Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)

Program

Educational Leadership

Date of Award

5-2009

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Jasmine R. Renner

Committee Members

Terrence A. Tollefson, Eric S. Glover, Cecil N. Blankenship

Abstract

Approximately 15% to 20% of Americans struggle with learning disabilities. The National Institutes of Health reported that 60% to 80% of those with learning disabilities have problems with reading and language skills (as cited in International Dyslexia Association, 2000). Dyslexia is a specific learning disability and according to Moats (2008), it is more common than any other kind of learning disability. Dyslexia varies in degrees of severity. About 4% of those diagnosed with dyslexia are severely dyslexic. This includes some 375,000 school children (Dyslexia Action, 2006). Although dyslexia certainly causes difficulties for children, many of them are bright and capable. Dyslexia also seems to be associated with many strengths and talents. Dyslexic children tend to be very creative thinkers, highly imaginative, and excellent in art, music, or drama (Marshall, 2004).

Unfortunately, unless a person is dyslexic it is difficult for anyone, including educators, to understand the struggles and hard work that encompass the day-to-day activities of a dyslexic person's life. The causes of dyslexia still remain a mystery and, therefore, educators and researchers may disagree on the best way to help the dyslexic student learn. Additionally, public educational institutions have been uninformed, ill equipped, and consequently ineffective in dealing with the educational needs of the dyslexic child. The purpose of this study was to examine a school specializing in teaching children with dyslexia for the purpose of determining what methods and practices are being used that are conducive to developing the creative potential of the dyslexic child.

The findings revealed that the methods and practices used at the Jemicy School are conducive to developing the creative potential of dyslexic children. The study confirmed that using multisensory and experiential education does foster students' creativity. The school's unique environment along with the effective teaching methods used could and should be incorporated into other school systems. The exemplary education provided by the Jemicy School makes the school a viable benchmark for other schools to follow. The Jemicy School might be a model for educators to follow for helping dyslexic children learn in order to reach their fullest potential.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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