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Title: An exploration of the views and experiences of children with specific learning difficulties/dyslexia as consumers of special educational provision, and their parents and professionals
Author: Thatcher, James Wilkinson
ISNI:       0000 0004 2711 8658
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2011
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This research study explores views about dyslexia held by users and providers of Special Educational Needs (SEN) services. It also investigates their experiences of SEN provision and their perception of its effectiveness and seeks their views about how the progress of children with dyslexia can be promoted. Finally, it investigates the experiences and views held by members of the SEN sub-system about communication and user involvement. The study sought the views of four sets of participants (children with dyslexia, their parents, Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCos) and educational psychologists) about dyslexia, and their experiences of SEN provision and effectiveness. A two-stage sequential mixed-methods design was employed. The initial quantitative stage involved the collection of views about dyslexia from the four sets of participants using parallel rating scales. Any association between these views was explored using the Kruskal Wallis test, Cramer's V, and Spearman's Rho. A qualitative analysis of the comments elicited from the rating scales together with semi-structured interviews undertaken with a representative from each participant group was undertaken using inductive thematic analysis within a constructivist paradigm. Results showed an essential similarity in views amongst the participants about dyslexia and approaches to addressing it. All four sets of participants concurred with varying degrees of emphasis that children with dyslexia should receive more specialist teaching in mainstream schools. None of the members of the participant sets supported the view that better progress would be made if pupils were placed in specialist provision. There was some tentative evidence from analysis of responses from the rating scales that suggested an association between children's ages and genders and their views about dyslexia. There was considerable similarity of views about SEN provision and effectiveness that was also substantiated by the responses from interviewswith representative members of the four participant sets. The findings showed a variety of experiences of SEN provision and widespread concern about inadvertent factors within local authority and school systems that could impede the progress of children with dyslexia. These included perceived teacher knowledge and attitude, lack of planning for transition, inadequate understanding by teachers of individual differences in pupils, inconsistent practice among schools and inadequate planning for transitions. There was some consensus that provision for children with dyslexia required skilled and sensitive teaching with access to an enhanced resource within mainstream schools. A Statement of SEN and additional help in the classroom were seen as important by children and teachers. Further development of communication and user participation was given different degrees of importance by the four sets of participants. In spite of inevitable limitations, the results of the study have implications for the practice of the local authority, schools and educational psychologists. -
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.App.Ed.Ch.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available