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Title: Learning Support for Mathematics in Irish Primary Schools: A Study of Policy, Practice and Teachers' Views
Author: Travers, J. F.
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2008
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The focus ofthe present study was to investigate learning support for mathematics in Irish primary schools by analysing policy, practice and teachers' views. It took place in the context of major concern with the level oflow achievement in mathematics in primary schools designated as disadvantaged and after the introduction of a major policy change in the organisation ofleaming support (the General Allocation Model). It was a multi-method study incorporating focus group interviews, questionnaire, analysis ofteaching practice lesson evaluations and teacher interviews. The main findings showed a decrease in the overall percentage ofpupils receiving learning support for mathematics but an increase in the level ofsupport (more in-class and small group withdrawal) since the introduction of the General Allocation Model. Furthermore pupils in non-designated schools were more likely to have their learning needs in mathematics addressed by the learning support service compared to their peers in disadvantaged contexts. Teachers perceive that the General Allocation Model policy has had a negative impact on provision for pupils with mild general learning disabilities and dyslexia and that flaws in the design of the policy have led to a disproportionately negative impact on some designated schools. Moreover, teachers reported employing a greater variety ofvalidated practices in small group withdrawal teaching compared to when they were class teachers. Schools use a wide variety of practices to circumvent barriers to collaborative consultation and planning and there is inadequate provision for early identification and intervention, in-class support and use of ICT.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available