Master Lill-Johanne Eilertsen

Title of dissertation:

Participation in peer groups: interaction between children with and without hearing impairment and complex needs.


The topic for this thesis concerns conditions for participation in children with hearing impairments and complex needs. The thesis, which is a compilation of shorter papers, addresses the field of educational research. In addition, it will be of interest for interaction researchers as well.

The main research question in the study relates to how intersubjective processes enables participation in interaction and communication under difficult conditions. Three papers have in separate ways contributed to a broader understanding of the processes in question, through research questions concerning i) How different social identities are used to secure the intersubjective processes in the conversation, ii) Distinctive features in spontaneously occurred interaction between children with and without hearing impairment and complex needs, and iii) How dialogism can be a resource in the construction of inclusive education.

Dialogical theory forms the underlying epistemology of the study. Video recordings of children in five preschools and schools constitutes the empirical data. The children are 3 – 12 years old. Several analytical methods are applied in the study. Conversation Analysis is applied in the first paper, Interaction Analysis is applied in the second paper. The third paper contains empirical examples, but is mainly based on textual analysis.

Equality is at stake when children have different resources for participating in the communicative relationship. The thesis contributes to a broadened understanding of the dynamics in the child-child relations under such conditions. Findings in the study indicate that children create conditions for participation by constructing play formats. These formats originate in a common competence in child culture. The thesis contributes to i) a new understanding of education for children characterised as having special educational needs, and ii) to significant debate concerning central concepts relating to interaction and communication in the field of educational research.

The research was conducted at Signo Resource Centre, and University of Oslo, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Special Needs Education.





Published Apr. 27, 2016 2:28 PM