Lesson study as a way of improving school-day navigation for pupils with severe intellectual disability and autism

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Abstract

Purpose – This research explores lesson study as a way to enhance the quality of teaching for pupils with learning disabilities and autism spectrum disorder by observing changes to one pupil’s (Wilma) active educational participation. The study also investigates if and in what ways the professional development impacted teaching practices.

Design/methodology/approach – Five teachers met with the author on four occasions. Between these meetings, the teachers delivered the lessons they had planned together. The author video recorded the meetings to discern how the teachers’ expressions developed. The author shared their thoughts with another researcher to enable an interrater validity examination.

Findings – The implementation of the lesson study vehicle enabled the teachers to transform their thinking from mainly focusing on pupils’ deficiencies to instead focusing on their strengths. A relationship was found between teachers’ understanding of central coherence, their skills in adapting received instructions and pupils’ abilities to process and contextualize information or discern the whole picture.

Research limitations/implications – Research that involves teachers in the learning process emphasizes the relation between teachers’ thinking and their potential to enable the contextualized inclusion of pupils with learning disabilities.

Originality/value – This research offers important insights into how school-day navigation for pupils with severe intellectual disability and autism can be understood through the lens of variation theory; the teachers’ repeated and adjusted use of the frame on the schedule strip enabled Wilma to discern what would happen next during the school day.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-361
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies
Volume10
Issue number4
Early online date2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Pedagogy (50301)

Keywords

  • Autism
  • Central coherence
  • Inclusive education
  • Learning disabilities
  • Lesson study
  • Professional development

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