APJDD Vol 6 No 2

APJDD Vol 6 No 2

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1. Editorial Comment

1. Editorial Comment

Editorial Comment Angela Fawcett – Editor in Chief

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2. An Evaluation of the Preference-Based Teaching Approach for children with Dyslexia and Challenging Behaviours

2. An Evaluation of the Preference-Based Teaching Approach for children with Dyslexia and Challenging Behaviours

Sharyfah Nur Fitriya1*

1. Dyslexia Association of Singapore

Abstract

Dyslexia is characterised by difficulties inaccurate and/or fluent word recognition, reading comprehension, written expression, and poor spelling. Research studies have focused mainly on helping students diagnosed with dyslexia through educational remediation. Less research has been undertaken on increasing on-task behaviour and attentiveness while reducing behavioural problems for students diagnosed with dyslexia. This small-scale qualitative case study used a non-concurrent multiple baseline design across three participants and was conducted at DAS in Singapore between August 2016 and March 2017. The study examines the effectiveness of a preference-based teaching approach, based on identifying students preferences within the classroom setting and designing individual teaching programmes incorporating these preferences. An evaluation of the preference-based teaching approach was carried out through questionnaires and video observation of 15 teaching sessions. Analysis of the questionnaires revealed that the participants enjoyed the sessions and found the preference-based approach fulfilling. The video recorded sessions were analysed by the researcher and Inter-observer agreement (IOA) obtained.

The sessions revealed that all three students performed 100% on-task behaviours and active engagement from sessions eight to 12. The study concluded that the preference-based teaching approach had a major effect on the on-task behaviour and attentiveness level for all three students diagnosed with dyslexia. These findings can be used to improve teachers lesson planning skills with the aim to increase students’ on-task behaviour and active engagement levels.

Keywords:           preference, on-task behaviour, attentiveness, active engagement, classroom setting, inter-observer agreement (IOA), attentiveness hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia.

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3. Perspectives of Mainstream Students with Special Educational Needs on Inclusion

3. Perspectives of Mainstream Students with Special Educational Needs on Inclusion

Siti Mariam Binte Daud1*

1. Dyslexia Association of Singapore

Abstract

The increase in the number of students with special educational needs (SEN) studying in mainstream schools in Singapore has largely been influenced by international developments in inclusive education practices. This has led to strong advocacy towards the inclusion of these students in local mainstream schools. Despite increased support and resources to implement inclusion and inclusive education practices, there has not been a substantial investigation into how these practices are perceived by local students with SEN. This research project seeks to examine the perspectives of students with SEN on the inclusion and inclusive education practices in their regular mainstream schools and classes. An in-depth qualitative approach was used to generate data through questionnaires and semi-structured interviews with three students with SEN who were attending literacy intervention lessons in a local SEN organisation. A thematic analysis coding system was employed in analysing the transcribed data. Students' perspectives were organized in the results according to a framework based on three guiding questions: (1) To what extent do students with SEN feel included (or excluded) in their schools and classrooms, i.e. during both academic and social situations?; and (2) What academic or social-emotional barriers do they face that may affect their perspectives of the inclusion or inclusive education practices in their mainstream schools and classrooms; and (3) How can these barriers be overcome? The findings indicate that students had both positive and negative perspectives on the following themes that emerged: Teachers' attitudes, the school system, academic support, and peer support. Barriers related to the themes were also identified with recommendations as to how these can be overcome. These recommendations include a need to develop teachers' attitudes further, to explore later school start times, to regulate homework assignment and to promote a culture of respect in the classroom. Future research could look at expanding the criteria and numbers of the sample group and supplementing questionnaires and semi-structured interviews with field observations.

Keywords:           Inclusion; Inclusive practice; SEN

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4. An exploration of the impact of picture books on students with dyslexia.

4. An exploration of the impact of picture books on students with dyslexia.

Tuty Elfira Abdul Razak1*

Dyslexia Association of Singapore

Abstract

Learners with dyslexia struggle with reading and comprehension. Many literacy programmes that are developed to help students overcome dyslexia and its related learning difficulties focus largely on phonics instruction. This study is an attempt to elicit the impact of picture books on the comprehension, verbal expression and engagement in reading of students with dyslexia. Research on this study centred on observing a group of six students aged 10 and 11 years old as they demonstrated their comprehension through retelling skills, their verbal expression of thoughts and ideas and their engagement in reading using picture books. This study adapted the Philosophy for Children (P4C) approach developed by Matthew Lipman and his colleagues at the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children (IAPC). The P4C approach which places emphasis on questioning skills, engaging in meaningful dialogue and reasoning was incorporated into post-reading discussions facilitated by the literacy therapist. The main findings indicated that the use of picture books helped the students recall details and sequence of events in the books as seen in the way they referred to these aspects in the post-reading discussions. They were also able to infer and make connections based on their learned prior knowledge and personal experiences. This study shows that picture books can be an alternative teaching tool to enhance a dyslexic’s learning experience and that visual literacy can offer an instructional opportunity to be incorporated into the classroom.

Keywords:           dyslexia, picture books, visual literacy, comprehension, retelling,                                                            engagement, philosophy for children

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