Prof Julian Elliott: 'The dyslexia debate and its relevance to professional practice' (researchED,2019)

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Prof Julian Elliott: 'The dyslexia debate and its relevance to professional practice' (researchED,2019)

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Mon Jun 24, 2019 10:48 pm

The points of principle raised by Professor Julian Elliott are fundamentally important: ... -practice/

The dyslexia debate and its relevance to professional practice

24th June 2019

by Prof. Julian Elliott

Dyslexia is one of the most well-known, but possibly least understood difficulties facing students. Here, Professor Julian Elliot, Principal of Collingwood College and Professor of Educational Psychology at Durham University, lays out the key ideas every teacher should know.

Concluding remarks

What we need are education systems that are able to identify and intervene with all struggling readers as early as possible. The nature and level of support provided should be a function of the response that the child demonstrates as a consequence of intervention. Additional resources are applied where earlier forms of intervention appear insufficiently powerful. With such an approach, known in the special education field as response to intervention, there is no need for a dyslexia diagnosis or the deployment of the wait-to-fail model upon which these are typically based.

Of course, where there are finite resources, there will typically be winners and losers. Currently, the winners are those who can acquire a dyslexia diagnosis and gain the various benefits that proponents cite to justify the continuance of this approach. The losers are the other struggling readers, often already disadvantaged in other aspects of their lives, for whom the perceived benefits of any such diagnosis are not forthcoming. The dyslexia assessment industry sucks up resources and reduces the opportunity for school systems to operate more equitable and effective response to intervention models. It also reduces pressure upon the state to recognise and address the needs of huge numbers of children whose poor reading skills impede their life chances. We need to address this problem as a matter of some urgency. While frequently criticised for my stance, I make no apologies for attacking the use of dyslexia diagnoses on conceptual, scientific, social and ethical grounds.

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