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Teacher Knowledge and Perception of Mathematics Disabilities and Dyscalculia

Graves, Theresa
The inclusion of students with mathematical learning disabilities (MLD) in the general education (GE) math classroom has become increasingly prevalent, and with the adoption of the Common Core State Standards, it has become the role of GE math teachers to ensure that all students work towards grade-level math standards. The following research utilized a survey to evaluate the perceptions of Wyoming middle-level math teachers in order to: (a) determine the extent of their knowledge and understanding of MLD and the disability dyscalculia; (b) examine the nature of their attitudes regarding MLD; (c) identify what supports and interventions are utilizing within their classroom to support learners with MLD; (d) explore what they see as the perceived barriers to providing instruction and/or supports to learners with MLD; and (e) examine whether teachers feel effective when working with students with MLD. An analysis of the data revealed that Wyoming middle-level math teachers believe they understand the impact of MLD and feel adequately prepared to teach students with MLD. However, qualitative data identified some perceived barriers related to working with students identified with MLD. The four biggest barriers overall were: (a) lack of training/knowledge about MLD; (b) lack of time to work with students in one-on-one instructional situations; (c) lack of resources (including special education personnel); and (d) pressure to have and meet the needs of all students in the GE math setting. The research also showed that perceived barriers play a part in whether teachers felt effective when working with students with MLD.
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