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Reflections - Class #5

Two major topics we explored in class were LS vs. ISD (Kirby, Hoadley, Carr-Chellman, 2005) and the possibilities for technology/computers being used with autistic young people.

Ideas from Class:
- assistive verses instructional technology
- ecology as a useful metaphor for systems
- sometimes it is powerful to write things in a way that disrupts genre

LS vs. ISD: I have another blog entry dedicated to sorting out my LT identity in regard to being more LS or ISD focused, so I will not deal with that here. However, one thought I had during class when we were discussing this tension is that it sounds like there are ontological and episitimological issues between the two fields. (I am trying to understand these two ideas in regard to myself and research).

I see LS as having an ontology and epistomology that cooresponds more closely to interpretive research (it studies cognition in context); whereas ISD seems to coorespond more with positivistic research. Are these accurate assumptions?

* Ontology is the nature of being and existence -- what does it mean to be? The main ontological assumption that underlies naturalistic/interpretive research is that reality is context-bound. There are no universal truths or laws; truth is understanding and human understanding is social, historical, linguistic, and dialectical (Hultgren, 1989). Cohen, Manion, and Morrison (2000) believe that ‚Äúrealities are multiple, constructed, and holistic‚Ä? (p. 137); and ‚Äúpeople, situations, events, and objects have meaning conferred upon them rather than possessing their own intrinsic meaning‚Ä? (p. 138).

*Epistemology studies the nature of knowledge -- what is knowledge like? An epistemological assumption that underlies naturalistic/interpretive are that the researcher and the researched share a subject-subject relationship. Knower and known cannot be separated and are interactive; both are humans bringing baggage that shapes and colors their experiences and understandings. Cohen, et al. (2000) note ‚Äúbehaviour, and thereby knowledge, are socially situated, context-related, context-dependent, and context-rich‚Ä? (p. 137).