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ERIC Number: ED410537
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995-Apr
Pages: 28
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Learning Disabilities or Difficulties: The Impact of Teachers' Conceptions on Identification, Assessment, and Instruction of Students with Reading Problems.
Christensen, Carol A.; Elkins, John
Students experience learning in a diversity of cultural contexts. A study examined the way in which the causes and appropriate remediation of learning problems are conceptualized across cultures. Also, it explored Australian teachers' beliefs about a number of issues related to policy and practice in the education of students with learning difficulties. The study contrasts U.S. students who in experiencing mild learning problems are often described as having learning disabilities, with similar students in Australia who are described as having learning difficulties. Although the identified students are similar, there are significant differences between the concepts behind the labels which make examination of policies and practices in each context potentially useful. Data are reported from questionnaires completed by 597 educators from 128 elementary schools and 71 secondary schools: 279 principals, 217 support teachers, 642 elementary teachers, and 159 secondary teachers. An exploratory factor analysis, examining 3 factors (academic performance, behavioral characteristics, and cultural background), was conducted to identify the underlying orientations that were held by participants about the causes of learning difficulties. Results indicated no significant relationships between respondents' perceptions of the cause of learning disabilities and the processes they used to identify students. Further, for classroom teachers, there was a significant relationship between an academic and a behavioral orientation toward the cause of learning difficulties and the use of informal tests. Findings suggest that the impact of teachers' perceptions of their roles seems to be reflected in the relationship between perception of responsibility and the education of students with learning difficulties. (Contains 5 tables of data and 25 references.) (CR)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia