Understanding Dyslexia Implications of the identification of and Support for Children with Dyslexia in Kuwaiti Primary Schools
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Abstract This is an exploratory study about understandings of dyslexia in primary schools in Kuwait. The study aims to find out how dyslexia is conceptualised in the Kuwaiti educational system and explore the implications of these understandings in terms of the identification of and support provided for children with dyslexia. The study investigates current practices in Kuwait to reflect the perceptions of the various people involved in this system, namely school staff (teachers, headteachers and school psychologists), students, and parents. It applies a variety of methods to explore participants’ perceptions and school practices. Furthermore, the study attempts to identify the influences of such understandings in developing ‘dyslexia-friendly’ practice and the barriers holding it back. The findings have posed some challenges for implementing inclusion for children with dyslexia in Kuwait. These challenges are mainly related to the educational context in Kuwait generally and the different actors involved in supporting dyslexic children, such as teachers, parents and schools. The study revealed an absence of those children from government and school policies. Participants had different understandings and interpretations about dyslexia. Their responses highlighted the complexity surrounding dyslexia as a concept and the lack of awareness on the part of people involved in the Kuwaiti educational system about children with dyslexia. The findings also displayed limitations stemming from the policy and cultural contexts, which impact the timing of identification. There is no clear policy targeted towards the early identification of children with learning difficulties/dyslexia; as a result of this an early intervention strategy is yet to be created for primary education. The findings further underlined the inclusive schools’ poor performance in accommodating children with dyslexia. On the other hand, Model schools are actually ‘segregated schools’ which kept children with learning difficulties generally and dyslexia in particular in specialised schools. The dilemma is hence represented between insufficient provision in the inclusive schools and the stigma of studying in a special school for learning difficulties, which in turn is aggravated by poor societal awareness. Participants had differing personal concepts of inclusion, which highlights the uncertainty about the implication of inclusion and the capability of the schools in the current provision to meet the needs of children with dyslexia. The study thus implies that there is an urgent and real need to implement a holistic framework for children with dyslexia using knowledge of the local context in Kuwait as well as benefiting from the international literature, research, and experiences in this respect. Such international experiences should not neglect the Kuwaiti context, however. In other words, it should benefit from international success with regards to dyslexia, but implement changes in the context of the country to successfully adopt culturally appropriate dyslexia-friendly practices.
Altamimi, R. (2016). Understanding Dyslexia: Implications of the identification of and Support for Children with Dyslexia in Kuwaiti Primary Schools. (Doctoral dissertation)
PhD in Education