Cogenerative Dialogue: Developing Biology Learning Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Edward Lehner


A prominent challenge, at times under-addressed in the science education literature, is considering what types of learning accommodations science teachers should employ for students with disabilities. Outside of science education, researchers have consistently outlined how Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is one efficient means by which to engage students with disabilities in the curriculum. This paper presents the results of a research study in which teachers employed co-generative dialogue as a learning space where UDL was used to differentiate and individualize instruction in an inclusive biology class. The data originated from a larger, ongoing, longitudinal ethnography of science learning in several New York City special education classrooms. This ethnographic work presents a case study where teachers and a student used co-generative dialogue to develop learning accommodations which conformed to the principles of UDL. This research demonstrates how co-generative dialogue can provide biology teachers and special education co-teachers with an opportunity to collaborate with students to create learning accommodations that connect to the broader biology curriculum.

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