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Written for art educators and those who value the arts for students with special needs, this book provides an overview of special needs students in the art room—addressing each group separately and including current definitions and descriptions and recommended teaching strategies. Art lesson adaptations and behavior management strategies are included, and follow-up activities at the end of each chapter offer further insights into each group of students. It also addresses school-wide concerns: collaboration among educators and school staff; art therapy and therapeutic teaching; paraeducators in the art room; and resources for the arts for special needs students. Step-by-step directions aid readers in obtaining funding to expand their own teaching opportunities.
Editor Beverly Gerber says, “There is no magic teaching pill to learn how to teach students with special needs. There are however, effective teaching strategies and approaches that can reach a wide range of students of differing abilities. When these strategies are put together, they form a framework for lesson planning and behavior management“ (p. 28). These sound teaching practices can be adapted for a variety of student ages and disabilities, and teaching practices and principles that work well in one classroom can usually transfer to other school settings—they are as relevant in the art room as in the special education program.
While good teaching is timeless, terminology may change. A 2014 reprint updates language reflecting the Supreme Court ruling to replace the term “mental retardation” with “intellectual disabilities.” New issues reflect and respect that change while staying true to the original timeless concept. A story from a retiring art teacher best illustrates this blend. She presented her annotated copy of Reaching and Teaching as a gift to the new art teacher who followed her.
222 pgs. (2006) ISBN 978-1-890160-36-4
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