NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ782644
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb
Pages: 11
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 22
ISSN: ISSN-0885-6257
Transcending the Zone of Learning Disability: Learning in Contexts for Everyday Life
Mendez, Laura; Lacasa, Pilar; Matusov, Eugene
European Journal of Special Needs Education, v23 n1 p63-73 Feb 2008
The purpose of this paper is to illustrate a sociocultural approach to studying disability in educational contexts grounded in the cultural-historical and activity theory approaches. From the sociocultural viewpoint, disability is regarded as being located in particular types of activity systems and learning cultures rather than within an individual. This helps to explain why children who demonstrate disability in one situation may be competent in other contexts. The paper offers a sociocultural analysis based on a case study of a transition made by a teacher and a student from a traditional pedagogical approach of covering a curriculum aimed at teaching money maths to a new system based on the concept of a community of learners. We combined a qualitative field study approach supported by ecological and ethnographic perspectives with micro-ethnographic discourse analysis and an action research perspective. We show how the special education teacher, with the help of the researcher, began to transform the set of classroom activities, moving from a traditional pedagogical context to that of a community of learners. The analysis focuses on this process, presenting the specific cases that occurred in the special class and involving Maria's conversations with her special education teacher about useful tasks for her everyday life. This experience permitted us to examine how the transformation of the learning scenario enables changes in ways of learning to appear, in the participation of the learner in her own learning process and the relationship between teacher and student. (Contains 1 table and 3 figures.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A