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Title: Students with dyslexia speak : what secondary school students say about teaching and learning in Barbados
Author: Blackman, S. N. J.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2005
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This qualitative study reports on sixteen age 14-17 year old dyslexic students’ perspectives of what helps or hinders their learning at two secondary schools in Barbados. The study draws on the constructivist paradigm of educational research which recognises the multiple realities that shape the world of schooling for students. It was these unique and varied ways that students interpreted and understood what took place in classrooms that forms the focus of this research. Data were collected to answer four main research questions. How do students view what teachers do that is helpful to their learnings? What do teachers do that is unhelpful to their learning? How do students view themselves as learners? And what difficulties do students with dyslexia face at secondary school? Participant observant and individual, pair and group interviews were embedded into a case study research strategy to investigate these questions. In addition, documentary evidence was scrutinised and an adapted Bangor Dyslexia test was used as a ‘game’ to explore whether the difficulties students reported were similar to those noted in the literature on dyslexia. The data were analysed using a Miles and Huberman (1994) framework.  Descriptive and inferential coding frameworks were established before further distillation of the material was undertaken. The data were then reduced into analytic categories displayed in meta matrices before partitioned categories were established. The partitioned categories then formed the basis for the discussion of the thesis. Findings suggest that the area of teacher strategies is an important theme in considering how teachers hinder and facilitate students’ learning. In addition a number of important and interconnected themes emerged on how students viewed what they did as learners. In particular, personal strategies adopted, learning modality and motivation suggested that students’ views of learning were constrained and needed to be changed if they were to benefit from teacher instruction. Finally, the difficulties students faced with learning at school revealed weaknesses in the areas of understanding, note taking and reading, all of which form the foundations for successful learning. The study highlights the need for more systematic investigation into this area and for teacher awareness of the use of more dyslexia friendly strategies. This research also acknowledges the importance of specifically teaching study and learning skills to help students utilise and apply information presented to them in the classroom at the cognitive level.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available