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Breaking the isolation

John Bertelsen, Resource Centre for Special Needs Education, ViSP - Denmark

Full paper (word doc)

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Education and training represent special forms of activities, as do cooperation and the relations which support and contribute to learning. For the last six years I have worked in the current project and had responsibility for developing educational programmes specially designed for people with different types of handicap: the brain-damaged, slow developers with special needs, people with psychological illnesses or with substance abuse, people with a combination of these functional problems and additionally often with serious social difficulties.

The theme of education which I will expound here has its praxis in a large social establishment where around 350 with reduced functionality work and follow educational programmes on a daily basis 1). Up to now the project has carried through around 100 individual courses. This paper will thus focus on experiences gleaned from this praxis and the endeavour to establish and develop a theoretical approach. I will present a selection of the problems whose clarification occupies me on a daily basis.

Three matters of vital importance:

  • The users' meaningful contribution
  • Reflections from supervision of the tutors attached to the program
  • Theoretical signposts

Presentation of a selection:

  • An educational program takes shape in a new paradigm
  • Education for inclusion, inspired by the social model - breaking down isolation
  • Learning as a social activity: cultural-historical psychology
  • Cooperative relations: in the workshop with Marx

This abstract is accompanied by a full paper in which the individual categories will be expounded.

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