theories

Concrete Representational Abstract (CRA) in mathematics

In response to a Twitter inquiry, I decided to write up some longstanding thoughts on the Concrete Representational Abstract (CRA) sequence that is popular particularly in designing instruction for learners with disabilities. First, what is CRA? Here, from a researcher who done several studies on CRA with students with disabilities in mathematics: (more…)

Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Universal Design for Learning (CAST, 2011) was inspired by Universal Design in architecture.  If you design for people with disabilities before you built the house, it can be more accessible, less expensive, and more beautiful.  UDL applies that theory to learning.  Beginning with the premise that variability is what all learners share, curriculum should be designed to work for the widest variety of learners possible.  (more…)

Quick Theory Post #2: Neurodiversity

Neurodiversity grew out of the work of autistic self-advocates, or autistic people who identify as activists. Here is a definition from an interview with a neurodiversity activist you can read in full here.

Neurodiversity, the word, simply means the whole variety of different brain wirings people have…from the different kinds of normal to the different kinds of not so normal. Then there’s Neurodiversity, the movement which is the shocking idea that people with non standard wiring are human and deserve to be treated as such without being “fixed” first.

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Quick Theory Post #1: Disability Studies in Education

Disability Studies in Education (DSE) developed out of Disability Studies (DS), which is an interdisciplinary academic field that questions what meaning is made of difference.  Simi Linton, a DS scholar, writes,

Disability studies takes for its subject matter not simply the variations that exist in human behavior, appearance, functioning, sensory acuity, and cognitive processing but, more crucially, the meaning we make of these variations. The field explores the critical divisions our society makes in creating the normal versus the pathological, the insider versus the outsider, or the competent citizen versus the ward of the state. (Linton, 1998, p.2)

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