Peers as Resources for Learning: A Situated Learning Approach to Adapted Physical Activity in Rehabilitation

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øyvind F. Standal Norwegian School of Sport Sciences

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Ejgil Jespersen Norwegian School of Sport Sciences

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The purpose of this study was to investigate the learning that takes place when people with disabilities interact in a rehabilitation context. Data were generated through in-depth interviews and close observations in a 2½ week-long rehabilitation program, where the participants learned both wheelchair skills and adapted physical activities. The findings from the qualitative data analysis are discussed in the context of situated learning (Lave & Wenger, 1991; Wenger, 1998). The results indicate that peer learning extends beyond skills and techniques, to include ways for the participants to make sense of their situations as wheelchair users. Also, it was found that the community of practice established between the participants represented a critical corrective to instructions provided by rehabilitation professionals.

The authors are with the Department of Physical Education at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences in Oslo, Norway. E-mail: oyvind.standal@nih.no.

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