Report

An Initial Survey into Dyscalculia within Higher Education Clare Trott Simon Drew DSM-IV (2000) Mathematics Disorder: "as measured by a standardised test that is given individually, the person's mathematical ability is substantially less than would be expected from the person’s age, intelligence and education. This deficiency materially impedes academic achievement or daily living" 2 Key Features (1) 1. Mathematical level compared to expectation “Most dyscalculic learners will have cognitive and language abilities in the normal range, and may excel in non-mathematical subjects“ (Butterworth, 2001) 2. Impedance of academic achievement and daily living “Dyscalculia is a term referring to a wide range of life long learning disabilities involving math… the difficulties vary from person to person and affect people differently in school and throughout life”. (NCLD, 2009) 3 Key Features (2) • What is “mathematical ability” ? • “Mathematics Disorder” – implies a stable cognitive root – not achievement or mastery which is subject to education and environment – Not assessed by achievement test 4 The National Numeracy Strategy “Dyscalculia is a condition that affects the ability to acquire arithmetical skills. Dyscalculic learners may have difficulty understanding simple number concepts, lack an intuitive grasp of numbers, and have problems learning number facts and procedures. Even if they produce a correct answer or use a correct method, they may do so mechanically and without confidence” (DfES, 2001) 5 Key Features (1) • “ability to acquire” emphasises acquisition rather than carrying out arithmetic procedures. • “difficulty understanding simple number concepts, lack an intuitive grasp of numbers” placing understanding at the core of dyscalculia 6 “A lack of a true comprehension or understanding of maths will be a key characteristic of dyscalculic people” Chinn S. (2006) Key Features (2) • • “Learning number facts and procedures” More dyslexia related? Prevalence: estimated 5-6% May 2011 (Butterworth, 2002) 7 Background • • • • HESA data for SpLDs is non-specific Prevalence figures based on children No H.E. dyscalculia data available Obtaining a snapshot of the current situation? – – – – How many dyscalculic H.E. students? What screening used? What support is available? Who are the students? • Set-up of online survey 8 Screening for Dyscalculia (39 institutions) “No screening for dyscalculia other than self-reporting from student.” “...requests for dyscalculia testing forwarded to our Educational Psychologists, who just seem to base their judgement on WRAT scores.” DysL=dyslexia DysC=dyscalculia DI=diagnostic interview None 9 Neurodiverse Profile: (144 students, 16 institutions) 10 “No way of tracking students with co-morbid dyscalculia. We have NO students with dyscalculia alone, rather more with dyslexiarelated maths difficulties.” “I am not completely convinced that the assessments for our students are 100% accurate for dyscalculia. One particular Ed Psych seems to identify more students with dyscalculia than others and she does this because the student has considerable difficulties with the mathematical element of the WRAT and the arithmetic in the WAIS – not sure if you would class this as definitely dyscalculia?” 11 Number of Dyscalculic Students (182 students, 28 institutions) 12 “We don't recognise dyscalculia as such...” “The disability data is such that it is impossible to extract students disclosing dyscalculia.” “I don’t know how many of the multiple SpLDs have been diagnosed as having dyscalculia.” “We have concerns over how dyscalculia is assessed (what tests are appropriate) and who has the expertise.” 13 % of Dyscalculic Students (182 students, 28 institutions) Overall % of dyscalculic students is 0.04% 14 % of Dyscalculics by Screening Type: (181 students, 26 institutions) Mann Whitney U *Use dysL screen P=0.224,p>0.05 *Use dysC screen P=0.352,p>0.05 *Use DI P=0.005,p<0.05 “This is an area we need to improve on and are looking at how we might do this.” 15 Task 1: Interview with Students • Do you use a DI? • What is currently in your DI? • Does it include an extended maths section? • What would you include in such a section? • Which aspects of the DI would you consider highlight “at risk of dyscalculia”? % of Dyscalculics by Subject Area (148 students, 14 institutions) 17 “We have a particular problem with Radiographers (medical imaging).” “I can see how it would be relevant to art but maybe it isn’t really an issue for our students.” “We have a number of students who express maths difficulty but they have chosen courses with no maths content – not even soft maths as in Sociology.” 18 When Identified by Subject Area (154 students, 17 institutions) “Assessing dyscalculic students is a gap in our provision.” 19 When Identified by Subject Area (154 students, 17 institutions) “My training...was thorough in training me to tutor and assess, but coverage of dyscalculia was minimal.” 20 Support Provision: (27 institutions) “...no teaching specialist and no extra maths support beyond what would normally be given.” “We are aware that we may not serve the needs of students with dyscalculia.” 21 Task 2: Your Dyscalculic Students • Who are they? – Course? – Mathematical barriers? – Neurodiverse needs? • What support do you provide? • Who provides support? • How could you improve provision? Issues and Future Research • • • • Diagnostic interview content? Definition of dyscalculia? Data storage to enable reporting? Effective screening and assessment? – Age appropriate – DysCalculiUM (Iansyst/Tribal, 2010) – Separate dyslexic MD from dyscalculia • Dyscalculia in children = 5 – 6% – HE much less – Why? 23 Issues and Future Research • Increasing numbers in HE – Pre-identified? – Child-based screening – Changing pattern • Subjects allied to medicine – Nursing & numeracy, bio-sciences • Support tutors – Understand how neurodiversity affects maths – Training • Giving HE dyscalculic students a voice? 24 DysCalculiUM process Learner accesses DysCalculiUM portal • Completes screener • Results automatically analysed • Reviews students Tutor access results & profiles DysCalculiUM • Identify students portal who are at risk Further investigation of difficulties • Tutor-led interview 25 26 https://dyscalculia.advancelearningzone.com/ References American Psychiatric Association (2000) DSM-IV Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition. Arlington, VA, APA Butterworth B. (2001) Educational Leadership Interview. www.mathematicalbrain.com/int06.html (accessed 26/11/07) Butterworth, B. (2002) Mathematics and the Brain. Opening address to the Mathematical Association conference, Reading, UK. www.mathematicalbrain.com/pdf/malecture.pdf (accessed 27/05/11) Chinn S (2006) What Dyslexia can tell us about Dyscalculia. Dyslexia Review 18 (1) p15-17 DfES (2001) The National Numeracy Strategy. Guidance to support pupils with dyslexia and dycalculia. DfES 0512/2001 http://publications.teachnet.gov.uk/eOrderingDownload/DfES-0512-2001.pdf (accessed 26/11/07) HESA (2011) Higher Education Statistics Agency. www.hesa.ac.uk (accessed 12/05/11) NCLD (2009) The National Center for Learning Disabilities Dyscalculia. http://ncld.org/ld-basics/ld-aamplanguage/ld-aamp-math/dyscalculia (accessed 2/2/10) Tribalgroup (2001) DysCalculiUM. https://shop.tribalgroup.co.uk/Assessment-screening/DyscalculiUM.html UCAS (2011) Universities & Colleges Admissions Service. www.ucas.com (accessed 12/05/11) 28