Special Education M.A.

Number of Pages


Year Approved


First Advisor

Cavalier, Meghan

Second Reader

Peggy McCormick


This thesis explores the research behind the implementation of special education curriculum in dance and music. Music education and dance have been shown to be effective means of self-expression, a necessary component of child development. Recent research in both areas has shown that including SPED students in both music and dance classes has shown a positive effect in their social emotional skills, ways to show self-expression, and ways to improve their communication both in an academic setting and a social setting. The results are most effective when the music or dance class shifts focus from skills-development and mastery, to creative, experiential encounters with music and movement. Existing work makes a case for continued and expanded inclusion of dance and music as part of the overall educational plan for SPED students. However, there is also a pervasive need to prepare the existing population of educators to accommodate these new educational aims into the existing curricula and educational landscape. In many cases, such transitions will require partnership and expertise. Successful implementation yields positive social and communicative benefits for SPED students with diverse DCD educational needs.

Degree Name

Special Education M.A.

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis