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Title: Enacting inclusion for students with dyslexia : using cultural historical activity theory to explore teachers' beliefs and classroom practices in Cyprus and north west England
Author: Anastasiou, Elena
ISNI:       0000 0004 6423 4527
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2017
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The current study is focussed on teachers' beliefs in inclusion and dyslexia and how these are linked to their professional practice when working with dyslexic learners in their primary classrooms in two cultural contexts; in Cyprus and in North West England. The study is guided by the theoretical framework of Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) which was used as the descriptive and analytical tool to explore teachers' personal interpretations and inclusive practice. A qualitative research design is used and includes semi-structured interviews, classroom observations and follow-up discussions with ten teachers in total, five Greek-Cypriot and five British teachers. The findings indicate that the teachers presented both similarities and differences on the way the concepts of inclusion and dyslexia are perceived and understood. For example, teachers interpret 'inclusion' as a shared objective to work collectively towards, making reference to shared values such as 'human rights' and 'equal participation'. One difference identified in some of the Cypriot teachers was that that they appeared more critical about teaching disabled students (e.g. students with more complex needs) in relation to their counterparts. In terms of dyslexia, most of the Cypriot and British teachers conceptualised it as a disorder with a biological basis but, at the same time, they refer to the mediating role played by the environment in contributing further to students' difficulties with literacy. Teachers who engage in practices in their classrooms in order to be more inclusive were identified as those who propose innovation in their activities. On the other hand, there are teachers who seem less inclusive, by creating learning opportunities which are not sufficiently made available for everyone and can allow dyslexic students to access the curriculum. The study enriches the international literature on teachers' beliefs and how they are can influence teachers' professional practice. Cultural Historical Activity Theory, contributed into understanding the factors that can influence teachers' practice for inclusion and their between interactive relationship in an activity system. This is an important area of investigation since changing teachers' beliefs about students' ability can reflect changes in their professional practice.
Supervisor: Squires, Garry Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: teachers' professional development ; inclusive practice ; Cultural Historical Activity Theory ; dyslexia