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“A Happy and Caring School”: Capturing the Voices of Dyslexic and Non-dyslexic Learners about Their Ideal and Actual School Experiences

Chua, Yong En Beatrice; (2020) “A Happy and Caring School”: Capturing the Voices of Dyslexic and Non-dyslexic Learners about Their Ideal and Actual School Experiences. Doctoral thesis (D.Ed.Psy), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The increase in the number of students with special educational needs (SEN) studying in mainstream schools in Singapore has led to growing development in inclusive education practices. However, there are few studies that have explored these students’ views about their schooling experiences and the barriers and support that they experience. This present study sought to explore the perspectives of dyslexic learners, their parents and educators on their views on an ideal school environment and actual mainstream primary school experiences. It was hoped that by finding discrepancies between the ideal and actual, the study would raise gaps in the provision and promote positive change in students’ mainstream school experience. Six pairs of dyslexic child-parent dyads, seven pairs of non-dyslexic child-parent dyads and 5 educators who have been in the support of dyslexic individuals in mainstream settings were recruited. All learners had either completed primary education or were in their last few months of completing primary school at the time of research. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and analysed using thematic analysis. The findings revealed that dyslexic learners had a greater emphasis on their physiological and safety needs to be met. In contrast, non-dyslexic learners placed a greater focus on developing mastery and gaining in-depth knowledge, while considering the physical aesthetic needs of the learning environment. Dyslexic learners sought to have schools that offered a safe and supportive environment where there are no bullies. Their parents sought for provisions that would build their confidence and school engagement. Dyslexic learners who were interviewed generally had a mixed school experience. Regardless of SEN, all dyslexic and non-dyslexic learners faced the cultural pressure to excel academically, and some experienced bullying and peer difficulties. While all learners found a significant adult at school, the overall support offered varied within and across school and was limited. As stressed by all participants (dyslexic and non-dyslexic) groups, joint efforts by parents, teachers, school leaders, the education system and the wider society is needed to improve inclusion and school experience for all learners. Implications for schools and educational psychologist practice, and recommendations for future research are considered.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: D.Ed.Psy
Title: “A Happy and Caring School”: Capturing the Voices of Dyslexic and Non-dyslexic Learners about Their Ideal and Actual School Experiences
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2020. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Psychology and Human Development
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10112702
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