Children's perceptions of disability in the context of elementary school dance education
Keywords:inclusive dance education, children’s attitudes, disability perspectives
This study applied a relational ethics lens to investigate the perceptions of disability of elementary school children without disabilities within their dance education contexts. 14 children between the ages 8 and 11 from five elementary schools participated. A qualitative interpretivist approach guided the study. Data collection involved two small group semi-structured interviews, a drawing activity, class observation, and researcher field notes. Data analysis followed thematic analysis guidelines. Findings are conceptualized based on four themes: (a) disability as limited ability; (b) difference as normalized; (c) dance as expression of uniqueness; and (d) classmates as helpers. While understanding disability as a limitation, participation in a dance education environment that encouraged collaborative creative movement exploration contributed to these children’s learning to view difference as ordinary, and appreciate every person’s unique ways to dance.
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