Arts Integration and Special Education : An Inclusive Theory of Action for Student Engagement book cover
1st Edition

Arts Integration and Special Education
An Inclusive Theory of Action for Student Engagement

Edited By

Alida Anderson

ISBN 9780415744188
Published November 5, 2014 by Routledge
220 Pages

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Book Description

Arts Integration and Special Education contributes to research, policy, and practice by providing a theory of action for studying how linguistic, cognitive, and affective student engagement relates to arts integrated learning contexts and how these dimensions of engagement influence content area and literacy learning.

Arts Integration and Special Education connects the interdisciplinary framework in human development and linguistics, special education, and urban education with primary action research by special educators trained in arts integration, working in an inclusive urban charter school with middle school age students. Upper elementary to middle-grade level student learning is relatively understudied and this work contributes across fields of special education and urban education, as well as arts education. Moreover, the classrooms in which the action research occurs are comprised of students with a diverse range of abilities and needs. The book’s interdisciplinary model, which draws on developmental and educational psychology, special education, and speech/language pathology research and practice, is the first to posit explanations for how and why AI contexts facilitate learning in students with language and sensory processing disorders, and those at-risk for school failure due to low socioeconomic status conditions.

Table of Contents

List of Tables

List of Figures


Alida Anderson


About the Editor

Contributing Authors

Part I: Theoretical and Methodological Issues in the Study of Arts Integration in Education


Alida Anderson

Chapter 1: A Historical Review of Arts Integration Research and Practice: Lessons Learned

Sandra M. Loughlin and Alida Anderson

Chapter 2: Arts Integration as a Contextualized Language Learning Environment

Alida Anderson

Chapter 3: Cognitive and Affective Engagement, Arts Integration, and Students with Disabilities

Katherine A. Berry and Sandra M. Loughlin

Chapter 4: Understanding How and Why Arts Integration Engages Learners

Alida Anderson

Part II: Arts Integration Demonstrations of Practice in Inclusive Classrooms


Alida Anderson

Chapter 5: Film Arts Integration and Literature Study: Influences on Engagement

Kristin Nagy and Alida Anderson

Chapter 6: Process Drama Arts Integration and Social Studies: Influences on Engagement

Christina Bosch and Alida Anderson

Chapter 7: Dance/Movement Arts Integration and Mathematics: Influences on Engagement

Robyne Davis and Alida Anderson

Part III: Reflections and Next Steps for Arts Integration Research and Practice


Alida Anderson

Chapter 8: Where Are We Now: The Research on Arts Integration and Special Education

Jean B. Crockett, Katherine A. Berry, and Alida Anderson

Chapter 9: Where Are We Going? Trajectories for Research on the Arts and Special Education

James S. Catterall



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Alida Anderson is Associate Professor in the School of Education, Teaching and Health in the College of Arts & Sciences at American University. She was formerly an artist and special education K-12 teacher.


"Alida Anderson’s book takes us on a journey that begins with a history of arts integration, followed by demonstrations of AI teaching practices and ways forward. The book is an important one that creates a space for us to imagine arts integration as a transformative way of knowing, learning, and thinking across the curriculum, for all children, and not just those in special education settings."

Dr. Vivian Vasquez, Professor, American University, Washington, DC, USA

"This work champions arts integration as powerful, transformative, and necessary for learners with and without disabilities, an unavoidable teaching approach to which every student is entitled."

Sean Layne, Director, Focus 5 Inc., USA