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Title: Dysfunctional vs. functional difficulties: a new perspective on learning disabilities
Authors: Gonçalves, Maria Dulce Miguéns, 1961-
Keywords: Learning Disabilities
Folk Psychology
Individual Differences
Alternative Assessment
Dificuldades de aprendizagem
Diferenças individuais
Issue Date: Jul-2011
Publisher: ELSIN, 16th Annual Conference
Abstract: This study was developed as part of an exploratory work on concepts and common sense beliefs about learning difficulties in the Portuguese educational community. Lay conceptions of college students were analyzed in a qualitative study in order to identify different ways of understanding learning difficulties. Students from different courses and levels of training, without specific information in this field of educational psychology, responded by writing to four open questions about learning and learning disabilities. Data were analyzed to identify the range of personal conceptions. Written responses were subjected to content analysis. Multiple categories emerged and were grouped into four main perspectives, incorporating nine different lay conceptions of learning difficulties. These common sense conceptions corresponded in a very precise way to the scientific conceptions of “learning disabilities” which were successively developed in recent decades (Poplin, 1988). Besides, more than distinguish between two types of students, with and without LD, results suggest a new distinction between two kinds of difficulties, dysfunctional versus functional difficulties. Functional difficulties are needed and should be promoted to enhance the quality of learning.
Appears in Collections:FP - Comunicações

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