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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.3/53890
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- Examining teacher responses to a professional learning program addressing learning disabilities
- Munyard, Kay; Sullivan, Lyndall; Skues, Jason; Cunningham, Everarda
- Under the 'blueprint for government schools', Victorian state educational policy requires schools to identify and provide effectively for the wide array of individual needs and abilities of all students (Department of Education and Training, 2003). Despite this policy commitment, the needs and educational potential of many students are frequently overlooked or inadequately met. Students with learning disabilities, which have an estimated population prevalence rate of approximately 10%, are a particularly neglected group (Prior, 1996). Teachers regularly encounter students who experience difficulties in learning and school engagement. Leaving aside issues of school educational provision and environment, the reasons for this are often readily apparent. A student may have a lower general cognitive ability, an identified or diagnosed disability, or major social and emotional stressors. However, teachers also frequently encounter students of at least average apparent ability whose learning performance is unexpectedly low or at best markedly uneven. It is likely that many of these students have learning disabilities. These students may also show avoidance, discouragement or reduced engagement in at least some areas of learning. While teachers have expertise in supporting students over a range of ability levels, they often lack adequate knowledge about learning disabilities and their implications for classroom practice. The underlying problems of students with learning disabilities can be hard to identify, and so responses are frequently delayed and/or ineffective. Unless they have knowledge and understanding of the challenges faced by students with learning disabilities, teachers will continue to lack the necessary expertise to accommodate their individual learning needs. Addressing the needs of students with learning disabilities is further intensified by issues of definition and knowledge dissemination. This commonly occurring situation reflects a lack of systematic education about learning disabilities both during preservice teacher training and in on-going professional learning.
- Publication type
- Conference paper
- Research centre
- Swinburne University of Technology. Faculty of Higher Education, Lilydale
- Communities and change: selected papers: ResearchFest, October 2007 / Dorothy Bottrell and Gabrielle Meagher (eds.), pp. 239-260
- Publication year
- Australia; Disability support; Government policy; Government schools; Learning disabilities; Risk factors; Student engagement; Teacher training; Victoria
- Sydney University Press
- Publisher URL
- This paper copyright © Kay Munyard, Lyndall Sullivan, Jason Skues and Everarda Cunningham 2008. Proceedings copyright © Sydney University Press 2008.
- Additional information
- This study was supported by an ARC Linkage Grant No. LP0560472.
- Full text
- Peer reviewed