Given that preschool children with disabilities exhibit three times the rate of challenging behavior as compared to their typically developing peers, and that exhibiting challenging behavior in the preschool years is associated with later academic failure and social rejection, researchers and teachers alike recognize the need to support children with disabilities who use such behavior in the preschool years. This chapter presents how one preschool special education teacher, in accordance with her teaching philosophy, employed a performance-based pedagogy as a positive behavioral approach to working with one child with special needs who used challenging behavior. Through the presentation of a series of vignettes, this teacher’s reflections illuminate how a performance pedagogy relying on the principles of theater improvisation allowed both teacher and student to step outside traditional challenging behavior patterns and scripts. These vignettes and reflections are offered to practitioners and researchers interested in developing holistic and humanistic practices that teachers can use to support children to co-create an expanded behavioral repertoire, thereby increasing their opportunities for both social and academic success.
O’Neill, B. (2014), "Improvising with Challenging Behavior: Creating New Performances with Children in Early Childhood Special Education", Early Childhood and Special Education (Advances in Early Education and Day Care, Vol. 18), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 87-111. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0270-402120140000018005Download as .RIS
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