Alves, Pedro Ferreira
Publications by Alves, Pedro Ferreira
Rodrigues T. F., Alves P. U. M., Tirone C., Prade D. (2016). A new perspective on autism: Rita Leal School. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 9(4), 163-192.
Guided by the principle that scientific knowledge should serve to transform reality and create suitable conditions of life for all, the Portuguese Association for Relational-Historical Psychology (APPRH) founded a school named RITA LEAL (RLS), with a therapeutic purpose based on new perspectives for treating autism — perspectives quite different from instrumental and behavioral learning programs. The Rita Leal School (Leal, 1975/2004, 1997, 2005, 2010) is rooted in the theory that mental development is based on a mutually contingent emotional relationship, while it underwrites Vygotsky’s concept of the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) and Mediation (1930/2004, 1934/2009). Learning to read is a complex process which individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) master slowly and with difficulty. We analyzed the process of learning to read of two ASD children accompanied by peers without special educational needs, aiming to pinpoint distinct aspects of their progress. We used the Observer Software Program to collect and analyze observations of their performance, which were understood as data to be classified according to previously specified codes. We believed we could demonstrate that, especially in the case of ASD children, learning is dependent on contingent responses and adequate levels of mediation. The technical team at the RLS has continuous clinical supervision. That is because we believe this supervision is what permits the team to undergo a process of de-centering, becoming more empathic and accessible to the autists. This makes the team’s intervention more efficient, because it becomes more aware of each autist’s individual characteristics, and therefore more available to respond to the autist’s needs.
Available Online: 12.01.2016
Alves P.F. (2014).Vygotsky and Piaget: Scientific concepts. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 7(3), 24-34.
Jean Piaget’s so-called biological perspective is often paired with the viewpoint of Lev Vygotsky when we speak of learning in humans. Both authors acknowledged the active role of children in the construction of knowledge. However, they differ in that, unlike Piaget, Vygotsky believed that the assimilation of new information does not have to wait for an appropriate level of development but must, on the contrary, produce that development through instruction; thus, cooperation between teacher and student promotes the development of higher psychological functions. The present research presents proof that school instruction is instrumental in this process. Samples of adults who had acquired distinct levels of schooling (from illiterates to university students) are differentiated experimentally through the use of four Piagetian cognitive problem-solving tasks created for adolescents and adults. The present research suggests that instructional level is the distinctive factor in the development of those problem-solving capacities that implicate higher psychological functions.
Available Online: 09.30.2014