In this study, we challenge the deficit perspective on mathematical knowing and learning for children labeled as LD, focusing on their struggles not as a within student attribute, but rather as within teacher-learner interactions. We present two cases of fifth-grade students labeled LD as they interacted with a researcher-teacher during two constructivist-oriented teaching experiments designed to foster a concept of unit fraction. Data analysis revealed three main types of interactions, and how they changed over time, which seemed to support the students’ learning: Assess, Cause and Effect Reflection, and Comparison/Prediction Reflection. We thus argue for an intervention in interaction that occurs in the instructional process for students with LD, which should replace attempts to “fix” ‘deficiencies’ that we claim to contribute to disabling such students.
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