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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Developing a performance with special needs students : a case study in creativity Secunda, David


This thesis advances the proposition that learning disabled students' participation in kinesthetic or dance and mime performance activities provides an alternative expressive mode to the verbally oriented activities through which creativity has traditionally been examined and evaluated. Between February and May, 1989, I designed and carried out research project in an elementary school in Vancouver, B.C. A group of students, characterized as "learning disabled," participated under my direction in the design, rehearsal, and presentation of a performance of mime and movement to a narrated text developed mainly by the students. Techniques of participant observation and interview (as well as videotape recordings) were used to document both students' activities and the responses of students and their teachers The technique of cognitive mapping was used to analyze observations of the students in kinesthetic activities. Results of this case study have implications for theory and practice. Theoretical implications relate to conceptions o creativity derived from Maslow's description of "peak experiences" and from analyzing Weisberg's definition of creativity. An applied outcome of this research allows practical generalizations about the use, design, and implementation of programmed kinesthetic activities as a means of encouraging creativity among learning disabled students.

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