Concept Map Alisha Meyer

Topic: Unified Art for All Students of All Abilities

Question 1: How does art integration help students with special needs in full inclusion classrooms?

Question 2: What are the best teaching models for students with disabilities?

Question 3: How can art connect students with and without disabilities?

The process that I will use to begin the research for my literature review will be to look at the library archives at the University of Florida and at the public library. I will also look at other online resources that relate to art integration and the impact on students with disabilities. I also have quite a few resources from Special Olympics that I coach for, and will try to incorporate some of that research into my paper. I want to make what I am researching meaningful to my teaching career and volunteer work that I currently do.

Some new understandings that I have about my topic as a result of my readings are that there are countless articles on both sides of the inclusion versus containment debate. I found multiple articles on both sides of the controversy. I am excited to sift through all the resources I found. It was endless and a little overwhelming when I started diving into the journal articles online. I feel I need to hone in on the articles I found so that this project doesn’t become too massive to tackle. I will start with the articles I referenced and see where I go from there.

Some assumptions and biases that I’m seeing from the literature on my topic is that it is all based on how important integration is to support all students and that it is best practice to foster including all kids of all abilities in any general education versus segregation into more of a self-contained model, which I taught for many years. I have taught across the pendulum from full self-contained classrooms to full inclusion models and everything in between. I’m still not sure what the best practice is according to what I’ve experienced personally, but that is why this research project will be meaningful to my practice and may or may not shift my perspective. I want to be open to innovative ideas because I don’t feel like we have ever found a perfect solution to our population of special needs students in our district.

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