Mathematics learning support and dyslexia
2011-02-14T12:20:47Z (GMT) by
This research identifies, through an extensive series of exploratory and explanatory case studies, the mathematical difficulties that might be encountered by dyslexic engineering students. It details support mechanisms that may be put in place to help these students reach their full potential and makes suggestions for the introduction of measures at institutional level to ensure compliance with current legislation. This is an area, identified from the literature search, that has not, until now, been the focus of any substantial research activity and thus the findings form an original and significant contribution to knowledge in this field. The findings are not only intrinsically interesting but will also be of use to practitioners of mathematics, support staff, staff developers and policy makers in higher education. A literature review gives historical background on the development of education in general, and mathematics in particular, in the UK. The main theories and problems associated with developmental dyslexia are also given. Surveys were undertaken to determine the extent of mathematics learning support in UK universities and also to determine the extent of the provision of mathematics support to dyslexic students. Using case study research and by providing one-to-one mathematics support, the difficulties encountered by dyslexic students were investigated. Related work is an exploratory study into the use of different media combinations in Computer Assisted Assessment. Additionally, an in-depth case study of the Mathematics Learning Support Centre at Loughborough University has been undertaken and is reported in detail with recommendations for changes suggested. The results of this research show that mathematics learning support is widespread and often essential to bridge the gap between school mathematics and university level mathematics but specialist mathematical support for dyslexic students is rarely available. It is determined that dyslexic students can be impeded in their learning and understanding of mathematics as a direct result of their dyslexia. Recommendations for further study in some areas and future lines of inquiry in others are suggested.