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ERIC Number: EJ1229019
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Pages: 48
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1932-7528
Stakeholder Perceptions of the Effects of a Public School-Based Theatre Program for Children with ASD
Goldstein, Thalia R.; Lerner, Matthew D.; Paterson, Sarah; Jaeggi, Lena; Toub, Tamara Spiewak; Hirsh-Pasek, Kathryn; Golinkof, Roberta
Journal for Learning through the Arts, v15 n1 2019
Arts programs are often credited with helping children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) gain cognitive and social skills. As with all claims of transfer from experience in the arts to abilities in non-arts domains, empirical evidence is mixed, and often criticized for both imprecise methodologies and a lack of connection back to the art form itself. As a first step to investigate what is actually occurring within a program that may lead to change, we focused on stakeholders' perspectives of how a theater program may be affecting children's competencies. We completed a systematic study of adult stakeholders of a large school-based, successful musical theater program, measuring: 1) their beliefs about the useful strategies within a theater experience that may be causing change in students; 2) their perceptions of what kinds of student outcomes may change as a result of the program; and 3) whether experience and role of stakeholders affected these beliefs. We found stakeholders emphasized modeling, routines, and relaxation as useful strategies, and perceived that the program built imitation, motor abilities and turn-taking skills. These observations raise questions for standard theories of the effects of arts focused on only higher order social and emotional or academic skills and emphasize the importance of including stakeholders in theorizing and measuring the effects of arts programs for all populations.
Center for Learning in the Arts, Sciences and Sustainability. University of California Irvine, School of Biological Sciences III, Office 2656, Irvine, CA 92697. Tel: 949-824-4317; Fax: 949-824-2965; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York (New York)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A