Designing for diversity: a case study exploring implications of ecological psychology for inclusion

Finn, Roxanne (2013) Designing for diversity: a case study exploring implications of ecological psychology for inclusion. International Journal of Learner Diversity and Identities, 19 (2). pp. 45-58. ISSN 2327-0128

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The dominant psychological paradigm which underpins institutionalised learning has perpetuated a deficit rationality whereby children outside of normative developmental ranges are understood to be needy of catch-up or compensatory programs. This perennial approach magnifies and perpetuates difference, seemingly rendering the concept of inclusion in school contexts fallacious. This case study will exemplify an alternative way for schools to nurture and implicitly include young people and their families in a community of practice (Lave & Wenger, 1991). The Studio Learning Project (SLP) was established to create an additional space for learning which allows children the freedom to engage in self-instigated or negotiated projects. Reconceptualising learning from an ecological perspective, as a transaction between actors and their environments, the study supports giving increased consideration to learning as an individual-environment transaction (Barab & Roth, 2006). This places the management of resources and design of learning spaces at the forefront of decision-making for schools and their communities concerned with inclusive education. Kalantzis and Cope (2008) have claimed that designing for learning is the new work of teaching. Ecological psychology describes effectivities and affordance networks (Barab & Roth, 2006; Barab & Plucker, 2002) which transcend the individualistic focus of the dominant theoretical paradigm affecting schools, and suggest the environment and its physical, temporal, and social resources are cause for exploration when it comes to inclusive education.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2013 (individual papers), the author. Apart from fair dealing for the purposes of study, research, criticism or review as permitted under the applicable copyright legislation, no part of this work may be reproduced by any process without written permission from the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Education
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2013 00:18
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2014 04:57
Uncontrolled Keywords: alternative education; ecological psychology; inclusive education; learning environments; parent and community engagement in schools; personalising learning; student-centred learning; transformative learning
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170103 Educational Psychology
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130309 Learning Sciences
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130312 Special Education and Disability
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939902 Education and Training Theory and Methodology

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