This book introduces current theories and research on disability, and builds on the premise that disability has to be understood from the dialectical dynamics of biology, psychology, and culture over time. Based on the newest empirical research on children with disabilities, the book overcomes the limitations of the medical and social models of disability by arguing for a dialectical biopsychosocial model. The proposed model builds on Vygotsky's cultural-historical ideas of developmental incongruence, implying that the disability emerges from the misfit between individual abilities and the cultural-historical activity settings in which the child with impairments participates. The book is a theoretical contribution to an updated understanding of disability from a psychological and educational perspective. It focuses on the first years of the life of the child with impairment, and travels through infancy, toddler, preschool and early school age, to track the developmental trajectories of disability through the dialectical processes of cultural, social, individual, and biological processes. It discusses a number of themes that are relevant for the early development and support for children with various types and degrees of disability through the lens of Vygotsky's cultural-historical developmental theories. Some of the themes discussed are inclusion, mental health, communication, aids and family life.
This collection of papers examines key ideas in cultural-historical approaches to children's learning and development and the cultural and institutional conditions in which they occur. The collection is given coherence by a focus on the intellectual contributions made by Professor Mariane Hedegaard to understandings of children's learning through the prism of the interplay of society, institution and person. She has significantly shaped the field through her scholarly consideration of foundational concepts and her creative attention to the fields of activity she studies. The book brings together examples of how these concepts have been employed and developed in a study of learning and development. The collection allows the contributing scholars to reveal their reactions to Hedegaard's contributions in discussions of their own work in the field of children's learning and the conditions in which it occurs.