Federal University of Pelotas
Thesis: Advances in the inclusive process of special need children in regular schools in Brazil: an intervention based on Vygotsky and Engeström principles
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Research supervisor: Prof. Magda Floriana Damiani
The enrolment of students with special needs in regular schools in Brazil has increased steadily since 2008, when a new police regarding the inclusion of these students was issued. However, there have been many doubts about the impact of such police on the learning process of these students. We believe that this process of inclusion may have a positive impact on the students with special needs, as believed by Vygotsky (1997), however it is paramount to evaluate how it has been structured to attend the main needs of these students and to guarantee their development as learners. Therefore, the two general question of this research could be put forward as follows: what are the main obstacles faced by students with special needs to be included in regular schools, and which tools may be developed and implemented in an attempt to overcome such difficulties? Trying to answer such complex questions, we have devised an intervention in one of the state schools in the south of Brazil. The intervention has been planned taking into consideration the theory of “Expansive Learning and the Boundary Crossing Laboratory” from Engeström (1999). The subjects of the intervention are going to be the teachers of the regular classes and the ones that work with the students in the resource-room, our expectations are that changes may be produced as the result of the confrontation between them.
At present, we are planning the intervention that should take place during the first semester of 2014 (March – July). I expect that during my stay at Summer University I will be able to discuss Vygotsky and Engeström ideas regarding the “Fundamentals of Defectology” and “The Theory of Expansive Learning and the Crossing Boundary Laboratory”. I also expect to learn about current researches on the Historical-Cultural Activity Theory conducted in different countries, exchanging ideas, information and doubts about with different students and scholars. This experience will also enable me to take the recently produced results of my intervention with me to Summer University, what will certainly qualify the discussion of them and help me to decide the routes of the analysis of the data.