ERG SES D 03, Interactive Poster Session
The present PhD project aims to contribute to the systematization and deepening of knowledge about the test accommodations, in the context of dyslexia, in Portugal. The objectives are knowing the impact and validity of two of the most frequently used assessments accommodations and to evaluate the justice perceptions of students, parents and teachers of basic education in relation to curricular adaptations for students with dyslexia.
In the context of curricular accommodations, the special conditions allowed in the tests aim to minimize the impact of students' intrinsic difficulties and thus allow an accurate assessment of their skills and knowledge (Brigham, Scruggs & Mastropieri, 2011; Fletcher, Francis, Boudousquie, Copeland, Young, Kalinowski, & Vaughn, 2006; Hoover, & Patton, 2005; Lerner, & Johns, 2009; Polloway, Patton, Serna, & Bailey, 2013). According to the Portuguese legislation assessment accommodations are provided, and is frequently used with students with dyslexia. However, this practice has many controversies and there is no research in Portugal.
One of the most common accommodations for students with dyslexia is reading the tests. However, the results of several studies do not agree with each other. Busick and Stone (2014) developed a meta-analysis of this adaptation, verifying improvements in reading test scores for students with and without learning disabilities. Helwig and Tindal (2003) in their study failed to determine a standard in the application of this accommodation. In contrast to these data, there are studies that show better results in the tests, when this accommodation was implemented, as well as greater impact in students with learning disabilities, than in students without disabilities (Fletcher et al., 2006; Fuchs, Fuchs, Eaton, Hamlett, & Karns, 2000; Tindal, Heath, Hollenbeck, Almod, & Harniss, 1998).
Related to the justice perceptions, Bursuck, Munk and Olson (1999) developed a study with secondary students about accommodations on the criteria classification, and it was verified that the majority of the students described the accommodations as unfair, which makes it clear that this is a very sensitive subject for the students, and in practical terms it is fundamental to take into account the students opinions, before implementing any accommodation. In a study by Nelson, et al. (2000) showed that although most of the students have preference for the implementation of accommodations, they do not have positive perceptions regarding the accommodations. The results of a study by Marquart (2000) show that many parents, but no teachers, consider that the results of an adapted test are less valid (Elliot, et al, 2002). Jayanth, Epstei, Pollway and Bursuck (1996) conducted a national study on teachers' perceptions of test accommodations and found that the majority didn’t consider fair to make accommodations only for students with special educational needs.
In this context it is relevant to carry out a study that proves the validity of the accommodations in the assessment for students with dyslexia and to analyze the justice perceptions of these adaptations.
The described project includes two studies, one experimental, will be carried out with a randomized and stratified sample (Macmillen, 1993), in terms of the presence of dyslexia and by grouping, of 4th grade students from the municipality of Oeiras, whose objective is to make known the impact and validity of two types of special conditions on the results of students with dyslexia in the tests. The second study is descriptive and aims to evaluate the students, parents and teachers of basic education justice perceptions in relation to curricular accommodations for students with dyslexia. The sample of the descriptive study includes the same students from the previous study as well as their regular teachers, parents and the special education teachers of the schools where the first study is implemented. The data will be analyzed through descriptive, inferential and correlational statistics. In this study, the evaluation tests will be appropriate to the school year, equivalent in terms of content and degree of difficulty and with two formats: format A, with accommodations and format B, without accommodations; and a perceptions of justice questionnaire about curricular accommodation, for students, parents and teachers. The tests will be applied by the researcher and collected in the regular classroom, following a previously established guide. The participation of the sample students is voluntary, anonymous and confidential. The project and evaluation tests will be submitted to the approval of the various entities, from the Minho University, and executive councils of the schools. Authorization will be requested to class teachers, parents and students.
It’s considered that the results will be a valuable source of information for lawmakers and teachers of regular and special education, as well as a way to raise awareness in the community in general, especially those in charge of education, about the need to be implemented appropriate adaptations to ensure that the results of the assessments correspond reliably to the students' knowledge and skills.
Brigham, F. J., Scruggs, T. E., & Mastropieri, M. A. (2011). Science and students with learning disabilities. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 26, 223–232. Bursuck, D.; Munk, D., & Olson, M. (1999). The fairness of report card grading adaptations: what do students with and without learning disabilities think? Remedial and Special Education, 20 (2), 84-92, 105. Busick, H. & Stone, E. (2014). A meta-analysis of research on the read aloud accommodation. Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, 33 (3), 17-30. Elliot, S.; McKevitt, B., & Kettler, R. (2002). Testing accommodations research and decision making: the case of “good” scores being highly valued but difficult to achieve for all students. Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 35, 153-166. Fletcher, J.; Francis, D.; Boudousquie, A.; Copeland, K.; Young, V.; Kalinowski, S.; Vaughn, S. (2006). Effects of accommodations on high-stakes testing for students with reading disabilities. Exceptional Children, 72, 136-150. Fuchs, L., Fuchs, D., Eaton, S., Hamlett, C., & Karns, K. (2000). Supplementing teacher judgments of mathematics test accommodations with objective data sources. School Psychology Review, 29, 65-85. Helwig, R., & Tindal, G. (2003). An experimental analysis of accommodation decisions on large-scale mathematics tests. Exceptional Children, 69, 211-225. Hoover, J. & Patton, J. (2005). Curriculum adaptations for students with learning and behavior problems: Differentiating instruction to meet diverse needs. Texas: Pro-Ed. Jayanthi, M., Epstein, M., Polloway, E., & Bursuck, W. (1996). A national survey of general education teachers’ perceptions of testing adaptations. The Journal of Special Education, 30, 99-115. Lerner, J. W. & Johns, B. (2009). Learning disabilities and related mild disabilities: Characteristics, teaching strategies and new directions. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. Macmillen, N. A. (1993). Estatística: A recolha, organização e interpretação de dados. In H. Gleitman (Ed.), Psicologia (2 ed., pp. 905-939). Lisboa: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian. Nelson, J.; Jayanthi, M., Epstein, M., & Bursuck, W. (2000). Students preferences for adaptations in classroom testing. Remedial and Special Education, 21 (1), 41-52. Polloway, E. A., Patton, J. R., Serna, L., & Bailey, J. W. (2013). Strategies for teaching learners with special needs (10th ed.). New Jersey: Pearson Education. Tindal, G, Heath, B., Hollenbeck, K., Almond, P., & Harniss, M. (1998). Accommodating students with disabilities on large-scale tests: an experimental study. Exceptional children, 64, 439-450.
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