Insightful comparative study, this article provides an overview of the causes of learning difficulties. By putting learning disabilities in the context of social and cultural diversity, authors investigate factors associated with educational challenges. This article resonates well with the paradigm of my project, focused on sociocultural factors of learning disabilities.
Abstract and Overview
With a qualitative approach, this comparative research analyzed the beliefs of students from Canada and Saudi Arabia regarding the factors associated with learning disabilities. In semi-structured interviews, scientists collected responses from 36 Canadian and 62 Saudi students from elementary school.
After thematic analysis, six themes were derived: cognitive and social-emotional barriers, lack of knowledge, lack of motivation and behavioral issues, physical-sensory disabilities, issues at home, problems with instructors. Results of the research showed that participants from both countries were aware of the causes of learning disabilities. Yet, during the discussion, Canadian students showed deeper understanding and engagement with the themes.
Analysis and Synthesis
The thematic analysis in the article provides foundation for the detailed analysis of the causes of learning disabilities. Most importantly, the researchers identified the six shared themes between two drastically different cultures which is a basis for the sociocultural perspective of my project. Specifically, I might focus on the common attitudes toward learning disabilities in eastern and western countries, discussing potential outcomes for educators and students in inclusive classes.
Before encountering this study, I did not consider the prevalence of such environmental factors as teacher-related and parent-related issues, being focused on genetic predisposition for the impairments only. Overall, this article gives implications for further educational and organizational research, where closer attention should be given to environmental factors contributing to the development and escalation of learning difficulties.
Implications for the Classroom
This research will appear specifically beneficial for educators and education psychologists who deal with teacher-related and parent-related issues in the classrooms. Prior to diagnosing the learning disability and assessing its causes, professional should evaluate family and class dynamics, checking for the overall physical wellness, psychological stability, and general comfort of the elementary school student.
Felimban, H., Nowicki, E. A., Dare, L., & Brown, J. (2017). A comparison of Saudi and Canadian children’s knowledge of the causes of learning difficulties. British Journal of Special Education, 43(4), 394-415. Web.