Master of Arts (MA)
Faculty of Science
The purpose of this thesis was to evaluate the “Kids on the Block” program in the Waterloo Regional schools as part of the work of the Independent Living Center of Waterloo Region. The “Kids on the Block” program was designed to teach school age children about handicapped children and adults. The main emphasis of the program is to foster the development of positive attitudes towards persons with disabilities. As well, the “Kids on the Block” program also provides knowledge about various disabilities. This research attempted to study the impact of the “Kids on the Block” program on children in grades three to six, by studying changes in attitudes, as well as the amount of knowledge gained. Six schools were involved in the process, including all classes between grades three and six. Three of the schools saw the four-week presentation of the “Kids on the Block” program. Two of the schools acted as a control group, and were no exposed to the program. One school had seen the program a year ago, and thus was able to provide some information regarding the long term effects of the “Kids on the Block” program. The study was conducted in three stages. The three stages involved a pretest and two follow-up post-tests. The pretest was assigned one week prior to the four-week “Kids on the Block” program. The first post-test was assigned the day after the four-week program. At this time, participants who had just seen the program also completed a subjective program evaluation form. Approximately one month later the second post-test was presented. The children who had seen the program one year ago and the children who had never seen the program were assigned the same three testing sessions on the same dates as the program participants. Results revealed that the “Kids on the Block” program does have a short term positive effect on children in grades three to six, particularly on knowledge of disabilities. However, the long term effects of the program appeared to be weak and unclear. This indicates a need for further development of a long term follow-up strategy. Reliability was moderate across the forms, ranging from .34 to .70. Multiple regressions supported the validity of this measure in concordance with previous research. The factors influencing the success of the program included the grade of the child, and whether or not the child knew a person with a disability. Qualitative data indicated that the children enjoyed the puppet presentations, and believed that they learned a great deal from the puppets.
Baker, Valerie A., "Changing attitudes of children in grades three to six towards persons with disabilities via the 'Kids on the Block' program" (1991). Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive). 604.