We are now in week 7 of the original MoRe pilot. Participating students still feel positive and keep the reflections coming. Sometimes it feels hard not to respond immediately after posting but I haven’t done it because I wouldn’t like to overpower the conversation. For me it is more important to listen, step-back and allow students to be at the centre of the action.
I am writing the report and over the last few days, I was focusing on finding out a bit more about dyslexia. There seems to be some disagreement with what dyslexia is among researchers or maybe they just can’t agree on a definition. Maybe I am wrong. I am not taking any position and I know only very very little about dyslexia. There seem to be different types of dyslexia. However, from my readings, I discovered that there seem to be contradicting views. While some researchers agree that dyslexia is a difficulty in translating sounds into letters and affects written languages, others argue that it also affects the use of oral language and as a result of this auditory skills are effected too. I also read that receptive language disorder is/can be? linked to dyslexia and others disagree. Confused!
I can, however, see how these 2, oral and written language, are or could be linked.
The interesting thing is … and I am using audio to develop reflection for dyslexic student teachers within the MoRe pilot. But then again, there is assistive technology out there and audio is one of the media used to engage dyslexics. Also, a number of pilots and other projects have been carried out and show that audio can indeed help dyslexics to engage more and make learning more accessible. I have to admit I am a bit confused at the moment… I must do some more reading on this. Added some useful links about dyslexia to my delicious collection.
The reality within the MoRe pilot seems to be that participating dyslexics find it natural to talk and record their reflections using their (mobile) phones and this is reflected in the natural flow of thought, the use of language that I have been listening to over the last 7 weeks and their statements that they really find it easy and natural to talk and find it much better than writing.
Maybe somebody could explain this to me? I definitely need some help to understand a bit better the conflicting views. Could it be that there are different types of dyslexia? Could it be that the students involved in this pilot have strong auditory skills despite the fact of being dyslexic? Is there a test that would prove that? How could I find out beyond my observations? Is their statements that they find it easier and more natural to talk than to write not enough? I have loads of questions at the moment.
The MoRe pilots has an offspring ;o). Yes, a brand new pilot just started within Geography Education in collaboration with the Programme Leader at the University of Sunderland. The MoRe approach has been used within a year 2 cohort to develop reflection. This time, it is used for the whole cohort and not just for a specific sub-group of students. The cohort consists of 4 students. So, small and manageable again. Really exciting times. The new space is available at http://youngpeoplesgeographies.wordpress.com/