The Use of Tableau to Increase the On-Task Behavior of Students with Language-Based Learning Disabilities in Inclusive Language Arts Settings: An Initial Study Open Access
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Abstract of Dissertation The Use of Tableau to Increase the On-Task Behavior of Students with Language-Based Learning Disabilities in Inclusive Language Arts Settings: An Initial Study Students with language-based learning disabilities (LD) increasingly are placed in inclusive classrooms to ensure they receive access to their grade level curriculum. However, inclusion alone is insufficient for addressing the specific learning challenges of students with language-based LD in general education settings (McLeskey & Waldron, 2011). A need exists for additional strategies to increase on-task behavior and provide greater learning opportunities for students with LD in inclusive classrooms. The purpose of this study was to examine the use of a drama intervention, tableau, to increase the on-task behavior of students in inclusive fourth-grade language arts classrooms at two urban elementary charter schools in the Mid Atlantic region. All of the students in the fourth-grade language arts classrooms participated in the tableau intervention, which consisted of students making still images with their bodies to represent a scene or explore a particular moment in a story. Observational data were collected on three students identified with language-based LD. Changes in students' on-task behavior within and across baseline, withdrawal, and tableau phases were examined in an ABAB withdrawal design. Visual analysis was employed to determine if there was a functional relation between tableau and an increase in students' on-task behavior during small group language arts lessons. Descriptive data were collected via audio digital recordings of story recalls to assess the three students' understanding of character traits and sequence of events. Results indicated that participants' on-task behavior increased following the introduction of tableau and decreased following the withdrawal of tableau and return to conventional instructional strategies during small group language arts lessons. For all three participants, a functional relation was established between tableau and an increase in on-task behavior through a change in level and stability across phases. All three participants scored higher on the oral story recall assessment of character traits and sequence of events during the tableau intervention phases as compared to the baseline and withdrawal phases. These findings suggested the potential value of using drama interventions to increase the on-task behavior and provide greater learning opportunities for students with LD in inclusive language arts classrooms.