What's in a name? Perspectives of dyslexia assessors working with students in the UK higher education sector


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Dono: Marcos Pedroso

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Última Atualiz.: 23-10-2018 13:49


Research findings and positions concerning the nature of the dyslexia construct are currently diverse and increasingly complex. The ability of assessor practitioners to operationalize such knowledge and categorically diagnose dyslexia in any reliable and consistent way is being questioned. This study aimed to explore the way in which diverse and complex research findings are operationalized in the dyslexia diagnostic assessment of UK higher education students. The perspectives of 118 professional assessors of dyslexia working within the sector were collected using a questionnaire
and some interviews. Data were analysed both quantitatively and qualitatively, as appropriate, and then integrated. The results confirmed critics’ concerns about the consistency and reliability of the construct as currently diagnosed within the higher education context. Key controversial aspects of practice that emerged included the contextualized interpretation of literacy difficulties, a general commitment to discrepancy concepts, scepticism about the face validity of prescribed psychometric tests, and a related reliance on professional observation and experience above test results. The findings pointed to the need for a more informed nuanced understanding of the dyslexia label and a more cautious and responsible attitude towards its use.

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