The production of social spaces for children with profound and multiple learning difficulties: a Lefebvrian analysis

Simmons, B (2021) 'The production of social spaces for children with profound and multiple learning difficulties: a Lefebvrian analysis.' British Journal of Sociology of Education. ISSN 0142-5692

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/01425692.2021.1922269

Abstract

There is on-going debate about whether mainstream education is desirable for children with profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD). Whilst some hold that ‘inclusion’ is a human right, and that interaction with mainstream peers leads to socio-cognitive gains, others argue that profoundly disabled learners require developmental curricular provided by special schools. Despite such claims, there is little evidence to support either view. This paper contributes to the debate by presenting research that examined how mainstream schools and special schools, across nursery, primary, and secondary settings, provided alternative social spaces for children with PMLD. It applies a Lefebvrian lens to illuminate how social engagement depended on the extent to which prescribed practices (‘abstract spaces’) dominated the interaction (‘spatial practices’), and the conditions which allowed novel forms of engagement to emerge (‘lived spaces’). Novel forms of engagement correlated with positive social development. The conclusion challenges the ‘mainstream-special’ binary presupposed in inclusion debates.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: PMLD, Lefebvre, inclusive education, communication, social interaction
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LC Special aspects of education
Divisions: School of Education
Research Centres and Groups: Centre for Research in Equity, Inclusion and Community
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1080/01425692.2021.1922269
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2021 18:59
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2021 09:56
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