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    A Mixed Method Exploration of the Challenges to Inclusive and Progressive Education for Students with Dyslexia in the West of Ireland.


    Joyce, Carmel Ann (2017) A Mixed Method Exploration of the Challenges to Inclusive and Progressive Education for Students with Dyslexia in the West of Ireland. Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    Abstract

    Although there has been many developments towards inclusive and progressive education at primary, post-primary and at higher education level, little improvement or advancement has being made for students with specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia accessing learning support services in further education. Current policy, legislation and practices identify the need for inclusive and progressive education for students with dyslexia. However, despite some success in the increase of young people with disabilities remaining in post-compulsory education, the degree of inclusion in training and education envisaged by national and local policies has not been achieved (ANED, 2010). In turn, the further education sector remains largely under developed and inadequately funded in Ireland. This study explores the challenges to Inclusive and progressive education for students with dyslexia in the west of Ireland. Literature on dyslexia will be examined in order the address the research problem and identify gaps in practice which present. This study is carried out through mixed method qualitative and quantitative research focusing on structured surveys with further education students, structured interviews with adult educators and electronic interviews with national and regional organisational bodies. The surveys will provide a picture of the student population within the further education centre in order to examine why students chose to disclose or not disclose their specific learning difficulty dyslexia. The Electronic Interviews will examine support organisations available nationally and regionally while the structured interviews will provide the experiences of adult educators on training, student supports and improvements necessary in further education. The qualitative data will form the larger study while the quantitative data will provide a secondary database and supportive role in this study (Creswell, 2009, p. 208). The findings from the surveys will be presented in numerical format. While structured and electronic interviews will be presented as thematic text information. The research presents eight key findings which need to be addressed in order to ensure that further education is inclusive and progressive to students with dyslexia. Issues such as lobbying and campaigning, awareness and support, funding, staff training and progressive education programmes were all identified. Barriers to accessing education assessment, learning support services and reasonable accommodation were also determined as issues which affect students with dyslexia in further education. xi Although, the most challenging issues which is preventing inclusive further education is the government’s resistance to employ disability officers and provide assistive technology rooms. Moreover, market orientated discourses and employment targets are defining further education with a broad vocational ethos of training for employability (Grummell, 2014, p128) rather than meeting the interests, needs and abilities of the learners. Pragmatism places emphasis upon what is practical, fruitful and satisfying. Education is useless if it does not promote human welfare and so the system of education should be both desirable and beneficial (Singh, 2007). Dewey identifies that education is not preparation for life, education is life itself (Dewey, 1916, p.239). The Universal Design for learning matrix is a progressive curricula model which supports inclusive further education practice. By providing a wide range of flexible learning strategies to enhance teaching and learning (AHEAD, 2017, P.5). Furthermore, there is currently the lack of legislation specifically pertaining to education for persons with special educational needs in further education. As the current Special Education Needs Act has a predominant primary and post primary focus. Career Paths located in Co. Kildare is the only further education college in the country which offers a dyslexia specific training programme for students. Further dyslexia specific training programmes should be introduced to support students in the west of Ireland. Adult educators also identified concern that they require ongoing training in teaching methodologies needs to be undertaken annually to keep abreast with progressive and inclusive methods of facilitation. Therefore, Solas must review current policies, funding, training programmes and supports in further education for students who present with specific learning needs. The research highlighted that some of the challenges can be addressed in the further education centre such as adult educator training, small group work with students and flexible with module descriptor teaching methods. Recommendations will lay out key areas of change necessary in order to ensure an progressive and inclusive learning experience for students with dyslexia and areas of further study will be identified.

    Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
    Keywords: Challenges; Inclusive; Progressive; Education; Students; Dyslexia; West of Ireland; M.Ed. in Adult and Community Education; M.Ed.;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Adult and Community Education
    Item ID: 9592
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2018 10:00
    URI:

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