regular students i n wishing to s i t with their friends.  The two subjects and t h e i r  class-mate tended to arrive before the other students for every drama class, and they engaged i n a r i t u a l of c l u s t e r i n g around my desk to t a l k with me,  to inform me i f one of them was away and  give d e t a i l s of why they were away ( i n fact, i f I d i d not steer the conversation away from i t , i t would be a time for gossip) .  As  soon as the regular students started to a r r i v e , they would disappear to the back of the auditorium and s i t together. C.W.'s favorite seat was at the back of the auditorium i n the corner by the l i g h t i n g booth.  He always chose to s i t there.  After many promptings for the integrated students to move forward into the main group, they f i n a l l y chose the fourth row seatsbehind a l l the other students i n the c l a s s - of t h e i r own accord. C.W.  would return to h i s favorite seat to do w r i t i n g . The games we play at the beginning of the class are an  important way of building cohesion.  At the beginning of the year,  they help students to get to know each other, and allow me to establish appropriate ways of behaving i n the c l a s s . utter such comments as "gum,  Typically, 1  please", "stand on two feet", and  " l e t ' s l i s t e n when someone i s t a l k i n g " . At f i r s t ,  I was anxious that students might not throw the  b a l l to the integrated students, but my fears were unfounded.  One  awkward moment d i d occur, however, when Clayton made a mistake when c a l l i n g out a name. One student, who was late joining the class, laughed. decision:  Twenty-eight  were s i l e n t .  I had to make a quick  would I say something now or talk q u i e t l y to the l a t e -  comer afterwards?  I decided to talk to her at the end of c l a s s ,  as I decided that my body language and the silence of the others had probably given her the message. The integrated students had no problem joining the large c i r c l e but I noticed a gap between these students and the regular students, which would be f i l l e d by the drama helpers or myself, or result i n my asking the students to move.  (This gap i s similar to  the one I notice between boys and g i r l s at the Grade eight l e v e l and signals discomfort, perhaps). Because the class was large, I sometimes organized games i n several smaller c i r c l e s simultaneously and sensed that the integrated students were more comfortable i n the smaller groupings.  I noticed them p a r t i c i p a t i n g more f u l l y and smiling  41 more often when the c i r c l e was smaller. also afforded other advantages.  The smaller game c i r c l e  One day Clayton turned to me i n  the small c i r c l e and said he could not hear the numbers as they were being c a l l e d out, so we decided that i f we looked at him while we said the number the problem would be solved; as i t was only a group of eight, i t was easy to explain the new without embarrassing Clayton.  procedure  My proximity to Clayton also helped  the s i t u a t i o n . Once I started forming groups for performance work, the students scon r e a l i s e d the importance of p a r t i c i p a t i o n .  Most  regular students stayed with their groups, but I noticed an exception two weeks into the course.  On t h i s day, Clayton was not  l i s t e n i n g well to h i s group's discussion.  This was unusual as he  had to pay close attention i n order to l i p - r e a d .  Suddenly, a  regular student i n another group walked over to Clayton, gave him a special handshake, and then returned to h i s own group. action produced a v i s i b l e brightening i n Clayton.  The  As I had  suspected, the other student knew Clayton from h i s short time on the f o o t b a l l team and had noticed h i s sadness.  As a teacher  watching t h i s interaction, I was excited that a student would break from h i s group i n order to show empathy towards another student.  After t h i s incident, I began the habit of t e l l i n g the  student afterwards how much I appreciated the action.  Not only did I find myself reinforcing student  behaviours,  but i n order to f a c i l i t a t e the smooth t r a n s i t i o n from friendship groupings to class groupings,  I found I had to intervene more than  in previous classes.  One day, seeing C.W.  and another mentally  challenged class-mate  s i t t i n g away from the group, I started to  approach them, and very quickly they picked up the cue and moved into the group mouthing the words, " Mrs. Powell", and grinning sheepishly.  In this, they showed an understanding  of the rules  and an a b i l i t y to pick up on the visual cue of my approach.  As a  teacher, one has to weigh the situation and decide whether intervention i s appropriate.  On another occasion, I slipped down  to the o f f i c e , having put my students i n performance groups with the drama helpers.  When I returned, I saw C.W.  sitting in a fetal  p o s i t i o n i n h i s favorite seat and noted that h i s group was rehearsing a short distance away.  I approached him and asked, as  l i g h t l y as I could, what was going on.  He glanced up at me as i f  I were crazy and t o l d me that he was playing, the part of "the uncle who had died".  Obviously, my own anxiety that the  integration process should flow smoothly had coloured my view of what was happening. Another way students.  that I intervened was to speak to i n d i v i d u a l  In September, after the second c l a s s , I spoke to the  subjects and explained that everyone f e l t uncomfortable at the  43 beginning of the year, but that I wanted them to work with students they d i d not know and, i f possible, to i n i t i a t e the groupings for the work.  I also spoke s u r r e p t i t i o u s l y to one or  two regular students and asked them to make sure that Clayton, or their class-mate f e l t included.  C.W.,  This strategy  produced results because others started taking r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the integrated students.  After the l a s t class of the day,  regular students stayed behind to talk to me.  two  They suggested that  sometimes the integrated students needed to work with each other and not be s p l i t up.  I appreciated their interest and  to follow up on their suggestion.  determined  In asking these students to  "look out f o r " the integrated ones, I had i n v i t e d them to become a part of the process and they were indicating their willingness to become f u l l participants. Not only d i d class grouping r e f l e c t the relationships among the students, but also between the integrated students and the teacher.  As I have explained, the students clustered around me cn  f i r s t entering the classroom and would often approach me to ask for  extra explanations.  For my part, I found myself s i t t i n g close  to one or a l l of them when presentations were made i n order to congratulate them on a job well done, to encourage them a f t e r a f l u f f e d l i n e or missed cue, or to ask a quiet question that might reveal their attitude or test their understanding.  44 To an observer, the proximity of the teacher to the integrated students would surely reveal their a l l i a n c e with and their reliance on the teacher. brought t h i s aspect home to me.  Two incidents outside class One day, I went home after the  students had observed me accidentally f a l l i n the courtyard. evening C.W.'s mother phoned me to ask about the Theatre She t o l d me that C.W. better.  "said h i " and was asking i f I was  That  matinees. feeling  It i s unusual for a male teenager to express concern for  me i n t h i s way,  but C.W.  teenage boys experience.  does not feel the r e s t r a i n t s that many The second incident occurred when I was  d r i v i n g to school and witnessed an accident involving Clayton.  As  a car turned at the intersection, i t caught the back of Clayton's b i c y c l e and he was thrown o f f .  I stopped my car and found Clayton  cursing as he looked at h i s b i c y c l e . He seemed to have no idea what to do and so I stepped i n and took phone numbers and names. L u c k i l y for Clayton, the driver admitted i t was h i s f a u l t and offered to pay the repair b i l l s .  Had an adult not come by at that  moment, Clayton might have lost h i s b i c y c l e and remained unaware of h i s r i g h t s i n terms of compensation. Thus, f a c i l i t a t i n g the flow from friendship groupings to working groups i n this integrated class involved c l e a r establishment of rules and intervention at several l e v e l s .  It  a l s o involved me i n an elaborate dance as I t r i e d t o support the  45 mentally challenged students i n the integrated setting, and at the same time steer them towards some form of independence.  While  this dance i s surely the dance of a l l ..teachers, I have to believe that the steps were more i n t r i c a t e and required more f l e x i b i l i t y because of the particular needs of the integrated students.  It i s J u n e 1991, and the school i s empty of students. I meet C.W.  i n the entrance to the school.  J.P.  "Hi, C.W.  C.W.  "Oh,  J.P.  "You look great.  C.W.  "Yes,  I'm  How are you? fine." You got your h a i r cut."  'cos I'm working now.  I'm gonna  be working at 7-11 a l l summer.I'm gonna buy shoes too." J.P.  "Well, i t ' s been great working with you. And you won't be doing Drama next year?"  C.W.  "No, Mr. Watson says I can go into Work Experience."  J.P.  "That's great, C.W..  Have a good summer."  C.W.  "And you, Mrs. Powell."  I'm reminded that being mentally handicapped  means coping  with the normal challenges that l i f e throws your way i n addition to those peculiar to the mentally  handicapped.  46 One of the questions I've been considering i s whether r o l e playing or performance-type  a c t i v i t i e s work better as a way of  integrating students.  I have used both, but started the year with  a l o t of role-play ing.  I thought that t h i s strategy would b u i l d  shared experiences for both groups of students within the c l a s s . Also, I thought that Clayton and C.W.  might f e e l more comfortable  with teacher-directed a c t i v i t i e s to begin with.  It so happened  that I had just returned from a six-week course with Gavin Bolton at U.B.C. and was inspired by some of h i s work i n role-playing, so I decided to modify a class of h i s based on the story of the Pied Piper (Browning, 1970). The Grade nine students sat i n a c i r c l e on chairs and boxes on the stage area.  I t o l d them:  "Today we'll be doing the kind of drama where you have to believe that what happens i s r e a l .  It's not r e a l l y  acting but thinking l i k e another person.  Do you think  you can manage that?" I suggested that we t r y to do t h i s i n a simple way and we would practise t h i s kind of drama i n an exercise.  I then said "I saw a  rat t h i s morning" and requested them to ask questions that would help us a l l to believe i n the r a t .  They asked questions such as:  "Were you afraid?" "What colour was i t ? "  47 "How big was the rat?" "Where did you see i t ? " I answered each question seriously and simply.  Clayton and  C.W.  asked no questions but were obviously l i s t e n i n g . Once the class got the idea of believing i n that situation, I put the phrase 'A thousand reubles .... take twenty-thousand'  on  the board and t o l d them we'd be looking at what would happen t o make someone say that.  Then I narrated the story of the plague of  rats i n Hamelin and how they were a f f e c t i n g the townsfolk. I put the students i n groups of f i v e or s i x and t o l d them: "You are the townspeople of Hamelin.  Everywhere you  turn there are rats - i n the bathtubs, the pantry, t r y i n g to get into the baby's c r i b .  See i f you can  come up with some ways that you can protect"yourselves." As I c i r c u l a t e d through the room eavesdropping on the various groups, I noticed that a l l groups were on task. As I passed C.W.'s group, I heard him suggest jars to store food.  Others i n the group were l i s t e n i n g a t t e n t i v e l y .  Clayton,  who was a l s o i n the group was s i l e n t but c a r e f u l l y watching the speaker to hear what she/he was saying. After f i v e minutes or so, I stopped the a c t i v i t y and asked them to prepare a report which they would have a spokesperson make to the other c i t i z e n s .  48 We set up Room ICO with chairs, boxes, and tables to represent a chamber at the Town H a l l and I assumed the role of chairperson: "Now,  we have got together to share some ideas on  to cope with the rats.  Who'd l i k e to speak f i r s t ? "  One group presented their ideas and then C.W. h i s group.  how  got up to speak for  I was surprised to see him volunteer.  He suggested  several ideas, but h i s speaking was hesitant and he f l u f f e d several l i n e s .  However, he communicated the ideas e f f e c t i v e l y  enough and so we moved through the groups. The next stage of the drama was to introduce the Town Council or Burghers.  Half the class chose to be the council, and they  assumed positions on chairs which were placed i n a row upstage.  I  asked the others to sculpt them i n suitable positions to make a s t i l l picture.  I shared with the sculptors i n a hoarse whisper  that the burghers were snobbish and arrogant - and we  clarified  the meaning of those words. The sculptors chose a student to transform, but they had to t e l l them what to do - they could not touch them, as I wasn't sure how well the class might cope with physical contact so early i n the semester.  It so happened that C.W.  was a burgher and Clayton  a sculptor, but they were i n d i f f e r e n t areas so they d i d not work together.  A l l the students seemed to enjoy the exercise immensely  49 and once the picture was created, the sculptors commented on their work and we then sat i n the auditorium as ourselves.  I quietly  asked Clayton i f he l i k e d the exercise and he said 'Yes, 'cos they had t o do what you said".  Perhaps, within the drama form, Clayton  was experiencing a sense of power that h i s l i f e d i d not r e a d i l y give him. The l a s t phase of the sequence would take us into dramatic playing, so I prepared the class i n t h i s way: "Now I'd l i k e the burgers to assume t h e i r p o s i t i o n s . I assume that you, Eddie, are the Mayor, as you're s i t t i n g i n the centre.  The towns-folk w i l l be asking  you some d i f f i c u l t questions about the r a t problem, so I want you a l l to have some convincing answers ready." I gave the rest of the class time to formulate some s t o r i e s and questions and t o l d them: "I s h a l l be i n this part, too, and we are going to act i t as i f i t ' s r e a l l y happening.  Any questions?"  The townsfolk entered and started to question the burghers and I began a narration: "Just as the burghers were wondering how t o answer that question, a clerk entered and said:" I entered as clerk and said:  50  "Your Worship, there's a man outside.  He looks strange.  He's wearing red on one side and yellow on the other and he claims he can get r i d of them rats. you .should see him.  I think  S h a l l I show him in?"  Then I entered, springing l i g h t l y on my feet, as the Pied Piper and I explained how I had magic that would r i d the c i t y of the rats, but i t would cost them a thousand reubles.  The mayor jumped  in at the just the right moment with the phrase:  "A thousand  reubles.  Take twenty-thousandI"  The drama ended.  I then asked students to write i n r o l e about the events and Clayton came up to ask me how t o s p e l l "arrogant".  I asked him i f  he had enjoyed the drama and he said that "the best part was when you were the man".  He said that i t had surprised him that I was  the teacher, but I'd been the man i n the drama. When the students completed their journals, we discussed the experience of the drama and the end of the story, and they d i d group scenes which demonstrated what they thought happened t o the children of Hamelin. In evaluating my decision to use role-drama,  i t seems that I  did achieve the purposes I had set out. A l l the students were introduced e a r l y on to a broad range of drama techniques, they moved i n and out of dramatic playing and performance mode, and they had opportunities to relate to each other i n role and out of  51 role.  Performance mode involved preparing a group presentation  where the content was valued more than the performance.  Because  the students made l o t s of choices, there were opportunities to be passive as well as to take more active r o l e s . Indeed a student was later to remark on the integration process: "It was awkward at f i r s t but with the a c t i v i t i e s we do in class i t makes i t easier to get along with them". In retrospect, however, perhaps one of the most important consequences of this decision was that i t enabled me to postpone the formal marking of work.  In role-drama, I do not find i t  appropriate to allocate marks, so the integrated students were given some freedom to make mistakes.  Perhaps, even more important  than this benefit, was the fact that the regular students d i d not see themselves as losing marks because of the mistakes of the newcomers. In performance,  where the teacher i s evaluating the work, any  mistake by an individual does have an impact on the group that i s performing.  Later, when working on projects that were evaluated,  I started making an allowance for the special needs students. they made mistakes, I would not deduct marks, but I'd v i s u a l i z e the scene without the mistakes.  It i s to the c r e d i t of the  regular students that not one of them ever asked me whether i t  If  52 would jeopardize their mark to be working with the integrated students.  Looking at the students i n the class, I judge that i t  was not because they didn't care about marks. In their journals, many students addressed the issue of the d i f f e r e n t s k i l l l e v e l of the integrated students:  "Sometimes i t ' s frustrating because they seem to forget their l i n e s " . "I can't help but get frustrated sometimes but I t r y not to l e t i t show 'cause I know i f I was them i t would hurt my feelings." "I know that I go out of my way not to get mad or i r r i t a t e d i f they forget their lines or mess up because I know they are trying." "The only problem I've found working with these kids i s that sometimes they slow you down because you have to take more time to make i t clear what they have to do." Often, I saw evidence of the extra coaching that the regular students had to do to prepare the integrated students for performance.  I t was always done thoroughly and k i n d l y as far as I  could see.  It i s several weeks into the course and the students are working i n performance mode.  Downstage, a group with  two integrated students i s working.  One regular student i s  53 demonstrating how one of them should move i n the scene, explaining everything as he does i t .  Now,  a boy i s lying  down on the bench and reaches a hand over h i s head to Clayton, who  i s s i t t i n g on the floor as a street person  wrapped i n a blanket.  They shake hands.  Clayton smiles.  The handshake i s not part of the scene but a gesture of encouragement.  Often, the integrated students would ask for c l a r i f i c a t i o n or indicate that they understood.  Only on one occasion did I see a  regular student become frustrated by what she saw as the unhelpful attitude of one of the integrated students, a g i r l who had by then joined the c l a s s .  The regular student approached me declaring: "She won't do anything!"  I explained that maybe she didn't f e e l comfortable and the g i r l might t r y asking her what she would l i k e to do. to the group and asked the question.  The g i r l returned  It worked and the group's  objective of producing a thoughtful scene was achieved.  Although  i t seems to be a p o s i t i v e sign that only one student became so frustrated that she asked me to help, I wonder to what extent shielding students from our feelings i s valuable.  Perhaps i f  regular students are merely protective, they have not yet reached a stage of "family" or r e a l inclusion?  54 Not only d i d the regular students coach C.W. they became role models for them.  and Clayton, but  One Grade nine student referred  to this aspect of integration when she wrote:  "It's l i k e we are role-models for them i n a way that what we do they watch and do, too." It i s one week into the course and the students are s i t t i n g i n a semi-circle cn the stage area.  I am i n role as  a p o l i c e o f f i c e r asking questions that w i l l help us find a l o c a l boy who has gone missing.  Some students volunteer  information about where they l a s t saw Peter - i n the pool h a l l , on the way home from soccer, and so on.  The  students  seem to be involved even i f they are not o f f e r i n g any information.  C.W.  says nothing but looks towards each  speaker as she/he talks.  Clayton seems to be enjoying the  drama and has half a smile on h i s face.  He keeps taking  f u r t i v e glances at one of the Grade nine students, hoping to catch h i s eye and smile.  The boy keeps staring at the  speaker, even though Clayton's attempts to communicate must be obvious to him.  Clayton f i n a l l y gives up.  He  has  learned that i n role drama we have to concentrate on what i s happening and stay within the drama. r e a l l y do learn from each other.  I t ' s true - students  55 Just as the regular students became role models for the integrated students, so the regular students must have looked to me for leadership i n the integration process. balancing act because I didn't want to give C.W.  It i s a d i f f i c u l t and Clayton more  attention than I gave the rest of the class, but I wanted them to have extra support i f they needed i t .  It i s September 10, 1990, and the students are presenting their group's ideas on how  to rebuild a school.  Two students and I are board members who ask questions of the presenters, but the rest of the class can also question the spokespeople.  The board s i t s on the stage area and the  rest of the students are s i t t i n g i n the auditorium. f i r s t presenter approaches.  The  After the report, she i s  g r i l l e d well by the board members who seem to be taking their r e s p o n s i b i l i t y very seriously and don't intend that taxpayers' money should be wasted. present the ideas for h i s group.  C.W.  steps forward to  We can hear them a l l and  he stumbles only a l i t t l e , but when i t ' s question time, silence ensues.  Obviously, the other board members are  reluctant to put him on the spot, so I jump i n with two or three questions of c l a r i f i c a t i o n . awkward moment passes.  He answers them and the  Here i s an example of how  powerful  56 teacher-in-role can be as a way of modelling behaviour. Clearly, the student board members had the s e n s i t i v i t y to know that he could not handle i n c i s i v e questions, but they lacked the s k i l l s to find an alternative way of responding to h i s ideas.  Certainly, i t was awkward at times when C.W. attempted to read or say lines that he could not manage well.  He would often  write down the lines on a scrap of paper, but sometimes he would f l u f f the reading.  Usually, I'd be s i t t i n g near to him i n the  auditorium so I could say "It's no problem. mistakes sometimes".  Everyone makes  I hoped I was not sounding patronizing when  I said t h i s , as he does have the a b i l i t y t o talk p o s i t i v e l y and p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y about such incidents.  The regular students  appeared uncomfortable at times l i k e t h i s and would not move a muscle u n t i l he had finished.  One student wrote:  "I do not l i k e seeing them do things they cannot seem to do. I f e l t awkward seeing him struggle". It was p a i n f u l moments l i k e this with C.W. that made me wonder about the integration process. failure?  Were we just s e t t i n g him up for  Wouldn't i t be easier to segregate the students and  protect them from f a i l u r e s l i k e this?  57 In an attempt to receive feedback from the regular students, I arranged for the resource teacher to keep the integrated students a f t e r lunch one day. disguise the reason, but C.W.  Apparently, he started by trying to said:  "Oh, they want to talk about us.  Okay, no problem."  I reminded the regular students of the study and t o l d them that their comments could be anonymous.  I strongly emphasized  that their comments would only help me i f they were honest about the process of integration.  I explained that I wanted to know how  they thought and f e l t about the challenge of integration and whether they f e l t they had learned anything from i t . In reading their journals, I found that the regular students had f e l t as protective as I had done:  "Integration i s very trying on the person being integrated." "Integration i s a good thing i f the person who i s mentally challenged agrees to i t . " No doubt the students saw incidents i n the hallways that I was not aware of that caused them to remark:  "I don't mind integration. I'm a l l for i t , but I hate seeing them get bugged by the 'cool' kids and the skaters."  58 "Some people make fun of them, or t e l l jokes about them- They get upset and i t seems to have a bad e f f e c t on them." These comments would seem to support the research by Gruen, Ottinger, and Ollendick (1974) which suggests that the s e l f concept of the mentally handicapped goes down i n integrated settings.  Two  students of East Indian heritage a l s o took t h i s attitude.  Both of them have written and have done drama about racism, so sure they could relate to the abuse the mentally challenged students faced.  One wrote:  "If I was i n one of their situations, I would probably just l i k e to stay at Overlander." The other said: "I f e e l i n a way they shouldn't be here because of the way other people treat them." I was surprised to read one student's comment about placing the integrated students i n "a f r i e n d l y school".  I  thought that Norkam was a f r i e n d l y school. Certainly, we have students of minority r a c i a l backgrounds who want to get into the school, having suffered abuse i n other schools.  She wrote:  I'm  59 "If they were put i n a f r i e n d l y school that doesn't have many people i n i t , that would be nice." However, the regular students were able to see some of the benefits of integration for the mentally challenged. students must have projected their own  Some  feelings:  "It makes them feel better when they're around people and i t also makes them f e e l that they're wanted."  "It gives them a chance to do what regular students do." Other students based their opinion on experience: "My younger brother i s mentally challenged and since he moved to a normal class he i s enjoying i t more i n school. He has a l o t more friends and now he knows what i t ' s l i k e to be a normal kid." "At my other school, people would bug t h i s mentally handicapped k i d about this g i r l he l i k e d . But to him i t was attention and he learned to cope very well." One of the Drama helpers, who had reservations about the abuse the integrated students experienced, nonetheless commented: "Sometimes I f e e l happy because they are working hard and getting a sense of accomplishment."  60  Even though students could see both bad and good e f f e c t s of integration, many s t i l l believed that i t was a question of human rights: "People should be people whether they are handicapped or not." "I think they deserve to l i v e a good l i f e as much as anyone else."  "I f e e l that the integration of mentally challenged people i s the right thing to do." One boy, who found their presence i n Drama to be "a hindrance" at times, could see the need for inclusive schools: "I think integration i s appropriate because i t helps handicapped people get ready for the r e a l world, thus eventually helping them to become productive citizens." I had asked students to comment on t h e i r own growth i n t h i s area, and many students wrote about integration as a growing experience for themselves.  Some wrote with a commendable degree  of honesty: "Some of my friends joke about them and c a l l them 'tards'. I admit that I have done i t but I didn't even know a mentally handicapped person at the time. I r e a l l y regret what I said."  61  "In the past, I made jokes to go with handicaps, but I f i n d that now I don't even think that way." One student saw integration as a way of l e t t i n g us know about how. others cope: "This system does work i n one way. I t informs us of the problems they have, how to deal with them and what friends and r e l a t i v e s go through. I t ' s a growing experience for us a l l . " Some students suggested that they grew because of the inner work they had to do: "I grew a l o t because of integration. I learnt more about how to accept them and I seem to always put myself i n their position and I imagine how I would react to how people treat them and act around them." "This program i s good for anyone because you get to know your true feelings towards the mentally challenged and maybe i f they aren't what you think they should be you can work on your own feelings u n t i l you're s a t i s f i e d . " I thought that t h i s l a s t comment showed wisdom i n that the student r e a l i s e d that the integrated students may not change very much so the people around would have t o do the adjusting.  As well as appreciating the opportunities for growth, some students grew t o appreciate the students themselves, just as I did.  62 "I think our class was lucky to have students who t r i e d and when they couldn't do something they t r i e d again. We were a l l lucky to work together." One of the drama helpers wrote: "The f i r s t day of Drama when I found out what I would be doing, I f e l t unsure of myself, but a f t e r getting to know them, I had a warm feeling inside, l i k e I was doing something special for them, but most of a l l for myself. I can say that I've learnt a l o t from the very special students." Three of the regular students were already r e l a t i n g to mentally handicapped people outside school, so they d i d not learn as much as others: "I guess I might be more used to working with mentally challenged people because I work with f i f t y of them every Friday at my church." "I don't think I learned a l o t because of my brother being mentally challenged. I kind of know what to expect and how to treat them so t h e y ' l l l i k e me." "I don't think that I've grown any because of integration because we have two mentally disabled people l i v i n g i n my house." The fact that these students have contact with the mentally challenged reminds me that what's happening i n the schools i s generally a r e f l e c t i o n of what's happening i n society as a whole. Their comments reminded me of the b i g p i c t u r e once again.  I note  63 that the schools are not lagging far behind the rest of society on t h i s issue - perhaps because lawsuits have set precedents.  Integrating the two subjects into the Drama 9 class seems to have set us a l l on a roller-coaster of emotions ranging from dismay when C.W. succeeded.  had d i f f i c u l t i e s , to pride when the students  The experience has obviously raised many questions i n  the students' minds. Is integration f a i r to the integrated students? Does the process impede the progress of regular students? Do the benefits outweigh the  disadvantages?  These questions are no d i f f e r e n t from the questions raised by researchers, teachers, and parents. Apart from these more general questions, we l i v e d with the constant question of how new  to respond to t h i s new  s i t u a t i o n or that  situation.  The class has just returned to Room 100 a f t e r a talk by Norman Kunz, a man who has h i s Ph.D.  and i s a successful  counsellor and speaker despite the d e b i l i t a t i n g condition of Cerebral Palsy.  We discuss the t a l k .  I ask students to  prepare group scenes that sum up what he said.  I circulate  among the groups and, to my dismay, I discover that one  64 group has chosen to do a scene about a mentally handicapped person.  None of the integrated students are i n the group.  I decide that I cannot handle feedback on the scene e f f e c t i v e l y , because of my inexperience.  I t e l l them:  "It's a great idea, but I'm going to ask you to find another topic because we have mentally handicapped people here i n our class, and I don't think I could handle t h i s one.  I hope you understand."  and changes the topic. normal.  The group accepts my words  My hearbeat slows down t o near  I suspect that they appreciate the dilemma I am i n  and they are happy to help out.  The d i f f i c u l t i e s are not surprising considering that we are embarking on an experiment i n l i v i n g .  However, i t i s my  experience that i f we can face new situations with p r i n c i p l e s and values i n place, then we w i l l have guidelines to follow.  I t seems  that my students were guided by the b e l i e f that a l l human beings have certain r i g h t s .  They did not need to read the law to know  that because many of them carry that law i n their hearts.  In  turn, I was guided by the fact that by r e l a t i n g to integrated students i n my classroom, I could demonstrate how I believe we should l i v e i n the world.  With these p r i n c i p l e s i n place, perhaps  integration i s not such a challenge after a l l .  65 To quote one of my. Grade nine students:  "When you said i t was a challenge, I disagree. The only extra thing we do now i s take a l i t t l e time explaining. We a l l have problems - just l i k e I need your help with something, they need our help and i f we help each other what problems are l e f t ? "  When assessing the subjects' a b i l i t y t o take part i n drama a c t i v i t i e s , I reviewed the checklist that I had designed before the beginning of the year, and noted the observers' responses. In some categories, there was a change over the course of the semester; i n others l i t t l e headway was made. The f i r s t item on the checklist seeks to determine whether "the student i s able to follow instructions" (see Appendix D).  On  September 19, 1990, an outside observer found that C.W. scored a f i v e , and so was able to follow instructions "most of the time", whereas, she found Clayton scored four.  Certainly, i t was no  surprise to me that the integrated students experienced some d i f f i c u l t y following instructions.  Often, they would r e l y on  their group or the drama helper to c l a r i f y the assignment for them.  Clayton, especially, would come down the steps to ask me to  explain again.  However, t h i s aspect of the class seems to have  been frustrating for him because he said i n h i s f i n a l interview: "She just says sentences and everybody gets ideas, but we don't."  66 He also said of me: "She mumbles when she t a l k s . " This l a s t comment suggests to me that Clayton's hearing d e f i c i t may have contributed to t h i s d i f f i c u l t y .  He agreed, however, that  he f e l t comfortable coming to ask f o r further explanation.  C.W.  seems to have had less trouble i n t h i s area, although he must have been l o s t at times.  I suspect there were occasions when Clayton  and C.W. just listened and did what they were t o l d and they may not have understood very much of what was happening beyond their own r o l e . In retrospect, I might have s i m p l i f i e d some of the instructions more than I did, but I l i k e to challenge my regular students by introducing new vocabulary to them and some of the drama processes are complex to begin with.  Certainly, having the  drama helpers there to do follow-up was useful. With reference to item two on the checklist (see Appendix D), "the student i s comfortable i n non-verbal contexts", no response was made because the students were r a r e l y i n a non-verbal context. C.W. and Clayton chose not to speak very often when planning a presentation, however, the students d i d find themselves i n verbal contexts, and the item "the student was comfortable i n verbal contexts" (see Appendix D), drew a response of f i v e for C.W. on September 19, 1990, indicating that "most of the time" he  67 seemed comfortable.  Clayton received a score of three on the same  day, and the observer added that "he needed encouragement from h i s group". Clayton would always concentrate hard on what was being said - partly, no doubt, because he r e l i e d on lip-reading.  C.W.  would  make a few suggestions and once expressed t o me h i s disappointment that h i s ideas were not adopted by the group. he was f a i r l y philosophical about the incident.  However, as usual, In the second  semester, he became quite vocal i n one group and refused to do a scene about the Care Bears. childish.  I gathered that he found the topic  [Of course, he f a i l e d to see beyond the idea of a  children's story and thought that the scene i t s e l f would be childish.] C.W.  Faced with h i s resistance, h i s group changed the idea. challenged himself to become comfortable i n verbal  contexts, and would often offer to present h i s group's ideas.  He  would take great care to have the ideas written down and he would practise saying them to himself.  It seems that he was more at  ease when the emphasis was on the content rather than the performance.  I noticed that he would agree to say l i t t l e i n a  scene and he and the group would have to f i n d l i n e s that he could manage e a s i l y . them thoroughly.  He would again write down the words and practise When working with h i s c l a s s alone, he found i t  easier to speak out than when working i n Drama nine.  He would  68 have a larger part and use language to d i r e c t the scene as well as taking part.  Obviously,  i t was easier to apply what he  had  learned i n Drama when he had the edge. By the end of the year, C.W.  had made a marked improvement i n  this area and when asked i n what way he f e l t he had improved i n Drama, he acknowledged "the speaking part." Once C.W.  began to f e e l more comfortable i n verbal contexts,  he seemed more w i l l i n g to become involved i n the organization of the drama.  Item four of the checklist suggests "the student  i n i t i a t e s a c t i v i t y " (see Appendix D).  However, h i s willingness to  i n i t i a t e a c t i v i t y i n the integrated class drew a response of between two i n September, and f i v e i n December, whereas, had  the  teacher aide completed a checklist, rather than writing a journal i n the special class i n A p r i l , 1990,  he would surely have scored a  seven. Clayton r a r e l y spoke i n scenes, but again did much better when working with h i s own  class.  His best work was when he  assumed the role of teacher i n a scene devised by h i s c l a s s . lines were clear and well projected, although the part was long.  His  not  It seemed to me that i n assuming the r o l e of a teacher,  also assumed an authoritative tone that I r a r e l y heard him  he  use.  His willingness to i n i t i a t e a c t i v i t y within the integrated class remained at l e v e l s one or two on the c h e c k l i s t (see Appendix  69 D), and did not soar i n the special needs class as C.W.'s d i d . Perhaps, the alternate assignments, when the subjects would work with each other and the helpers, were very useful because they gave them an opportunity to take on larger roles, to rehearse more extensively and, as they were only i n front of a few people, they had the confidence to carry them o f f .  Certainly, the  students f e l t good about these projects and Clayton, when asked what was the best part of the class, responded: "The best part was when me, C.W.,  and Cindy, and  two other students out of that c l a s s d i d a play by ourselves .. and acted i t out." It i s i r o n i c that, i n an integrated class, the time when they were not integrated was the high point for the student.  This  suggests that f l e x i b i l i t y i n classroom organization i s h e l p f u l , because I suspect they would not have had so many s k i l l s to use had they not learned from the example of the regular students. However, they needed the opportunity to succeed and f e e l good about their work and perhaps they could only achieve t h i s when they were among people of their own s k i l l l e v e l . Item six on the checklist (see Appendix D) seeks to determine whether C.W. and Clayton could d i s t i n g u i s h whether I was i n r o l e , or out-of-role. At f i r s t , Clayton was surprised by Teacher-inRole, but he scon got used to the technique, and followed the  70 example of the other students i n the class. 19, 1990, C.W. C.W.  As early as September  scored six i n t h i s category, and Clayton f i v e .  and Clayton not only understood the idea of taking a  r o l e before they joined the class, but soon came to see the difference between being i n role and out of r o l e .  These switches  are sometimes d i f f i c u l t for regular students to grasp, but, with practice, the subjects came to understand.  At f i r s t , C.W.,  when  rehearsing a performance, d i d not r e a l i s e that he didn't have to sustain h i s role as "the dead uncle" thoughout the rehearsal, but I suspect a member of h i s group told him.  Clayton grasped the  importance of staying i n character during dramatic playing, thanks to h i s buddy who refused to make eye contact with him.  After  that, he went along with what others were doing, even i f he  was  unsure of what was happening. Item number seven of the checklist, "the student i s able to sustain a role for five minutes"  (see Appendix D), was not checked  during observations, although some role-dramas d i d require them to be i n r o l e for that length of time.  That neither student had  d i f f i c u l t y sustaining a role for five minutes could be attributed to the fact that they were both high-functioning mentally challenged students, they wanted acceptance by t h e i r peers and the teacher, and they enjoyed drama. Item number eight of the checklist, "the student i s able to  71 read dramatic signals"  (see Appendix D), was not checked during  observations, but both integrated students were able to "read" simple s o c i a l contexts both i n l i f e and i n drama. Item number nine of the checklist  (see Appendix D) seeks to  determine whether the student has representational a b i l i t y with "the student i s able to use an object to represent something else".  Neither student was observed using an object t h i s  way.  This i s due i n part to the fact that I discourage students from using objects, and encourage them to use mime whenever possible. Perhaps the area of least progress for the integrated students was the area of responding to drama. thirteen of the checklist  Items ten to  (see Appendix D) deal with the area of  r e f l e c t i n g on the drama. 10.  The student i s able to r e c a l l the drama experience.  11.  The student i s able to i d e n t i f y the emotion she/he feels.  12.  The student i s able to describe the dramatic experience.  13.  The student i s able to write about the drama.  I suspect that their deficiencies use had a profound e f f e c t .  i n thinking and language  Had I had more time i n the class, I  might have spent longer i n discussion with them, rather than just exchanging comments once i n a while.  Certainly, t h e i r interest i n  the drama could have become a starting point for language  72 development students.  and thinking a c t i v i t i e s , as i t i s with regular Clayton usually spoke in two or three word phrases,  but, when asked to explain at the end of semester one what h i s play was about, he responded: "Boyfriend - I was the boyfriend and then .. the  g i r l .. she got pregnant .. and there's  and C.W.  and Cindy play the friends .. Then,  after awhile I been a d i f f e r e n t person.  1  play a friend and then she goes to the bathroom and there's the mirror and s t u f f . " "The mirror and s t u f f " refers to the g i r l standing i n front of the mirror looking at herself while another actress says her l i n e s from offstage.  While Clayton f e l t i t was important enough to  mention, he f a i l e d to remember the term "shadowing". C.W.  and Clayton were at a disadvantage because they found i t  d i f f i c u l t to see beyond the l i t e r a l meaning of a play.  One day,  when doing scenes on a Christmas theme, one group presented a play about racism.  Santa Claus was an East Indian and a small boy  reacted i n a r a c i s t manner to this discovery.  We were a l l shocked  at the open cruelty of the scene and agreed that i t had not only been e f f e c t i v e but had shown a l o t of courage on the part of the performers.  When I asked C.W.  and Clayton what they thought,  said i t was "stupid" and "people shouldn't behave that  way".  C.W.  73 Clayton said i t was "okay". Again, with more time, we could have led into a discussion at their l e v e l about the purpose of drama i n society. The f i n a l item on the c h e c k l i s t (see Appendix D) was whether "the student appears to gain pleasure from the drama". rated them both at s i x on the scale i n t h i s category. question i n my mind that both C.W. enjoyable.  Observers There i s no  and Clayton found drama  They had good experiences with drama at Overlander  School and the process continued to excite them at Norkam. Clayton summed up drama as "fun" and when asked i f i t made him f e e l good, he responded  "Yeah".  I believe one of the reasons  Clayton responded to drama so p o s i t i v e l y was because i t empowered him.  When I f i r s t met him at Norkam, he said he l i k e d being  someone else.  He enjoyed the role-drama where the others "had to  do what you said", and i n l a t e r .scenes he assumed the authority of the characters he played.  C.W.  also summed up drama as "fun" and  later i n the interview as "awesome".  His attendance,  participation, and persistence i n a l l h i s work suggests that succeeding i n drama was important to him. In addition to enjoying the process of drama, both students seem to have formed ideas about i t s benefits.  In answer to the  question, "Do you think Drama i s good for kids?"  C.W.  responded,  "It helps them when they're shy, they're scared."  74 Clayton admitted that drama had benefits for him: "It helps me, l i k e now, I can stand out i n the middle of a m i l l i o n people." Clayton f e l t that the point of taking drama was to learn "how to act better and get along".  Although h i s statement i s simple, I  couldn't help but think how much better the world would be i f we could a l l learn t h i s lesson.  C.W. saw drama from a wider  perspective: "Sometimes, l i k e drama - a l l i t i s i t shows what could r e a l l y happen i n l i f e out there and they just want to warn people to take i t easy, be careful, whatever."  When reading t h i s , I was reminded of the d e f i n i t i o n of drama "as a way of knowing" i n the Report of the B.C. Royal Commission on Education (1988).  Certainly, C.W.'s version  i s much simpler, but I was delighted to see such an advanced idea spring f o r t h from him.  One of the benefits of drama i s that i t employs those resources that we use i n everyday l i f e .  While music teaches us to  play an instrument, drama gives us the chance to p r a c t i s e using interaction s k i l l s such as body-language, f a c i a l expression, and  75 voice.  Clearly, Clayton and C.W. reaped the benefits of the drama  process and improved their a b i l i t y to use these resources.  This  much was evident i n their improved performance at the end of the year. People who have had a brush with death say that the moments of their l i f e flash before them.  If drama creates moments that  are l i f e - l i k e , as I believe i t does, i t does not surprise me to r e a l i s e that at the end of a semester, when I look back on drama classes, i t ' s the moments I remember. When I think of my students' progress, I may r e c a l l a game show format that was e f f e c t i v e l y used to remind us of what we'd learned about Shakespeare.  I t might be an improvisation where two  male students who do not normally shine i n Drama showed how a short-sighted character l o s t h i s glasses and f e l t around the floor for them.  Just as he reached for them, h i s alter-ego pushed them  away. Sometimes personal moments of discovery are shared journals;  through  a student may t e l l of the d i f f i c u l t y of abusing an East  Indian friend i n a scene about racism and the e f f o r t s she went to to reassure her.  In the friend's journal, I might read how the  scene helped her to r e a l i s e that she could react to abuse without anger. Just as there are shining moments for the regular students,  so the integrated students had their moments, too.  They did not  happen immediately; some did not occur u n t i l the second  semester.  However, they were moments that stood out a l l the more because of the d i f f i c u l t i e s C.W.  and Clayton faced.  One day i n Semester Two,  I face an unmotivated Drama  9  class and choose to do a project from Improvisation (Booth, & Lundy, 1985, p.149-151), i n which family s t o r i e s form the basis for the drama.  I ask the students to share i n twos  any stories from their families that are funny or touching. After five minutes, we come together i n a c i r c l e and I ask for volunteers to share i n the larger c i r c l e . student shares her story and we laugh. Clayton raises h i s hand.  The  first  To my surprise,  I am not sure whether he w i l l  succeed so I f e e l a l i t t l e edgy. He t e l l s us the story of how he went horseback with h i s dad.  Wanting to go "to the bathroom", Clayton  dismounted and headed into the bush. horse was gone", he concludes. chuckles, too.  riding  "When I came back, my  We a l l laugh and Clayton  We ask him what happened then and he t e l l s  us that he had to walk three miles to get home and found h i s horse already there.  Remembering Clayton's remarks about  having to walk further to Norkam than to Overlander, I can  well imagine how he f e l t about that. Clayton t e l l s the story i n a clear voice that we can a l l hear, he uses lots of f a c i a l expression to emphasize h i s dismay, and some gesture.  The class erupts into laughter,  and I want the sound of i t to go on and on, prolonging h i s moment of acceptance and recognition.  He i s the centre of  attention having created the fun for a l l of us. However, the story behind the story i s about a drama student who when working with him made him f e e l confident enough to share h i s story with the c l a s s . It i s May 23 and C.W. kidnapped c h i l d .  i s i n a drama scene about a  His performance i s remarkable because he  f i t s i n so well with the other students. He looks comfortable on stage, even when he has to c i r c l e around the others to go and fetch k i n d l i n g for the f i r e . to h i s wife, he says the lines "Don't worry. S h e ' l l be back."  When t a l k i n g Be p o s i t i v e .  i n a convincing and audible way.  The  scene receives a mark of 8.5/10 and I do not have to turn a b l i n d eye to mistakes made by C.W.,  because he makes none -  not one f l u f f e d l i n e or one awkward move i n the whole scene. I f e e l so proud of him!  CHAPTER FIVE If teacher attitude i s an important variable i n the success of integration (Winzer and Rose, 1989), i t might be worthwhile to examine my attitude towards integration and the factors that contributed to i t . I think of Hamlet's words "the readiness i s a l l " (Shakespeare, 1963, p. 167) when considering my journey towards ..working i n an inclusive classroom. students at Overlander Secondary, integrated students.  Because of my involvement with I was indeed ready to work with  Sometimes, schools have been accused of  lagging behind s o c i e t a l trends, but the schools i n B r i t i s h Columbia appear to be at the leading edge of the movement towards an inclusive society.  This proactive approach may be due, i n  part, to the influence of lawsuits, but i t points to the need for pre-service and inservice t r a i n i n g for teachers who are thus expected to be leaders i n this movement.  As Berra (1989)  suggests, teacher t r a i n i n g programs can no longer ignore such needs.  Sometimes, i t i s assumed that teachers w i l l be ready for  a l l kinds of innovations, worthwhile though they may be, without expecting that they w i l l have to work through a highly individual process.  It c e r t a i n l y does not s u f f i c e to t e l l teachers that they  must work i n inclusive classrooms without involving them i n a c t i v i t i e s that w i l l engage their hearts as well as their minds.  79 If a teacher i s to work i n an integrated classroom, I maintain that she/he must carry a strong b e l i e f i n the  Tightness  of i t a l l  in order to function e f f e c t i v e l y . Because I was engaged i n classroom research, I took a proactive approach to the integration of C.W.  and Clayton.  needed them to be there i n order to accomplish my own  I  objectives.  I might experience integration d i f f e r e n t l y i f an administrator had approached me and t o l d me she/he was placing mentally handicapped students i n the Drama 9 class i n September, i n spite of my concerns.  (In fact, at Norkam t h i s would not happen without  my  agreement as the p o l i c y i s to place students i n classrooms where they are welcome). I was lucky enough to have options i n classroom organization because of the presence of drama helpers. necessary even though C.W. difficulties.  Classroom support  was  and Clayton had no behavioral  No doubt my attitude remained p o s i t i v e because I  did not experience an excessive amount of c o n f l i c t between meeting the educational needs of the regular and the integrated students. Thus, a number of factors contributed to my p o s i t i v e attitude towards an integrated c l a s s .  Had any of these aspects not been i n  place, my experiences i n the realm of the inclusive classroom might have been very d i f f e r e n t .  It follows that the experience of  the students might also have been less p o s i t i v e .  Even with the "right" attitude, I was surprised at how challenging the integrated classroom was.  Interventions by the  teacher and normal students are a factor i n successful integration of the mentally handicapped (Lewis & Dourlag, 1987), and I c e r t a i n l y found intervention to be necessary.  I discovered that  not only did I have to think quickly, but I had to employ some fancy footwork i n order to foster interaction between the two groups.  It i s doubtful that I could have been so e f f e c t i v e  without the support of the drama helpers. The area that I have found underemphasized i n the l i t e r a t u r e i s the area of support for the classroom teacher.  If we expect  teachers to continue to honour students while juggling more and more roles i n increasingly complex classrooms, reasonable to ask:  i t i s surely  who w i l l honour the teachers?  Not only d i d I  r e l y on the support of the drama helpers, but I benefitted from the support of a network consisting of an administrator, the resource teacher, and the teacher aide.  We would talk informally  about problems the students were facing and a l s o communicate through notes l e f t i n our boxes. One day I found t h i s note i n my  box:  Jane: Just wanted to l e t you know how pleased I was observing Clayton i n Drama on Monday. I was amazed to see now far he has come since September .. To see him so involved and so w i l l i n g to take r i s k s i s a r e a l compliment to you.  81 Thanks for taking that extra step with him. Thus, a small group of adults i n the school found a way not only to share information, but to create an atmosphere of mutual support through informal conversation, notes, and by coming into the classroom to watch a process or a presentation. At the end of the school year, the resource teacher, aide, and students hosted a lunch for the classroom teachers who had worked with them.  As a  classroom teacher, I cannot emphasize too much the value of this kind of appreciation. Sometimes during the year other teachers who also taught the integrated students would talk about their moments of success.  We  managed to meet once to do t h i s formally, but finding time was a real problem i n scheduling meetings.  Whereas the integrated  students were the main preoccupation of the resource teacher, they were one of many concerns for those of us who are classroom teachers.  Perhaps i t would have been h e l p f u l i f we could have  been released from regular duties for a short time i n order to share our experiences and brainstorm solutions. The extra support that classroom teachers need i n dealing with an integrated class springs p a r t l y from the fact that we have to deal with many aspects of the mentally handicapped  student.  Often, I took on a nurturing role such as checking that C.W. was  82 wearing gloves i n the cold weather, or helping Clayton deal with the bicycle accident.  Although I have also become involved i n the  l i v e s of other students i f they were experiencing d i f f i c u l t i e s , I have found that regular teenagers do not r e l i s h prolonged contact with adults, whereas I found that C.W.  and Clayton seek out such  contact perhaps because they lack both their own resources and peers who might help them.  This added involvement nevertheless  served to remind me that we have to look at both regular and integrated students i n a l l their complexity.  I r e c a l l Gavin  Bolton's words when I asked him i f he had taught s p e c i a l needs students: " A l l my students have special needs". Certainly, the willingness to acknowledge the i n d i v i d u a l needs of students i s a pre-requisite for working with the mentally handicapped,  and, as Berra (1989) mentions, this approach may  be  easier for some teachers than others. While I found that the special needs students demanded that I look at them as whole people, the integration process also allowed me to watch aspects of other students emerge.  A colleague who  teaches the Cafeteria Course t o l d the story of an eighteen year old boy who  l i k e d to project a "macho" image.  One day the teacher  walked into the kitchen to f i n d this student with h i s hand over the hand of a special needs student teaching him to chop  83 vegetables.  This incident echoes many that occurred i n my  classroom and c a l l s to mind the comment that for regular students "a wide range of s o c i a l benefits are said to be derived from integrated experiences"  (Sasso & Rude, 1988, p. 19).  According to Dorothy Heathcote, when working with the handicapped,  "you r e l y more on what you are rather than what you  know" (Wagner & Heathcote,  1979, p. 210). I found that the  presence of the integrated students forced me to react more and more from a "who I was" than from a "teacher who knows" stance. The more challenged I was, the more l i k e l y I was to react to a situation from the viewpoint of someone learning along with the students.  For instance, when the students thought of doing a  scene about a mentally handicapped  person, I related t o them not  as a teacher demanding that they change t h e i r topic, but as an equal who could not deal with the situation.  Certainly, t h i s i s  the way I often choose to work with students, but i t became more and more a necessity, rather than an option, as I ventured into the uncharted waters of mainstreaming. Thus, teaching special needs students i n an integrated c l a s s forced me to take into account a l l aspects of their development. Although i n drama I work with a l l aspects of human existence, working with integrated students served as a reminder of the complexity of a l l my students.  Also, I saw aspects of other  84 students that may not have emerged without the presence of the special needs students.  For my part, I found myself r e l y i n g on my  humanity to guide me through new situations because I had no appropriate methodology to draw on. I w i l l now return to the questions that I posed at the beginning of the study.  What i s meant by the term "least r e s t r i c t i v e  environment?"  When attempting to meet the needs of the mentally handicapped,  i t seems important to approach each student as an  individual.  For this reason, programming must be f l e x i b l e .  and Clayton probably d i d get "the best of both worlds".  C.W.  They had  opportunities to learn from normal peers i n their electives, but they also received individual attention from the resource teacher and they were able to spend a part of each day with their friends i n the special c l a s s .  While this arrangement suited C.W.  and  Clayton's needs, i t may not be appropriate for some of the other students.  The search for 'the least r e s t r i c t i v e environment' for  each student appears to be time-consuming and demands cooperation between the classroom teacher and the resource team.  Are we o f f e r i n g equal opportunities i f we f a i l to modify our teaching s u f f i c i e n t l y for special needs students?  85 In the face of some of the d e f i c i t s we are trying to address, i t would seem almost impossible to guarantee equal opportunities. For this reason, i t would be important to plan programs with the input of parents and students.  However, my experience suggests  that a classroom teacher can go a long way towards challenging the mentally handicapped  i f she/he modifies objectives and evaluation  procedures and o f f e r s alternate assignments where necessary. Through working i n an integrated classroom, C.W.  and Clayton  learned a l o t about the process and performance of drama and became aware of i t s benefits to them. drama for the mentally handicapped  One of the main benefits of  i s that i n drama we use the  resources that we use i n everyday l i f e , so students have the opportunity to practise using interaction s k i l l s such as voice, body language, and f a c i a l expression,  ( i n addition, the advantage  of the integrated classroom would be that the students have appropriate role models who are using these resources i n a more normal way).  Clearly, C.W.  and Clayton d i d improve their a b i l i t y  to use these resources, as their performance at the end of the year shows.  Also, they increased their s e l f confidence and  believed that drama had helped them either i n "the speaking part" or i n an a b i l i t y "to stand out i n front of a m i l l i o n people". Even though C.W.  and Clayton were mentally handicapped,  i t is  clear to me that they each chose the area where they wanted to  86 challenge themselves and applied themselves to achieve improvement i n that area. Having said this, though, I believe that one of the most important resources we use i n everyday l i f e i s the mind, and drama can c e r t a i n l y give us the opportunity to develop thinking a b i l i t y . In assessing my work with the integrated students,  I f i n d that I  f a i l e d to address the development of their thinking a b i l i t y i n any systematic way.  No doubt, they learned a l o t i n t h i s area from  the other students and from class discussion - some of their thinking revealed t h i s , but as a teacher  I watched many  opportunities pass by simply because I d i d not have the time, and the drama helpers did not have the a b i l i t y , to discuss ideas at their l e v e l . Also, i t became apparent that Clayton and C.W.'s new confidence and a b i l i t y shone most b r i g h t l y when they were among their peers i n the special c l a s s .  These r e a l i z a t i o n s suggest that  there are l i m i t a t i o n s on what can be achieved  i n an integrated  class and point to the necessity for evaluating the whole program for integrated students to ensure that opportunities are offered outside the integrated class to develop s k i l l s and to foster s e l f confidence  i n a less competitive  mileau.  Given their keen interest i n the subject, drama was appropriate way  an  to foster the integration of Clayton and C.W..  By  87 creating interaction i n the drama class, they b u i l t relationships with some students who then acknowledged them i n the h a l l with a handshake or a smile.  I t would be a mistake to c a l l these  relationships "friendships" as teenagers tend to make friends with those who think the same way they do.  I believe that C.W. and  Clayton already had their friends i n the special class and needed a l l i e s i n the crowded hallways who would help them f e e l a part of Norkam.  If we do modify the curriculum and change the methodology to s u i t the special needs student, how w i l l these changes a f f e c t the regular students i n the class? There i s no doubt i n my mind that the regular students were affected by the presence of the integrated students.  In t h i s  case, changes i n content and methodology d i d not a f f e c t the regular students as much as d i d their working with students who have fewer s k i l l s than they had.  Regular students i n Drama 9 had  to make adjustments for the d i f f e r e n t s k i l l l e v e l of the integrated students.  I believe that their f r u s t r a t i o n was allayed  somewhat by the presence of the drama helpers. effects were not a l l negative.  However, the  Many of the regular students i n  the integrated class learned, or were reminded, that by becoming involved i n helping others they could make a difference.  When we  88 face planetary challenges such as pollution, starvation and disease, t h i s learning might be the most important learning of all.  Do teachers require special t r a i n i n g i n order to adapt their teaching to accommodate special needs students i n the regular classroom? I am sure that I would have benefitted from special t r a i n i n g in teaching the mentally handicapped.  Special education teachers  would be able to offer valuable information on integrating special needs students and meeting their educational needs.  As a  classroom teacher, such inservice training could only have enhanced my experience of integration.  However, i n the absence of  such inservice training, I believe that my attitude and willingness to seek help from the resource team allowed me to seek solutions to some of the challenges I encountered.  What e f f e c t does the mainstreaming of mentally challenged students have on the attitude of the regular students and the teacher? Because i t i s necessary to look at a l l students - e s p e c i a l l y mentally challenged students - as individuals, i t i s not possible to generalize about the e f f e c t s of mainstreaming on the attitudes  89 of regular students and the teacher.  Having said that, however,  i t i s possible to make some comments about the students and the teacher i n this study. It seems that those regular students who had experienced working or l i v i n g with the mentally challenged already had a positive attitude toward integration.  However, the presence of  Clayton and C.W. i n the class seems to have made other students aware of both their challenges and their strengths.  Because the  integrated class functioned quite well, due, at least i n part, to the involvement of drama helpers, the maturity of the other students and the motivation of the subjects themselves, the experience enabled the students to change their perception of the mentally challenged i n a p o s i t i v e way.  Several of them were able  to give clear indications of their growth by noting how they had changed their behaviour with regard to special needs students, such as not t e l l i n g jokes about them any more. Thus, the changes i n attitude that d i d occur i n the regular students were, as far as I could t e l l , p o s i t i v e ones.  I f we are  concerned about the changing attitudes and behaviour of regular students, i t seems imperative to ensure that the experience of integration i s a f r u i t f u l one for a l l concerned.  Had the  experience i n this case been poor, then not only would I as the classroom teacher be bearing the brunt of negative attitudes from  90 the students, but 1 would also be taking r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for not handling the class well and being a cause of the deterioration. As for any change i n my attitude, i t i s more d i f f i c u l t to assess.  Certainly, I had a p o s i t i v e approach to integration, but  I was not e n t i r e l y sure that i t would be b e n e f i c i a l for a l l the students.  My experience i n t h i s class has taught me that, i n two  cases at least, integration of special needs students can indeed offer "the best of both worlds".  If we are teaching the student and not the subject, w i l l mainstreaming change the nature of what happens i n the classroom? In my experience with an inclusive classroom, I found that the nature of what I do i n the classroom did not change, but the degree to which I was performing certain tasks d i d .  It i s t h i s  added complexity that I believe warrants more support for the classroom teacher both i n training, extra hands and minds within the class, and encouragement from outside. As I consider myself more a teacher of students than of a subject, I was s t i l l engaged i n extending the thinking and honing the s k i l l s of my students;  I  was s t i l l an adult attempting to model appropriate ways of r e l a t i n g and reacting for my students.  Above a l l , I was  still  trying to create i n my classroom, a microcosm of the world the way i t could be; indeed, integration offered me another way that I could demonstrate how  I think we need to be l i v i n g i n the world.  91 REFERENCES  American Psychiatric Association. (1980). Diagnostic and s t a t i s t i c a l manual of mental disorders (3rd ed.). Washington, DC: Author. Berra, M. (1989). Integration and i t s Implications for Teacher Preparation. B.C. Journal of Special Education, 13, 55-65. Blacher-Dixon, J . & Simonsson, R.J. (1976). Role-taking a b i l i t y and interpersonal t a c t i c s of retarded children. American Journal of Mental Deficiency, 80, 667-670. Blacher-Dixon, J . & Simonsson, R.J. (1988). The Development of Social Competence Through Role-Taking and Sociodramatic A c t i v i t i e s . - S t i r l i n g , Scotland: F i r s t World Congress on Future Special Education. Bolton, G.M.  (1984).  Drama as Education. London:  Longman.  Bolton, G. (1989). Drama. In D.J. Hargreaves (Ed.), Children and the Arts (pp. 119-137). Milton Keynes: Open University Press. Booth, D.W. & Lundy, C.J. (1985). Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.  Improvisation. Toronto:  Bowd, A. (1986). Exceptional Children i n Class. Australia: Halgren Publishing.  Victoria,  Brown, L., Schwarz, P., Udvari-Solner, P., Frattura Kampschroer, E., Johnson, F., Jorgensen, J . , & Grenwald, L. (1991). How much time should student with severe i n t e l l e c t u a l d i s a b i l i t i e s spend i n regular education classrooms and elsewhere? Journal of the Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps, 16, 37-47. Browning, R. (1970). The Pied Piper of Hamelin. In I. Jack (Ed.), Robert Browning, Poetical Works 1833-1864 (pp. 402-410). London: Oxford University Press. Delamont, S. & Hamilton, D. (1976). Classroom Research: A c r i t i q u e and a new approach. Explorations i n Classroom Observation (pp. 3-20). Toronto: John Wiley and Sons. Dickens, C. (1988). University Press.  A Tale of Two C i t i e s .  London:  Oxford  92 Drew, C.J., Logan, D.K., & Hardman, M.L. (1988). Retardation - A Life-Cycle Approach. Toronto: Publishing.  Mental Merrill  Education for A l l Handicapped Children Act (1975) 94-142. United States Congress. Gardner, J.M. (1982). S o c i a l Interaction and Development of Pre-School Delayed and Nondelayed Children i n an Integrated Classroom. Vancouver: E-1.R.B.C. Greenspan, S. (1979). S o c i a l intelligence i n the retarded. Handbook of Mental Deficiency: psychological theory and research. H i l l s d a l e , NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Gruen, G., Ottinger, D., & Ollendick, J . (1974). P r o b a b i l i t y Learning i n retarded c h i l d r e n with d i f f e r i n g h i s t o r i e s of success and f a i l u r e i n school. American Journal of Mental Deficiency, 70, 417-423. Heathcote, D. (1971). Drama and Education: Subject or System? Drama and Theatre i n Education (pp. 42-62). London: Heinemann. Home, M.D. (1985). Attitudes towards handicapped students: Professional, peer and parent reaction. H i l l s d a l e , N.J.: Laurence Erlbaum. Johnson, D.W. & Johnson, R. (1980). Integrating handicapped students into the mainstream. Exceptional Children, 46, 89-98. Kaufman, M.J., Gottlieb, J . , Agard, J.A., & Kukic, M.D. (1975). Mainstreaming: Toward an explication of the construct. In E.L. Mayer, G.A. Vargason, & R.I. Whelan (Eds.), Alternatives for teaching Exceptional Children (pp. 35-54). Denver, CO: Love. Kramer, J . J . , P i e r s e l , W.C., & Glover, J.A. (1984). Cognitive and Social Development of M i l d l y Retarded Children. Handbook of Special Education, Research and Practice (pp. 43-58). New York: Pergamon Press. Lieberman, L. (1985). Special education or regular education: A merger made i n heaven? Exceptional Children, 51. 513-516. Lewis, R.B. & Doorlag, D.H. (1987). Teaching Special Students in the Mainstream (2nd ed.). Toronto: M e r r i l l Publishing.  93 Neelands, J .  (1984).  Making Sense of Drama.  O'Neill, C. & Lambers, A. London: Hutchinson.  (1982).  London:  Heinemann.  Drama Structures.  Rehabilitation Amendment Act (1973). Congress.  93-112.  United States  Rose, CD. (1979). The s o c i a l acceptance of severely mentally handicapped children i n a regular school and the u t i l i z a t i o n of peer tutors to improve their s o c i a l interactions. B.C. Journal of Special Education. _3, 399-411. Rose, CD. & O'Connor, A. (1989). Mainstreaming: r e a l i t y or myth? B.C. Journal of Special Education. 13. 277-286. Royal Commission on Education (1988). A legacy for learners: Summary of Findings. V i c t o r i a , BC: Queen's Printer. Sasso, G. & Rude, M.A. (1988). The s o c i a l e f f e c t s of integration on nonhandicapped students. Education and Training i n Mental Retardation, 23, 18-23. Shakespeare, W. (1963). Hamlet. In E. Hubler (Ed.), Signet Classic Shakespeare. New York: Times Mirror. Slade, P.  (1954).  C h i l d Drama.  Oxford: Oxford University Press.  Wagner, B.J. & Heathcote, D. (1979). Medium. London: Hutchinson. Way,  B.  (1967).  Drama As a Learning  Development Through Drama.  London:  Longman.  Winzer, M. & Rose, C D . (1986). Maintreaming Exceptional Students: 2. Use of attitude survey with teachers of B r i t i s h Columbia. B.C. Journal of Special Education. 10. 309-319.  I I  97  APPENDIX D  Checklist of Student Behaviours 1 Never  1. 2.  3. 4. 5.  6.  7.  2  3 sometimes  4  The student i s able to follow  5 most of the time  6  instructions 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  The student i s comfortable i n verbal contexts 1 2  3  4  5  6  7  The student i s comfortable i n non-verbal contexts  The student i n i t i a t e s a c t i v i t y 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  The student i s able to distinguish when the teacher i s i n role and out of role 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  2  3  4  5  6  7  signals 1 2  3  4  5  6  7  The student i s able to distinguish between being i n role and being out of role  The student i s able t o sustain a role for 5 minutes 1  8.  7 always  The student i s able t o read dramatic  98 9.  10.  11.  12.  13.  14.  The student i s able to use an object to represent something else 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  The student i s able to r e c a l l the drama experience The student i s able to i d e n t i f y the emotion she/he f e l t  The student i s able to describe the drama experience  The student i s able to write about the drama The student appears to gain pleasure from the drama  


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