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ABS328 - Contributions of CHAT and DSE to the field of bilingual special education

3.2 Multi-method approaches: Issues, challenges and promising directions
11:20 AM, Thursday 31 Aug 2017 (20 minutes)
The field of bilingual special education (BiSPED) surfaced in the early 1970s as a result of the need to attend to the growing number of children in the U.S., who spoke a language other than the English at home and were identified as having disabilities. Even though the field is relatively new, those working to elucidate this area of need in today’s education systems have already recognized the urge to create a specialized body of knowledge that would attend to surfacing historical tensions in BiSPED. Unfortunately, while the number of children whose needs are situated within BiSPED in the U.S. keeps growing, the field is largely underdeveloped. Thus, there is a need to develop strong theoretical foundations. This presentation is an effort to elucidate how researchers and educators in BiSPED could consistently employ third generation Cultural Historical Activity Theory, and theories within Disability Studies to continue to expand the field of BiSPED onto yet unknown horizons. In this presentation, I describe the constituents of the three elements that best overlap across both theoretical perspectives, and explain their latent potential to strengthen the BiSPED practice. Namely, the integrated elements discussed in the presentation are: a) The mediation by society and dialectical approaches in BiSPED; b) The role of power, agency and volitional actions to expand BiSPED individuals’ opportunities to participate in the learning activity and develop; c) Collective exploration that promotes transdisciplinarity as multiple BiSPED activity systems seek a partially shared object. The presentation summarizes implications and suggests future research directions.
Teachers College, Columbia University
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