A phenomenological study of the perspectives of students with identified learning disabilities on their experiences with Newfoundland and Labrador's Pathways framework

Ash, Lori-Ann (2010) A phenomenological study of the perspectives of students with identified learning disabilities on their experiences with Newfoundland and Labrador's Pathways framework. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

A phenomenological research method was used to explore the perspectives of Memorial University of Newfoundland students with reading/writing related learning disabilities regarding their senior high school experiences. In particular, their opinions regarding the effectiveness of the Pathways framework were examined. Six individuals participated in the study. All: had successfully completed the provincial high school program; were diagnosed with reading/writing related learning disabilities; received services via the Pathways framework during high school; and pursued studies at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Participants articulated their senior high school experiences including their academic and personal struggles. They also relayed their perspectives and recommendations regarding the Pathways framework. Through qualitative research analysis, themes emerged in the following areas: -- Understanding of the Pathways Framework: Overall, participants lacked a thorough understanding of the framework. -- Inclusion: Despite the challenges faced by many participants in the regular classroom, overall, participants supported inclusion of students with learning disabilities. -- Meeting Students' Needs: Numerous participants reported issues/problems with services/supports received during high school. -- Stigma: Participants' perspectives on the severity of stigma associated with having a learning disability varied significantly. -- Parental support/support of significant person(s): Participants identified that the support of a significant person was instrumental to personal successes. -- Self-awareness: Overall, participants effectively communicated personal strengths and needs. However, some participants struggled to identify and describe specific diagnoses. -- Work ethic/determination: The majority of participants expressed that, in order to overcome the challenges posed by their learning disabilities, strong work ethics were developed. -- Adjusting to Memorial University: Participants articulated that academic challenges were a normal part of the transition process from high school to university schooling. As such, these challenges should not be discouraging to students with learning disabilities. -- Advice/Recommendations: Participants had varying advice for students with learning disabilities intending to pursue university studies. As well, participants made numerous recommendations regarding improving the services provided to high school students with learning disabilities. -- The research findings increase our understanding of the high school experiences of students with reading/writing related learning disabilities. The findings clearly indicate that, according to students with reading/writing related learning disabilities, there is much room for improvement in terms of the provision of services at the high school level. As well, the findings identify factors that increase the chances of academic success for students with learning disabilities.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/9704
Item ID: 9704
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 78-81).
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 2010
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: College students with disabilities--Newfoundland and Labrador--Attitudes; Learning disabled youth--Education (Secondary)--Newfoundland and Labrador; Students with disabilities--Study and teaching (Secondary)--Newfoundland and Labrador

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