Dramatic Arts and the Inclusion of Students With Intellectual Disabilities in Secondary School: A Self-Study of My Transformative Experience With the Third Period Thespians
This self-study explored my transformative experience with the Third Period Thespians (3PT) program, which created a theatre performance with a combination of students from a mainstream drama classroom and a segregated classroom with students with intellectual disabilities. In particular, I considered how and why this experience was transformative through arts-based methods. Notably, reflecting on experiences before, during, and after my time with the program and creating art in the form of monologues, stream of consciousness, and paintings to demonstrate that self-reflection process. Through these art-based methods I found that my past experiences were fairly limited in regard to involvement with people with intellectual disabilities in the classroom. During my time with 3PT I found that my beliefs shifted to be more inclusive, marked by hesitation at the beginning of the program to acceptance and embracing inclusive classrooms after my experience. In conclusion, that my time with 3PT was a transformative experience because it incorporated inclusive classroom practices that had been absent in my previous experiences.