Amy Claughton

School of Education

Learning portals: enabling play and learning

There is a growing body of research that recognises disability as a social construct. From this perspective, it is acknowledged that socially constructed barriers can disable children with impairments. Within education, research underpinned by this perspective aims to assume competence of children with impairments and promote equitable and inclusive learning opportunities.  Adjustments and modifications, as a response to overcoming barriers, aim to increase participation and engagement in formal learning opportunities for children.

In an effort to conduct data analysis on research that explores the play-based learning experiences of children with impairments, the Learning Portals Framework (LPF) has been developed.  The framework draws on the socially constructed environmental, structural and attitudinal barriers identified within disability studies. The LPF aims to provide a platform to recognise how children’s capabilities are enabled through teacher actions and their responses to children’s play.

This presentation showcases several vignettes from the presenter’s PhD study to discuss and analyse the play experiences of five children within a special education setting.  The experiences of the children are explored within the LPF to highlight how children can be enabled to play, learn and investigate their own areas of interest.  There is a specific focus on how the children are active in their play and learning, and display independence and agency in their actions and interactions.

Amy Claughton is supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Stipend and RTP Fee-Offset Scholarship through Federation University Australia.