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Title: Literacy difficulties : the origins of the labels used, their perceived purpose and the meanings ascribed to them by children, their parents and teachers
Author: Hollis, Jill Susanne
ISNI:       0000 0004 2701 543X
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2010
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Labelling is a contentious issue within the fields of psychology and education and is influenced by the predominant medical and social models of disability labelling. Previous research has explored the views of children and parents in relation to the labels used to describe literacy difficulties. However, such research has neglected the views of children's mainstream teachers within the UK educational context. Drawing on an ecological perspective, this exploratory study investigated the views of four children aged 8 to 11 who had a dual placement at a centre for children with specific learning differences, their parents and their mainstream teachers. A qualitative methodology which utilised semi-structured interviews as a means of data collection investigated participants' views regarding the labels used to describe literacy difficulties, their perceived purpose and the meanings ascribed to them. Data was analysed using a hybrid approach of thematic analysis. Themes from the three data sets were collapsed allowing comparisons to be made. Findings indicated that there was variation in the labels used to describe the children's literacy difficulties although their meaning remained relatively constant. Labels were found to be transferable in nature, with adults not necessarily using those written in reports, where most of the labels originated. Adults perceived a need for collaboration in order to 'diagnose' dyslexia, with the role of the educational psychologist (EP) being central to this. Contrasting views regarding the purpose of a label, especially in relation to the support it could bring were found and although participants recognised that labels could provide an explanation, the visual signs of such difficulties were perceived as being important for the children interviewed. The findings are especially relevant to the role of the EP particularly since new recommendations have been proposed to the government regarding the identification of dyslexia (Rose, 2009). EPs are ideally placed to work with children, their parents and teachers and can draw on their skills in consultation and mediation with the aim of developing a shared understanding of the child's difficulties whichever label is used.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.Ch.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available