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The attitude change of second-grade peer tutors working with students with severe disabilities through Laban's movement analysis

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Heidi Leigh Turlington (Creator)
Institution
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site: http://www.wcu.edu/404.asp
Advisor
Justin Menickelli

Abstract: The attitudes of peers toward students with disabilities are important when developing successful inclusion programs (Rosenbaum, Armstrong, & King, 1986; Slininger, Sherrill, & Jankowski, 2000). The Contact Theory proposed that interaction with students with disabilities could produce a change in the attitudes of non-disabled peers (Slininger et al., 2000; Tripp, French, & Sherrill, 1995). Previous research found that direct contact within a structured context had positive benefits on the attitudes of peers (Esposito & Reed, 1986; Slininger et al., 2000; Tripp et al., 1995). However, the research is not clear about when attitudes begin to change and what types of programs cause the most change. The purpose of this study was to examine the change in attitudes of second-grade students as they interacted with students with disabilities through a movement program based on the Laban Movement Analysis. Second-grade students (n=69) took a pretest and posttest on the Acceptance Scale (Voeltz, 1980), an attitude measure for lower elementary students. The treatment group (n=35) participated in an eight week peer tutoring program based on the Laban Analysis with students with severe disabilities during physical education classes. The control group (n=34) participated in physical education classes as normal. The results indicated that students who participated 7 in the peer tutoring program had a higher mean acceptance score than students who received no intervention (p = .150). In addition, students in the treatment group showed a strong trend toward a positive change in attitude from the pretest to the posttest (p = .051). While results were not statistically significant, a strong positive trend suggested that the peer tutoring program caused improvements in the attitude scores of students in the treatment group. Future research should investigate the benefits of using the Laban Analysis in peer tutoring programs. More research should also be conducted with students who are younger than age nine.

Additional Information

Publication
Thesis
Language: English
Date: 2009
Keywords
adapted physical education, attitude change, inclusion, Laban Movement Analysis, peer tutors
Subjects
Peer-group tutoring of students
Physical education for children with disabilities
Mainstreaming in education
Students with disabilities