Writing Experiences of Adolescent Girls Identified with Learning Disabilities: A Qualitative Study
AuthorPenland, Teresa Diane
AdvisorAnders, Patricia L.
Committee ChairAnders, Patricia L.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractGrounded in feminist and sociocultural theories, the purpose of this study was to expand the focus of research in the field of learning disabilities to include descriptions from insiders' perspectives as to what it is like to be an adolescent girl identified with a learning disability in writing. This research sought to answer the following questions: How do the participants describe the various experiences with and purposes of writing both in and out of school? How do they describe the (non) efficacy of their in-school instructional and special education support service experiences? How do they describe their learning disability diagnosis? What meaning do they make of these experiences?This research took place on the campus of a large southwestern urban high school. Eleven adolescent girls identified with learning disabilities in writing participated in this study. Six of the participants were Mexican-American, three European-American, one African-American, and one Native-American. Data were collected over a six-month period and included in-depth phenomenological interviews, focus groups, field notes and official school record reviews. These were analyzed using a phenomenological framework.Three major themes emerged across findings: the importance of relationships, the emotive component of writing, labeling and learning, and the strategic thinking of the participants. Most significantly, the findings emphasized the essential theme of visibility as a major concern for the participants. The study concluded with a discussion of implications for classroom instruction, teacher education programs and future research.
Degree ProgramLanguage, Reading & Culture