Dyslexic students in higher education : a psychological study
The experience of dyslexic students in higher education is examined in this thesis in four studies: two major and two minor. The first study focuses on autobiographical information and describes how the hypothesis and the general theme of the study emerged from personal experience. Study two presents a set of qualitative case studies, which employ Jonathan Smith's Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) technique in order to generate a set of key themes (looking for a reason, social comparison, low self-esteem and need for appropriate support) which are then developed into the questionnaire which constitutes study three. The questionnaire comprised 54 items and was retumed by 86 respondents, 38 male and 48 female. The high agree response rate; confirmed that the statements generated accurately reflected the views of respondents. Furthermore, a rich source of data was gathered from the free comment section. The information gathered from the three stUdies is then used to develop a preliminary model of dyslexia support, suggesting provision of support across the whole institution, rather than allocation of support on an individual basis. The model is evaluated in study four, via peer group review in the form of a questionnaire. The first chapter introduces the theoretical background to the thesis, reviewing the relevant psychological literature and highlighting the situation in practice and policy in the present system. Chapter two presents the writer's own personal experience in the form of an autobiographical case study (study one), thus presenting the reasoning behind the generation of the hypothesis explored within the thesis. Chapter three offers the rationale behind the employment of mixed methods within the thesis, a variety of qualitative methodological tools are discussed, including Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA); grounded theory and symbolic interaction ism. Chapter four discusses the underlying theoretical/philosophical assumptions behind the utilisation of the particular qualitative method (IPA) employed in the analysis of the case studies presented in study two. 4 Chapters five to eight evaluate and discuss the findings from studies two and three and consider the implications that these have in relation to the restrictions of the present system; offering a preliminary model of support for dyslexic students in higher education. Chapter nine presents the findings from study four (peer review questionnaire), evaluating the preliminary model of dyslexia support put forward in the previous chapter. The thesis concludes with a review of its findings (Chapter 10) and a discussion of its contribution to a wider understanding of the issues involved in supporting dyslexic students in higher education, together with implications for policy, practice and pedagogy.