Group Argumentation Development through Philosophical Dialogues for Persons with Acquired Brain Injuries

International Journal of Disability, Development and Education 67 (1):107-123 (2020)
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Abstract

The high prevalence of brain injury incidents in adolescence and adulthood demands effective models for re-learning lost cognitive abilities. Impairment in brain injury survivors’ higher-level cognitive functions is common and a negative predictor for long-term outcome. We conducted two small-scale interventions (N = 12; 33.33% female) with persons with acquired brain injuries in two municipalities in Sweden. Age ranged from 17 to 65 years (M = 51.17, SD = 14.53). The interventions were dialogic, inquiry-based, and inspired by the Philosophy for Children Programme, a participatory thinking skills approach with documented higher-order cognitive outcomes, such as developed argumentation skills, in other target groups. Philosophical dialogues were conducted once a week in the two groups, totalling 12 dialogues per group. Group argumentation development was measured through compared scores from structured observations of filmed dialogues early and late in the intervention. Large positive changes in mean scores from early to late in the intervention, together with constantly high facilitator quality, suggest argumentation development in the sample due to the intervention.

Author's Profile

Viktor Gardelli
Lulea University

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