Investigating Differences in Professionals’ Use of Information for Learning Disability Identification

  • Author / Creator
    Seeger, Serena
  • A learning disability (LD) can be defined as unexpected or chronic underachievement that cannot be explained by any other cognitive deficits (Swanson, Harris & Graham, 2013). LD has been said to be one of the least understood disabilities to affect school-aged population (Lyon et al., 2001). Different models may be used to identify an LD (e.g., Ability-Achievement Discrepancy and Response to Intervention (RtI) Models). Three groups of professionals (practicing psychologists, pre-service psychologists and pre-service teachers) were recruited from the Edmonton area. Participants were given three different cases and were asked to determine their confidence in both their ability to make a decision about the student needs and ability to interpret the data provided in the cases. Finally, the professional’s evaluated which case was most likely or least likely to have an LD. Pre-service psychologists were able to identify the model that combined both RtI and the ability-achievement discrepancy at a rate higher than both practicing psychologists and pre-service teachers. The pre-service teacher’s answers were dispersed among all three cases, confirming that these professionals would be no greater than chance in identification of an LD. The preliminary results of this small sample size study indicate that both pre-service psychologists and practicing psychologists found the case that combined both the ability-achievement discrepancy model and RtI model most useful in the identification of an LD.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2016
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Education
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.