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|Title: ||To Live and Learn with Neurological Challeges: Life Histories of Two Teenagers in and Educative Community|
|Authors: ||Bloom, Howard M.|
|Advisor: ||Knowles, J. Gary|
|Department: ||Adult Education and Counselling Psychology|
|Keywords: ||special education|
risk and resiliency
youth at risk
|Issue Date: ||5-Aug-2010|
|Abstract: ||The research, on which this account is based, took place within the context of Blooming Acres, my home, and the learning community that I co-founded with my wife Sherri-Ann. In the first chapters, I tell
the story of how I came to home-educate learners with complex special needs at my farm north of Toronto, Canada. I describe the neurological disorders that the children in my care are diagnosed with and map out the main literature that guides how I think about and practice education. The aim of this section is to paint a picture of the context in which the research takes place and describe my role in this community.
The second section consists of my research with two of the children who lived and learned at Blooming Acres. This includes their stories as told by them, their parent(s), and the educators at Blooming Acres.
As I juxtaposed the life experiences of these learners with each other, and wove together aspects of these stories, significant themes emerged relating to their academic and medical histories, as well as their social, extracurricular, and family life, and finally, their experience at Blooming Acres.
I employed a life history methodology; one that honours the meaning and knowledge that exists in the storied lives of individuals. As I applied this methodology and engaged in the storied lives of these learners I learned more about what it is like to live and learn with neurological disorders. Four major themes emerged. The first, Pathology for Support / Support for Pathology, relates to learning issues, referral, assessment, diagnosis, medications and “school battles”. Second, Parent Stress includes behavioural issues, judgment, stressful calls from teachers and principals and school failure. Third, Oasis Teachers / Mentors is an expression of care, support, social competence, self-esteem and relationships. Finally, Strengths and Coping is a culmination of issues such as advocacy for support, strategies for success, identifying and coping with stress, understanding diagnosis and becoming well. These emergent themes are articulated within the context of neurology and school failure (risk) and the context of transformation and getting well (resilience). This work contributes to parenting, education, social work, disabilities, medical and risk / resiliency literature.|
|Appears in Collections:||Doctoral|
Department of Adult Education and Counselling Psychology - Doctoral theses
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