The arts and SEN learners: Impact and implementation
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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This small-scale study focused on the impact of the arts on the social, communication and creative skills development and arts proficiency of learners with Special Educational Needs (SEN) in 6 schools in the south Wales area. It also examined the role of the teacher/facilitator when using the arts with SEN learners. A multiple-case study methodology was applied to facilitate broad research and comparisons across different contexts. The methods for data collection included questionnaires, non-participant focused observations and semi-structured interviews. Questionnaires were used to elicit adult participants’ perspectives on the developmental impact of the arts with SEN learners and the role of the teacher/facilitator in this process, whilst observations were carried out to obtain qualitative data evidencing pedagogical practice. Finally, individual semi-structured interviews were used to validate and enable deeper analysis of the practical observations made. The research concluded that the arts do have an impact on the development of SEN learners’ social, communication and creative skills, as well as their proficiency in the arts. Findings suggested that the role of the teacher/facilitator is very significant to this process in tailoring arts pedagogy to the individual needs of their SEN learners and, as such, aiding the impact on the aforementioned areas of development. Results implied the need for further research into the use of arts pedagogy with discrete SEN populations to ascertain the long-term retention and application of skills and arts proficiency developed.
MA Education - Dissertation
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