An Analysis of Determinants of Psycho-Educational Assessment for Learners with Learning Disabilities in Brno City, Czech Republic
Athiende, Joseph Omoga
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A comprehensive psycho-educational assessment for learners with learning disabilities (LD) is a significant event for parents, psycho-educational assessors, teachers and leaners. This research study aimed to analyse the determinants of psycho-educational assessment for learners with learning disabilities (LD) in Brno City in the Czech Republic. Psycho-educational assessment for learners with LD remains a challenge in Czech Republic, hence, there is an extensive debate as to how to best improve psycho-educational assessment outcomes. There were several determinants of psycho-educational assessment psycho-educational assessment outcomes for instance psycho-educational assessment plans and legislation. The challenges facing psycho-educational assessment process were also examined. The views of psycho-educational assessment on the overall assessment and the psycho-educational assessor‟s recommendations had a great impact on the decisions that were made for learners with LD. The choice of educational trajectory was contesting and transparent hence not only professionals, but parents had the opportunity to take part in the study. In-depth Interviews were used to investigate issues and to discover how the psycho-educational assessors and teachers thought and felt about the whole process. Interview data from parents of school-age children with LD who had psycho-educational assessments done within the past one year were crucial for the proposed study to find out their experiences with assessment process. Teachers from elementary and primary schools and psycho-educational assessors were interviewed to find out their view about the psycho-educational assessment process for leaners with LD and why they held certain opinions. This study used descriptive research design. Mixed method was used in which both qualitative and quantitative data was collected from primary and secondary sources. In this study critical disability theory (CDT) was used within the paradigm of transformative perspective. The theory recognises disability as a complex socially constructed interrelationship between impairment, response to impairment and the environment. ATLAS.ti computer software was used for conceptualization, coding and categorizing of the qualitative data. The analysis process was enhanced by IBM-SPSS and Microsoft Excel for quantitative data especially for experimenting with different codes, testing relationships and facilitating diagrams of emerging theories. The emphasis of this study was on the determinants of psycho-educational assessments of LD with a focus on the plans, legislative influence, placement options and the challenges facing psycho-educational assessment process of learners with LD. Findings showed that the main challenges in psycho-educational assessment were linked to lack of proper stakeholder collaboration and interests, inadequate funding and resources, time taken in assessment and community backgrounds of the learners. Finding also showed that more boys were diagnosed with LD compared to girls even though they all ended up in similar placements mainly group and individual integration. Most parents did not want their children with LD placed in group integration (dysclasses) due to the stigma association. This study recommends that the government through the Ministry of Education and Sports should address the critical challenge of funding to ensure enough resources including personnel. The education regulations need to be explicit to all stakeholders to ensure maximum degree of inclusion and access to psycho-educational services by learners with LD without discrimination.