Using a situative perspective to gain a deeper understanding of how children’s strengths are related to social context

Nick Bozic, Rebecca Lawthom, Janice Murray, Jeremy Oldfield

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Abstract

Over the last twenty-five years, there has been an increase in the availability of published checklists and schedules which allow practitioners to identify the strengths of children and young people, including those with special educational needs. While helpful, these assessments are unable to tell us about the nature of contextual factors which support the expression of particular strengths. In this study, we took a situative perspective to explore how specific classroom practices facilitated strengths. A multiple case study design was used to analyse practices nominated by three children/young people with special educational needs. Qualitative analysis revealed how aspects of practice afforded the opportunity for each child to participate in ways which they equated with their strengths. This style of strength-based assessment led to a more sustained examination of supportive practice features than would have been achieved through interview alone.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Research in Special Educational Needs
Early online date3 Jun 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • activity system
  • affordance
  • critical realism
  • situative perspective
  • strength-based assessment

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