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ERIC Number: EJ1114684
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Sep
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0952-3383
Exploring Elementary Students' Perceptions of Disabilities Using Children's Literature
Wilkins, Julia; Howe, Kathryn; Seiloff, Maddie; Rowan, Shelly; Lilly, Elizabeth
British Journal of Special Education, v43 n3 p233-249 Sep 2016
The portrayal of characters in children's literature can be a very powerful influence on young children. Teachers have a responsibility to expose children to characters of all types, including those with disabilities. The goal of this study was to explore how third and fourth grade students responded to characters with disabilities in children's books. We read a total of 12 books that included characters with disabilities to students in two third-grade and one fourth-grade class at three elementary schools. We video-recorded discussions about the books and identified the following four themes, all of which related to influences on students' responses to the character with a disability: (a) societal messages, (b) academic responses, (c) teacher influence and (d) portrayal of disability. We recommend that teachers carefully select books featuring characters with disabilities based on the way the disability is portrayed in the book, and, after the read-aloud, use questioning strategies that encourage students to make thoughtful, deep comments rather than giving "expected" responses.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 3; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education; Grade 4; Intermediate Grades
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A