ERG SES D 13, Intercultural Education
Research on developmental dyslexia, as well as policies and practices, in the countries like the US, the UK, some other European and Asian countries has rapidly outpaced that in Russia (Snowling, 2000). While internationally scholars publish research results on a variety of dyslexia assessment techniques and corresponding intervention programs, the number of Russian academic papers still fluctuates between none and a few.
That might inform that dyslexia is not put under much scientific scrutiny in Russia. Consequently, that might lead to the emergence of certain educational issues in an actual class setting. Not being aware of teaching techniques and methods of instructing students identified as having dyslexia, unintentionally, teachers and practitioners at schools automatically exclude these students from the education process. On the other hand, the case might be that this specific learning difficulty is regarded from a different angle by Russian scholars in comparison with their international colleagues. A scarce number of scholarly articles by Russian researchers, generated by such search engines as ERIC, Delphis and Google Scholar, suggests a possibility of a unique approach and a particular conceptual framework to dyslexia as a specific learning difficulty in the Russian scientific world.
The purpose of this research project is to explore the ways dyslexia is theorized in the European and Russian scientific communities and examine how various perspectives in both contexts has affected teaching and teacher education.
Over the decades a substantial body of research (Stanovich & Siegel, 1994; Snowling, 2000) argued in favor of the phonological core deficit theory explaining the causal basis of dyslexia. Deficit in phonological awareness is still viewed as a primary denominator of dyslexia though some findings indicate its insufficiency (Wolf & Bowers, 1999; Pennington et al., 2012). Difficulty in rapid-naming is recognized as a constituent of the second component, alongside the phonological core deficit, of the double-deficit hypothesis (Wolf & Bowers, 1999). In addition to the debate between single-deficit and double-deficit hypotheses multifactorial model of the etiology of dyslexia was put forward by Pennington (2006; 2012). Pennington argues that risk factors like biological, environmental (Livingstone, Rosen, Drislane & Galaburda, 1991; Paulesu, 2001) together with protective factors (Harrison & McLeod, 2010) may have an impact on increasing or decreasing the probability of dyslexia occurring in a person’s cognitive profile. The latest findings of the international body of research advocate the multiple-deficit model of dyslexia (van Bergen, de Jong, Maassen & van der Leij, 2014; Catts, McIlraith, Bridges & Nielsen, 2017).
Once considered to pertain only to the English language speaking nations (Nagourney, 2001) dyslexia has been given scant attention in non-English speaking countries such as Russia. Only over the last two decades mounting concern to dyslexia has been voiced by Russian scholars (Kornev, 1997; Akhutina, 2008; Sirotyuck, 2014). Their definition of dyslexia, regarded as a disorder that needs to be ‘corrected’ and ‘rooted out’ (Akhutina, 2008) is the very first conceptual difference. Dyslexia is also believed to have a detrimental effect on personality development (Sirotyuck, 2014). While it is still argued that undeveloped phonological processes are at the heart of the ‘developmental disorder’ (Chirkina, 2007) today the causal basis of dyslexia is viewed more under the neuropsychological approach (Sirotyuck, 2014; Tstvetkova, Tstvetkova, 2017). Such seemingly up-to-date concepts and approaches seem to lack substantial empirical support which might result in provision of inadequate implication for teaching and teacher education.
At this stage the research is built upon earlier work in the two countries’ contexts, Russia and the UK. A systematic review of articles published over the last 25 years (1992 – 2017) is being performed within the current analysis. The articles were selected through the search engines ERIC and Delphis with the key words being ‘dyslexia’, ‘theoretical framework’, ‘teacher education’, ‘inclusion’. All the articles are published in reliable scientific journals such as Annals of Dyslexia, Dyslexia, Journal of Special Education, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. The research project starts by considering the Russian context before then moving to consider the UK context. An analytical reflection on what might be learned from making comparisons between these various settings is given afterwards. We attempt to be particularly sensitive to the distinctive contexts that we examine to commit to ‘context sensitivity’ (Crossley and Watson, 2003).
Although globalization has solid vernacular component (Rizvi & Lingard, 2009) dyslexia may not be considered as a phenomenon changing its basis, properties and manifestation depending on the origin of an individual identified with it. We will make an attempt to theorize dyslexia from a global perspective. This will enable Russian and international dyslexia education researchers speak the same language on the matters of specific education difficulties and initiate further collaboration. Russian education researchers, practitioners, teachers will have an opportunity to look at dyslexia from a different, international, angle. Consequently, they will be able to utilize international scholars’ research evidence at school settings in order to provide full inclusion in education. For education policymakers, research on specific learning differences and difficulties provides interesting new insight into possible points for intervention and framing inclusive education policies. As for the teacher training initiatives, the results may help to alter teacher beliefs and shape interactions both between students and teachers and among students themselves.
Akhutina T. V. (2008) Neiropsikhologicheskaya diagnostika, obsledovaniye pisma, chteniya mladshikh shkolnikov [Neuropsychological diagnosis, exploring school students' writing, reading]. Moscow: Prilozheniya. Catts, H. W., McIlraith, A., Bridges, M. S., & Nielsen, D. C. (2017).Viewing a phonological deficit within a multifactorial model of dyslexia. ReadingandWriting, 30(3), 613-629. Chirkina, G. V. (2007) Problemy obespecheniya preemstvennosti mezhdu doshkolnym i nachalnym obrazovaniyem detei s narusheniyami rechi [Problems of ensuring continuity of preschool and primary education of children with speech disorders]. Vospitaniye i obucheniye detei s narusheniyami razvitiya, (5), 12-19. Crossley, M., & Watson, K. (2003). Comparative and international research in education: Globalisation, context and difference. Routledge. Harrison, L. J., & McLeod, S. (2010). Risk and protective factors associated with speech and language impairment in a nationally representative sample of 4-to 5-year-old children. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 53(2), 508-529. Kornev, A. N. (1997). Narusheniye chteniya, pisma u detei [writing and riding learning difficulties among children]. Moscow: MSU. Livingstone, M. S., Rosen, G. D., Drislane, F. W., & Galaburda, A. M. (1991).Physiological and anatomical evidence for a magnocellular defect in developmental dyslexia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 88(18), 7943-7947. Nagourney, E. (2001). ‘Geography Of Dyslexia Is Explored’, The New York Times, 10 April. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2001/04/10/health/geography-of-dyslexia-is-explored.html (Accessed: 30 December 2017). Paulesu, E., Démonet, J. F., Fazio, F., McCrory, E., Chanoine, V., Brunswick, N., ...& Frith, U. (2001). Dyslexia: cultural diversity and biological unity. Science, 291(5511), 2165-2167. Pennington, B. F. (2006). From single to multiple deficit models of developmental disorders. Cognition, 101(2), 385-413. Pennington, B. F., Santerre–Lemmon, L., Rosenberg, J., MacDonald, B., Boada, R., Friend, A., ...& Olson, R. K. (2012). Individual prediction of dyslexia by single versus multiple deficit models. Journal of abnormal psychology, 121(1), 212. Rizvi, F., & Lingard, B. (2009). Globalizing education policy. Routledge. Sirotyuck, A. L. (2014). Nauchno-metodicheskoye soprovozhdeniye intellektualnoi odarennosti [Mentoring gifted children]. Moscow: Directmedia. Snowling, M.J. (2000). Dyslexia (2nd edn). Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing. Stanovich, K.E., & Siegel, L.S. (1994). Phenotypic performance profile of children with reading disabilities: A regression-based test of the phonological-core variable-difference model. Journal of educational psychology, 86(1), 24. van Bergen, E., de Jong, P. F., Maassen, B., & van der Leij, A. (2014). The effect of parents’ literacy skills and children’s preliteracy skills on the risk of dyslexia. JournalofAbnormalChildPsychology, 42(7), 1187-1200. Wolf, M., & Bowers, P. G. (1999).The double-deficit hypothesis for the developmental dyslexias. Journalofeducationalpsychology, 91(3), 415.
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