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Title: Transitioning from primary to secondary school in Jamaica : perspectives of students with learning disabilities and/or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
Author: Keaveny, Dawn-Marie
ISNI:       0000 0004 5346 5389
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2014
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This is a qualitative research with an ethnographic flavour. It seeks to understand the experiences and perspectives of a group of Jamaican students with learning disabilities (LD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) on their transitioning from primary to high school. At present, Jamaica does not have a transition policy and many students with disabilities transition to high school but are not receiving the level of support, and accommodations they need. Interviews were used in this research to gain an insider view of the students’ transition experiences. The students’ stories of high school were compared for similarities and differences using thematic analysis. Through inductive and deductive analysis their stories were examined and interpreted. Four general themes were identified as factors that influenced how students experienced school. These themes were pedagogy, ableist beliefs, the hidden curriculum and social networks. These themes were related to the theories of social capital and sense of belonging and it is argued that social capital and sense of belonging are likely to significantly impact students’ transition experiences, and future outcomes. The findings suggest students use their social capital in the form of social networks to navigate high school and access academic, emotional and social support. Belonging to a social network is associated with positive feelings towards school, as well as with a greater sense of connectedness to their school. Recommendations include the creation of a national transition policy to encourage a smooth transition of students from the primary to the secondary level of schooling. It is also suggested that teachers create opportunities for students to build social networks thereby increasing their social capital in schools. This research contributes to knowledge by presenting a Caribbean perspective on transition. It adds to the literature by giving voice to an often silent minority that is, Caribbean students with disabilities.
Supervisor: Goodley, Daniel Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available