Socio-material realities of inclusive pedagogy for autistic pupils in mainstream primary schools in the UK

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    Abstract

    Socio-materialist theories of education highlight the importance of human and nonhuman agents, and emphasise the material, including embodied materiality, alongside the social and semiotic within learning experience. This theoretical approach is relevant to an investigation of autism and education since autistic people often describe meaningful connections to nonhuman things and a way of being in the world that could be described as non-representational. The aim of this study was to explore the nature of inclusive pedagogy for two autistic pupils. Research questions focused on tracing the socio-material realities of effective pedagogy and video recordings of learning interactions made by practitioners and pupils were analysed for this purpose. Three realities of learning are described: thinking about maths, asking sensitive questions about the social world, and doing ‘hard work’ and making mistakes. The analysis shows that materialisation per se does not benefit pupils on the spectrum, but can be used to ‘de-representationalise’ learning in certain circumstances, particularly where inherent social meanings are more easily made visible. The analysis shows that supportive relationships and discursive practices are also important sources of support.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)262-270
    JournalScandinavian Journal of Disability Research
    Volume21
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2019

    Keywords

    • autism
    • inclusive pedagogy
    • socio-material
    • actor-network theory

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