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Sunday, 12 June 2011

DA for widening participation

DA is generally associated with special education in general education. In particular, Feuerstein and his colleagues have always worked in this field when it comes to the development and research of DA. However, Vygotsky did not develop his concepts of mediation and the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD), both central tenets of DA, for special education but for general education. Nor did he develop any assessment approach applying these concepts to assessment. It was later psychologists and educationists who extended these concepts for assessment and instruction. My own DA research goes beyond special education and face-to-face learning as it investigates business studies students' academic writing trajectory in a distance education institution. There are some interesting findings that I will be sharing on this blog.

As higher education institutions in the UK and elsewhere grapple with their agenda of widening participation, they will have to find various options for assessment regarding fair access and opportunities. DA can prove to be one of them. I would like to push this forward int eh institution where I work. But it remains to be seen how easily the institution buys this idea.