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|Title:||Dialogical identities in students from cultural minorities or students categorised as presenting SEN: How do they shape learning, namely in mathematics?|
Comunidades de aprendizagem
|Abstract:||Portuguese schools are multicultural. Diversity is their main characteristic. Portuguese policy documents assume inclusive principles (Ainscow & César, 2006). Students categorised as presenting Special Educational Needs (SEN) attend mainstream schools. Multiculturality and diversity are challenges to the educational system. We assume that teachers need to (re)construct the curricula, conceiving it as a mediating tool (César & Oliveira, 2005). Collaborative work facilitate students’ knowledge appropriation, the development of competencies (Elbers & de Haan, 2005), and the emergence of a learning community (Lave & Wenger, 1991). Students can be empowered and (re)construct their identities, including students whose voices are usually silenced. Identities are conceived as dialogical and conflictive (Hermans, 2001), particularly when the students’ cultures are far away from the school’s cultures, and transitions between them are difficult (César, 2003). These data are from the Interaction and Knowledge project whose main goal was to study and promote collaborative work in formal educational settings. It lasted 12 years, including classes all over the country (5th - 12th grades, 9/10 - 17/18 years old). It had two levels: (1) quasi experimental studies where different types of dyads were studied (César, 1994; Carvalho, 2001); (2) action-research studies based on interpretative/qualitative approaches, inspired in ethnographic methods; collaborative work was implemented during at least a school year (César & Santos, 2006). A ten years follow up was implemented. The cases in discussion were from two 9th grade classes, in two schools near Lisbon. Participant observation (different observers, including external evaluators; audio and/or videotaped), questionnaires, interviews, instruments inspired in projective tasks, students’ protocols and several documents were the data collecting instruments. The data analysis was a systematic and recurrent content analysis. The inductive categories and the interpretations that emerged were then discussed among the participants and by the project research group. The results illuminate that collaborative work and being part of a learning community can be powerful tools that allow students to (re)construct their identities, namely their identity as (mathematics) students. Collaborative work empowered students and had an impact in their life paths even many years after leaving the project. The participants’ accounts illuminate the role of teachers’ practices in their identities, as well as the conflicts these students had to face, namely the ones related to their cultures and to the experiences related to their categorisation as presenting SEN. Learning how to deal with these conflicts is an essential step to school achievement and to avoid exclusion.|
|Appears in Collections:||FC-DE-CIE-GIEDF - Comunicações|
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