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EURASIA Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education
Volume 13, Issue 6 (June 2017), pp. 2133-2154

DOI: 10.12973/eurasia.2017.01218a

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Research Article

Published online on May 09, 2017

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Multimodal Modeling Activities with Special Needs Students in an Informal Learning Context: Vygotsky Revisited

Mi Song Kim

Abstract

In light of the challenges facing science educators and special education teachers in Singapore, this study entails design-based research to develop participatory learning environments. Drawing upon Vygotskian perspectives, this case study was situated in an informal workshop around the theme of “day and night” working for Special Needs Students in Singapore. Moving away from traditional astronomy teaching, we aim to explore interdisciplinary multimodal modeling activities towards developing a participatory learning environment. As the main finings of this case study, the central benefits of interdisciplinary multimodal modeling activities are twofold: (1) promoting multiliteracies development using digital and multimodal resources for supporting the emotional and social experiences in developing learners’ astronomical understanding; and (2) integrating learners’ everyday experiences with scientific astronomical understanding for the development of higher cognitive functions. These findings emphasize the need for the cultural development of Special Needs Students.

Keywords: special needs students, multimodality, multiliteracies, Vygotsky, informal learning


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