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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://bura.brunel.ac.uk/handle/2438/6517

Title: An investigation into the current service provision for students with learning difficulties in Jordan: Teachers’ perspectives
Authors: Al-Zyoud, Nawaf
Advisors: Rivers, I
Rogers, C
Keywords: Special education
Special education teachers
Attitudes towards special needs
Disability and religion
Special needs in Jordan
Publication Date: 2011
Publisher: Brunel University School of Sport and Education PhD Theses
Abstract: Special Educational Needs (SEN) in Jordanian schools appears to be in a state of confusion. Numerous obstacles exist that hinder teachers from providing sufficient services for children with learning difficulties. This study investigates the current service provision for students with learning difficulties in Jordanian schools. Semi-structured interviews (N=31) with SEN teachers were conducted in two phases (23 and 8 respectively). Goffman (1963) was utilised as a theoretical framework, to interpret and understand the data, especially concerning that of social stigma. The analysis revealed that SEN teachers in Jordan faced various difficulties responding to the needs of their students with learning difficulties (LDs), which inevitably had a negative effect upon their performance. The results indicated that the difficulties arose from: parents who denied the disability of their children, classroom teachers who refused to cooperate with resource room teachers (responsible for teaching children with LDs), pre-service teachers who had little training in SEN, non-disabled peers who bullied their disabled peers, school administrators who had little understanding of the needs of children with LDs, and finally the Ministry of Education’s supervisors who were better equipped to support the educational needs of typically developing children. These negative attitudes are rooted strongly in local culture and seem to overlap with expressed religious values. Negative attitudes also varied among parents according to their socio-economic class and the type of school (public and private) their child attended. It appeared that the services provided in private schools were more in tune with the needs of children with LDs than those in public schools. Ultimately, I conclude that there is an urgent need for the reconstruction of services in Jordan to support children with LDs. Teacher training should be aimed specifically at equipping resource room teachers to cater effectively for students with LDs, and legislation should facilitate a shift of responsibility to the Jordanian Ministry of Education and away from the Ministry of Social Development. Most importantly, there is a need to facilitate a dialogue that seeks to amend attitudes towards disability in general and LDs in particular.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University.
URI: http://bura.brunel.ac.uk/handle/2438/6517
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School of Sport and Education Theses

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