Essays in Education


Shellie Hipsky


The Drama Discovery Curriculum (Hipsky, 2006a) was piloted in a middle school classroom for eleven students with emotional/ behavioral disabilities and one student with delinquent behaviors at a small private alternative education school in Western Pennsylvania. Students with emotional and/or behavioral disabilities often have low selfefficacy when it comes to explaining their own disabilities, coping with the label of having a disability, and the general issues that come from having a disability. The article begins by delving into what categorizes a student as having an emotional/behavioral disability. It then explores the compounding factors that often accompany the exceptionality, which include: social, academic, self-abusive, and family issues. The disorder’s impact on the students’ academic growth and self-esteem is positively affected by the use of The Drama Discovery Curriculum because it gives a foundation for emotional disclosure breakthroughs. The current literature and this study support that dramatic games and improvisation in the classroom can provide a safe space for the students to express their feelings and learn social skills.

Unique Identifier




To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.