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The social experience of early childhood for children with learning disabilities: inclusion, competence and agency

Nind, Melanie, Flewitt, Rosie and Payler, Jane (2010) The social experience of early childhood for children with learning disabilities: inclusion, competence and agency British Journal of Sociology of Education, 31, (6), pp. 653-670.

Record type: Article


This paper tells of the social experiences of three four-year-old children with learning disabilities as they negotiate their daily lives in their homes and early education settings in England. We apply a social model of childhood disability to the relatively unexplored territory of young children and use vignettes drawn from video observation to explore the interactive spaces contained in settings with different cultures of inclusion. Using a multimodal approach to the data we show the nuanced ways in which the children enact their agency. We explore the relationships between agency, culture and structure and argue that children with learning disabilities are active in making meaning within social and relational networks to which they contribute differently depending on the barriers to doing and being that each network presents. Thus, the paper provides an original use of the notion of distributed competence.

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Published date: November 2010
Organisations: Social Justice & Inclusive Education


Local EPrints ID: 162713
ISSN: 0142-5692
PURE UUID: 21aa2eb9-b64c-402d-ad71-618643bccb59
ORCID for Melanie Nind: ORCID iD

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Date deposited: 26 Aug 2010 08:47
Last modified: 13 Oct 2017 11:12

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Author: Melanie Nind ORCID iD
Author: Rosie Flewitt
Author: Jane Payler

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