This paper explores the topic of learning disabilities and how they are related to educators, parents, and the school system. Part of the research is based off of Professor of Psychology, Gavin Alessi’s study entitled Diagnosis Diagnosed: A Systematic Reaction. It examines the role of an educator and how they are responsible for the learning of their students with a learning disability. It examines the role of the parents and how they help and sometimes do not help when it comes to their child’s learning disability. It also examines the role of the school board and how they help with this important issue. It is important to realize that no one is at fault for this, but more so, solutions need to be found for this growing problem in elementary and secondary schools.
Education and Learning Disabilities: The Relationship
Between Students, Teachers, and the Education System
Numerous studies have been conducted on students and their abilities to learn information in school settings. While some students thrive in academic settings, some students face difficulty learning the material. Students who face some type of learning problem are often classified as having a learning disability. According to the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (2011), a learning disability is “ A general term that describes specific kinds of learning problems” ("Learning disabilities," 2011). Often most students, who have a learning disability, have some type of high intelligence in a specialized area that may not reflect on a standardized test or other assessments. Galen Alessi, professor of Western Michigan University, conducted an experiment, which examines who is at fault for the students’ disability. His research looks at the educator, parents, environment, and the student as factors. In order to understand how educators, parents, the school system, and even the student may be accountable for this issue, all four categories must be studied. This paper examines the role of the educator, parents or guardians, school system, and the student as to why they may have a part in a student having a learning disability.
In a school setting, the educator takes on the role of facilitating and teaching information for students. The educators are responsible for assessing students on the material that is taught to them. It is up to them to make sure that the students are getting the information that is being exposed to them. However, what happens when a student’s performance on assessments and assignments are consistently poor? Most educators will consult with the guardians of the student’s and brainstorm ways to improve the student’s performance. After this is done, and the student is still performing poorly, the teacher is looked at as not doing their job. Sometimes the officials place the educators at fault for not having effective teaching methods that caters to the needs of their student. In certain instances, it is out of the control of the educator in terms of teaching a student who may have a learning disability.
While most educators receive some knowledge about dealing with educational disabilities, most schools have staff that are there and are explicitly trained especially for students who may be suffering from a learning disability. Researcher Lee Swanson (1999) suggests teachers who have these students try these two methods “direct instruction” and “strategy instruction” (Swanson, 1999). These two methods were rooted from the different strategies presented. Swanson (1999) offers strategies such as breaking teaching into [small] steps…engaging students in process type questions…using pictures and diagrams (Swanson, 1999). Alessi believes that educators are not the primary reason to blame for student’s disabilities. Educators should not have blame placed on them for a problem that they can help solve.
In addition, parents are another factor in students and learning disabilities.