Re-thinking How Educators View Dyslexia. The Role School Leaders Play in Developing a Culture of Success for Dyslexic Students
Dyslexic thinkers make up approximately ten percent of the population. Of those classified as dyslexic respective strengths and weaknesses can vary significantly from individual to individual. The perceptions that surround dyslexia are much the same and are crucial in determining the support and assistance dyslexic thinkers receive in the New Zealand Education System.
The purpose of this study is to firstly comprehend principals understanding of what dyslexia is and how they support dyslexic students in their school community. Secondly, to determine how principals can create a culture of success for dyslexic students in their school, that acknowledges and caters for their weaknesses but at the same time recognises their strengths. Four New Zealand primary school principals were who are deemed to be doing something out of the ordinary for dyslexic thinkers were interviewed as part of this research.
Three themes that emerged through this study. Firstly, the importance of knowing and understanding students as individuals. Secondly, the significance of intentional and ongoing professional development for teachers and lastly the recognition that transitioning to a strength-focused school is a journey that individual school communities need to go on to together to reflect their unique community.
Although this study was on a small scale, consideration of the themes discussed here can provide guidance to other schools and principals looking to better support their dyslexic students.