PhD Research Panel Presentation Mary ‘ Teacher identities in relation to teaching children with dyslexia in mainstream primary schools in Greece. Aim: to examine teacher identities in relation to their teaching and learning for primary school children with dyslexia in Greece
‘ All children from the age of 4 should be included in mainstream schools; only when severity of disability is such that education in mainstream classrooms cannot meet the child ’ s needs, should the child be removed and attend special classes . ’
In Greece, dyslexia is the most common SEN encountered in mainstream schools.
Traditionally, most literature on dyslexia and teaching traditional comes from a medical/individual model perspective. Focusing on teaching children with dyslexia though a socio-cultural perspective, will provide us theoretically with the analytical tools to pursue a social model approach to the study reflecting current thinking internationally on dyslexia within a school context (e.g. as developed by Reason, 2001).
By focusing on those children more at risk of being on the margins (Ainscow et al, 2002) we can learn much about teaching and learning.
Studies, internationally, have identified the extent of teachers’ willingness to teach children with special educational needs, but few have looked at the reflexive relation between teacher’s identity as certain kinds of teachers and their teaching practices.
There is a gap in the Greek literature on attitudes towards inclusion of children with dyslexia.
This research brings a different theoretical perspective to Greek studies in SEN and inclusion, which tend to rely on large or small scale questionnaire surveys and quantitative measures of attitude rooted in western psychology.
Central to this study is the concept of identity in the sense of Holland et al (1998), which is defined as the relation between the individual and practice, (which connects with a view of dyslexia as socio-culturally situated, in terms of whether the teacher accommodates, integrates or fully includes children with dyslexia).
Concept map is‘… a creative process, designed to tap into a person’s
cognitive structure, and externalize propositions and concepts’
(Novak, http://cmap.cognist.uwf.edu/info )
The research is expected to contribute methodologically :
concept-mapping hasn’t been applied yet to any major
Greek research, and
internationally, although it has been applied as a tool of assessment and evaluation of knowledge (Hoz and Gonik, 2001), it has not been used in the socio-cultural context to elicit teachers’ identities.
Theoretical position supposes that distinct practices and discourses can afford different teacher identities and so opportunities for variously-positioned, socio-culturally situated ways of being teachers
Different teachers ’ identity work is then mediated by different ‘ self authoring ’ tools, especially cultural models (Gee, 1999)
Concept mapping (Hoz and Gonik, 2001) can provide a way of capturing cultural models and how teachers position themselves in the discourse.
Ainscow, M., Howes, A., Farrell, P. and Frankham, J. (2002) The Action in Action Research for Inclusion: Intention, Iteration and Impact , Paper presented at the ESRC Teaching and Learning Research Programme Conference, Huntingdon, 23-24/09
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Gee, J. P. (1999) An Introduction to Discourse Analysis: Theory and Method London: Routledge
Holland, D., Lachicotte, J., Skinner, D. and Cain, C.(1998) Identity and Agency in Cultural Worlds. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press
Hoz, R. and Gonik, N. (2001) The Use of Concept Mapping for Knowledge-oriented Evaluation in Nursing Education. Evaluation and Research in Education, Vol. 15, (4), 207-227
Novak, J. D. The Theory Underlying Concept Maps and How to Construct Them [Website] http://cmap.cognist.uwf.edu/info (visited 15/12/05)
Official Government Gazette 78, A ’ /14-3-2000
Polychronopoulou, S. (2003) Building a School for All: Challenges, Obstacles, Perspectives. « Special Education in Greece and Cyprus-European Perspectives-Process of Convergence to a School for All» , 17th Pan-Hellenic Conference of Nursery/Primary Teachers , Nicosia: P.O.E.D.
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