Dr. Kathyrn Gerken
Participation year
Project title

Effectiveness of Kids on the Block Puppet Shows to Change Attitudes of Children Towards Peers With Disabilities


Research has shown that children can have negative attitudes towards peers with disabilities (e.g. Nabors & Keyes 1995; Harper 1997; Nabuzoka & Ronning 1997; Nowiki 2003 & Kelly 2004; Ring & Travers 2005), and these attitudes can be different according to the disability. It is important to determine how such attitudes can be changed. Multiples studies have found puppets to be useful in teaching children new information because children enjoy activities that use puppets, and are thus more likely to pay attention and remember what is taught (Campbell, 1993; Major, 1996). The Kids on the Block puppets were created in 1977 in response to Public Law 94-142 which required that all children be taught in the least restrictive environment possible. The Kids on the Block organization uses puppets that demonstrate a wide variety of diversity to teach children to understand and accept those who are different from them. The purpose of this study is to determine if elementary school children attitudes towards children with disabilities change after viewing puppets shows about children with disabilities. The participants are children between 5 to11 years old attending a summer camp program in Iowa City. It is hoped, that the children’s attitudes towards children with specific disabilities change after viewing the following Kids on the Block Puppet Shows: Tutor Pals, Temper Tantrum, Secret Code and New Friends.

Sheila  Justiniano Rosario
UPR of Mayaguez