Conceptualizing science learning as a collective social practice: changing the social pedagogical compass for a child with visual impairment

Marilyn Fleer, Susan Elaine March

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The international literature on science learning in inclusive settings has a long history, but it is generally very limited in scope. Few studies have been undertaken that draw upon a cultural-historical reading of inclusive pedagogy, and even less in the area of science education. In addition, we know next to nothing about the science learning of preschool children with visual impairment using cultural-historical theory. This paper seeks to fill this gap by presenting a study of one child with Albinism who participated in a unit of early childhood science where fairy tales were used for learning about the concepts of sound and growth. This paper reports upon the social and material conditions that were created to support learning in the preschool, whilst also examining how the learning of growth and sound were supported at home. The study found three new pedagogical features for inclusion: Imagination in science; Ongoing scientific narrative; and Scientific mirroring. It was found that when a dialectical reading of home and centre practices feature, greater insights into inclusive pedagogy for science learning are afforded, and a view of science as a collective enterprise emerges. It is argued that a cultural-historical conception of inclusion demands that the social conditions, rather than the biology of the child, is foregrounded, and through this greater insights into how science learning for children with visual impairment is gained.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)803 - 831
Number of pages29
JournalCultural Studies of Science Education
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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