Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
This assessment will discuss Claire’s case in detail, such as, the main aspects, which is suffering from dyslexia, preparing for her GCSE’S, taking the bus to school every day and living with her dad and her younger brother. This will be linked to the current legislation, which she can be eligible to; learning theories will also be looked into such as social constructivism. Barriers may be discussed which are most likely to be impacting Claire, these key aspects will be gender, disability and exclusion and finally the support she may receive from her professionals i.e. schools and SENCO support as well as family or guardian support, will also be explored.
Claire has Dyslexia this is a common learning difficulty that can cause problems with reading, writing and spelling, such as unable to read some words and spelling errors. (NHS, 2018)
The important aspect which needs to be considered is that, do the legislation/laws provide help so that the schools can enforce them on to their pupils. In this case the ‘school’ is providing ‘support’ through ‘SENCO’. The legislation which applies to my case study is the Equality act 2010. This law is the updated law to provide fairness and equality regardless of what gender, age, race, sex and disability. Thus everyone should be treated equally. The Equality act 2010 had replaced anti-discrimination act (1995). This clearly illustrates that such laws will help Claire to receive appropriate help from her ‘grammar school’ with her difficulties in reading, writing and understanding. Another law which would help Claire is the SEND code of practice 2014, this is relevant for all pupils aged 0-25 who have been diagnosed with special educational need or disability. As this is a statutory this means that the legislation must be followed without exception. It explains the duties of local authorities, health bodies, schools and colleges to provide for those who need special educational support under part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014. The code to whom this applies to is mainly the head teachers, college and school staff, health and social care services and those with special education need services SEN coordinators. Therefore this law is updated and Claire can receive support from her school such as her own teaching assistant, to help her with her learning and make her feel comfortable and help her self-esteem. Overall, such laws set out different ways in which it’s unlawful to treat someone. Thus such laws help to create equality between everyone.
Social constructivism demonstrates that all knowledge develops as a result of social interaction and language use, and is a shared, rather than an individual, experience. Thus, social constructivism is constructed through experiences, by interacting with others. Social constructivism was developed by Soviet psychologist Lev Vygotsky.
One example of social constructivism is through the culture such as different languages and traditions, another example could be through a more knowledgeable person such as a teacher where they can pass down knowledge to develop understandings. Similarly Social constructivism is seen through Claire’s case as she is going to a grammar school for her GCSE’s which means she is constantly learning, gaining more knowledge and help through teachers, friends and different resources at her school, through ‘social interaction’. Furthermore the support she is receiving from SENSO means that she will gain more confidence in reading and writing as she can ask for constant help by socially interacting with people around her in school.
Vygotsky believes that knowledge is co-constructed and that individuals should learn from one another. It is called social constructivism theory because he believes that the learner must be engaged in the learning process. He believes learning happens with the assistance of other people. Vygotsky’s theory is based on “range of tasks that are difficult for an individual to master alone, but can be mastered with assistance or guidance of adults or more skilled peers.” (Vygotsky 1962)
The theory can be applied in a classroom for example a students who understand the work compared to students who don’t understand the work. The more knowledgably student can use different language or simpler explanation than the teacher to explain to the student who didn’t understand the work. Thus the students phrasing might make more sense to the other student.
Similarly, the theory can be applied in a classroom for Claire for example a students who understand the work compared to students who don’t understand the work for example Claire might have difficulty in understanding her work such as spelling writing and reading as she has ‘Dyslexia’. This means that more knowledgably student can use different language or simpler explanation than the teacher to explain to the student, in this case Claire, who didn’t understand the work. Thus the students phrasing, who understands more, might make more sense to Claire, who has learning disability.
As well as this the scaffolding theory can apply to Claire when she receives help from SENSO this can help her receive appropriate help on the right time such as near her exams, she can receive her own private study area, extra teaching assistance and extra time given to her in the examination areas towards her learning at the school when her GCSE’s are coming close. Thus giving the learner, in this case Claire, the right amount of assistance at the right time.
Furthermore Jerome Burner also came up with some principles, the first one was forming a sense of liking towards education such as Claire enjoying her lessons as the teacher makes the work more interactive and interesting such as doing more practical’s in science lessons or group works. Secondly How grouping knowledge is constructed to be better understood by the learner, for example if Claire works with others such as in groups with those who are also going through dyslexia and the teachers rather than in classrooms then she may feel comfortable and part of the group and understand the work more. Thirdly, Different ways/ manners for the teacher to present to the learner, this way Claire may engage more if the teacher makes the work more interactive such as more acting and drama than just reading and writing, or print out worksheets in bigger texts and less complicated wordings, this way Claire can find the work more interesting and procrastinate less and focus less on the negative aspects and final aspect was that there should be reward and punishment, this would push and motivate the student to act in accordance to how the teachers want them to behave such as punishments for not completing homework for Claire could be detention afterschool and a reward can be Claire receiving an certificate.
Burner believes there’s difference between adult language and the child language are encouraged to envelop the ‘scaffolding’ method of communication, for example parents and teachers aim to simplifying tasks within learning by making smaller steps for children, in this case Claire, to easily grasp the information. Scaffolding in simpler terms means more knowledgably provides support and as learner develops, you slowly take away the support given.
Similarly teachers may aim to simplify tasks for Claire such as help her to summarize information from the textbooks and help her with spellings or explain it to her, so she can easily grasp and understand the information. So this way Claire can become more independent and the help she receives at her grammar school can be slowly taken away.
Social Constructive Theory
Jean Piaget’s theory of constructivism addresses how learning can actually occur, not focusing on what influences learning. He suggested we constantly adapt new ideas from our current thinking, learning from others in different ways. He suggested assimilating which is to add new experience to your old experiences, this causes the individual to rethink and view it as new outlooks. Accommodation is reframing the world. They must accommodate and reframing the expectations with the outcomes.
Piaget suggested that there were different age boundaries; he thought it was a waste of time teaching a child something which they are simply incapable of learning because of their age. Piaget suggested that children cannot learn everything straight away such as sometimes the only way is for them to mature to understand so their brain is mature enough to absorb and understand the information.
This links to Claire’s case, because she has dyslexia this means she is mentally slower than other pupils in her class. Thus this does not mean she is incapable of learning but means it will take her more time. Similarly Claire may not be able to grasp all the information straight away but she will develop gradually.
One of the barriers for Claire is Gender. This is because Claire is the only girl in the house other than her brother and father. Thus, the absence of her mother could mean that she has lack of role of role model to guide her, as she may feel embarrassed to discuss about the changes she’s going through whilst hitting puberty. She may feel like they will not understand her and could go through low self-esteem. This could also have an impact on Claire due to her having dyslexia, as her personal problems can case stress and anxiety for example she might blame herself for the learning disability she has, which can cause her to become ‘social isolated’.
Another barrier is Claire’s disability. Under the Equality act 2010, disability is if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ or ‘long term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities. Substantial is when it takes much longer than usually, to complete a daily task like getting dressed. ‘long-term’ means 12 months or more, such as a breathing condition that develops as a result of a lung infection, thus something which is long lasting (GOV.UK, 2019). This links to Claire as substantially it would take Claire much longer than other pupils to complete activities such as spelling and summarizing textbooks, due to her having dyslexia. Dyslexia is a lifelong condition therefore it is there for a long term and it causes impact more than just basic reading skills. Claire may also be treated differently in classroom because she has dyslexia, thus the teachers may be biased and put her in lower sets and groups thinking she is less able, just because she is slow or has a difficulty in understanding, reading and writing. This can cause Claire to feel less able and low self-esteem. Therefore she may not want to attend school as she may feel embarrassed and may question her ability. This can cause impact on her GCSE’S if her attendance is not good enough, thus teachers may predict lower grades which can influence Claire even more on her education.
One of the current problems and barriers Dyslexia students are facing in schools are failing to diagnose at least 80% of dyslexia students. Therefore, students get labelled into being ‘slow learners’ ‘The report, researched by the British Dyslexia Association (BDA), said funding for support was being routinely cut or removed to meet budget demands and the current education system was ‘loaded against’ students who had the condition. As a result, such youngsters had ‘significantly poorer results and far higher incidents of disruptive behaviour’.’ Therefore depending on the funding of the school this can have a huge impact on Claire’s studies and the quality of support she receives from SENCO. Furthermore, ‘the report said immediate changes by the government could help affected pupils, including letting them use laptops or tablets in all classes and exams.’ For example Claire having extra time on her own to do her own research, which makes it easier for her.
But for’ longer-term, it has called for every school to employ a specialist teacher who is able to diagnose dyslexia, support strategies and train peers (BBC NEWS, 2019),’ to provide extra support for dyslexia students such as Claire.
The support Claire can receive is through SENCO. This is the Schools special educations needs co-ordinator. This is where the school provides extra support for the child. SENCO work closely with the head teachers, senior management, teachers and etc., this is to come up with different strategies to help develop child’s learning with their special educational needs. They could provide even better support by working closely with families, learners and other professionals in partnership to help tackle the problem which is caused between the learner and their education. Claire could receive this extra support to help her in her studies, this would help Claire to gain confidence and have equal chance to achieve well in her GCSE’S. For example the teachers can provide extra support in classes and explain and work one to one with Claire in case she is struggling to catch up with the work in the class. They could also use technology such as computers and speech recognition software which may make it easier for the Claire to understand the work at her grammar school. Moreover she could speak to school nurses, educational psychologist, other staff and teachers in school whom she may feel comfortable with to share her concerns and issues regarding her disability of dyslexia. For example she can share her feelings and emotions to her personal tutor and or school nurse if she starts to feel uncomfortable. ‘The school nurse might be the first line of defence in identifying a child with dyslexia because most teachers are unaware of the warning signs, and some do not believe that it exists’(DeBrew, 2013). Thus this will help Claire to feel less lonely regarding her disability as she has many other professionals she can talk to, where the information can be remained ‘confidential’ unless it is concerning or can cause threat to Claire. Claire may also be able to receive more time to complete activities and tasks than others.
Further support Claire could receive is through her family members such as her Father. For example both could read some of the books and then discuss what’s happening or what might happen. The parent could read and listen to Claire read, although it might get boring but being repetitive can reinforce their understanding this means Claire can become familiar with the texts and this will help her to understand more (NHS,2018), thus help Claire improve on her GCSE’S studies. However, one of the problems Claire could face is her father not having enough time to spend with her due to work, but on the other hand, Claire has only 1 younger brother, which means she does not have a large nuclear family, therefore she will have less distraction at home, thus her father can easily put his focus on her for help.
Finally Claire can receive help from different professionals and family members, this could be through the government support such as the laws being in place to keep fairness and justice for all students no matter what the disability or the factor it is, this is displayed through the equality act as mentioned before. Moreover, Claire could use help and support through the school such as many other staff in her school such as the school nurse and SENCO. As well as this, she could get some advice and help from her father. Although there may be some barriers she may face, she still has many other professionals and people she could talk to for help and advice which can benefit her in her GCSE’S.