Play and performance: Creating Life Spaces in which Learning and Development Flourish
Williamson, Rachael Anne
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis challenges dominant descriptions of the neurodiverse community by questioning the assumptions perpetuated by the medical model and other normative theories of human learning/development. Building off the revolutionary work of Lev Vygotsky (1987) and his insights on the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD), this thesis explores how play and performance are being used to transform the ways in which neurodiverse communities relate to themselves and to others by engaging both who they are and who they are becoming. The research indicates that a shift in focus from individualized behavior to co-created activity promotes the creation of the ZPD, an activity which in and of itself is learning/development. Using a Holzmanian lens, this thesis explores several programs that are utilizing play and performance to subvert dominant ideas of what it means to learn and develop and concludes with offers/suggestions to keep building life-spaces in where learning/development flourish organically.