The Social Participation of Children Identified as Having Moderate Learning Difficulties/Slow Learning and the Different Ways of Assessing Such Children in Kuwait and England (a comparative study)
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
This study addressed two main areas in the field of special education needs. First, it considered the concepts of MLD\Slow learning and the different ways to understand and recognise such terms in England and Kuwait. Second, it considered the stability of the social participation of children identified as having MLD\Slow learning in mainstream primary schools in both countries. The study utilized a cross-cultural design, which relies heavily on longitudinal and ethnographic approaches. In each country, two mainstream primary schools agreed to participate (i.e., four schools in total), comprising 22 children with MLD in England and 31 with slow learning in Kuwait. The results indicated that the concept of MLD was unclear to the participants, and that there was no procedurally objective way that could be followed to assess or recognise children with MLD in England. On one hand, this could lead to different assessment results for one child; on the other hand, it could also provide a flexible system through which MLD can be assessed in multiple ways. In contrast, slow learning in Kuwait is assessed objectively based solely on the IQ test as a main method, which could question the validity of the assessment. The results indicated that children with MLD in England were not found to be a homogenous group in terms of their social participation. Nonetheless, most of them displayed positive social participation with their typically developing children, as they were accepted to some extent by their peers and showed a good extent of friendship with their peers. Their social interactions were no different compared to that of their non-SEN peers. In contrast, the children with slow learning displayed no social interaction or friendship with their non-SEN peers who showed little acceptance of slow learning children. The results also indicated that the dimensions of friendship and peers’ acceptance levels were inter-related to some extent and could predict each other, albeit weakly with the dimension of social-self-concept.
public authority of training and education
PhD in Education