Vol. 16 No. 1 (2009)

"Learning is Hard Work and Sometimes Difficult": What Pupils With Dyslexia Say About the Difficulties They Experience With Learning at Secondary School in Barbados

Stacey Blackman
The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill


  • Dyslexia,
  • Secondary School Students,
  • Learning Disabilities,
  • Student Attitudes,
  • Teaching Methods,
  • Barbados
  • ...More


Dyslexia has been described as a lifelong burden. The validity of this view is best assessed through an examination of the qualitative judgements  pupils make about their experiences of school life. Findings from a multiple case study of 16 pupils with dyslexia at two secondary schools shed light on the challenges they have with learning. The findings suggest that pupils experience difficulties with spelling, sequencing, and remembering information - these "signs" are associated with the nature of dyslexia. This paper also suggests that the teaching/learning environment and teacher pedagogy are important influences on these pupils' learing. In particular, what teachers do in the classroom and the ways they do it present difficulties for pupils with dyslexia. In conclusion, the findings endorse pupil perspective research as a viable way to inform and transform teacher pedagogy, and highlight the importance of teaching skills as a way of addressing teacher practices that act as barriers to the learning of pupils with dyslexia at secondary schools in Barbados.