Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Potts, Norman B.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Theatre Arts


Children with mental disabilities--Education (Secondary); Mainstreaming in education; Drama in education


The purpose of this study is to describe and evaluate a program using creative drama to facilitate the social aspects of the mainstreaming of educable mentally handicapped students into regular high school acting classes. The project, Project ACT, was designed to enhance affective learning among both regular and special students, and to promote mutual social acceptance. The project, lasting two years, 1978 and 1979, was designed and implemented at Morrison High School in Morrison, Illinois. The following definitions are explored in detail: creative drama, mainstreaming, mental retardation, success environment, educable mentally handicapped, and the arts for the handicapped movement, particularly the National Committee* Arts for the Handicapped. The related programs described are: Camp Sunshine in Rockford, Illinois; the Lab School of the Kingsburg Center in Washington, D.C.; The Gaebler School in Waltham, Massachusetts; and The Alan Short Center in Stockton, California. Project ACT, specifically, is given focus in this study. Background of both of the years of the program is thoroughly discussed. Student reactions to various components of the program are recorded along with teacher observation. Creative drama exercises employed in the two years are described. A success environment, which was a key factor in the positive results of Project ACT, is also discussed. According to both regular and special students' reactions and teacher observation, the program was successful to a limited extent. Recommendations for improvement of the program are discussed in the conclusion.


Includes bibliographical references.


132 pages




Northern Illinois University

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