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Policy framework of the Learning Disabilities in Math

The first chapter provides an overview of the state of the art of the regulatory and policy framework with reference to the Learning Disabilities in Math.




Policy Framework of the Learning Disabilities in Math

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Introduction

It seems consensual throughout Europe that ‘’the fundamental principle of the inclusive school is that all children should learn together, wherever possible, regardless of any difficulties or differences they may have’’ and that ‘’inclusive schools must recognize and respond to the diverse needs of their students, accommodating both different styles and rates of learning and ensuring quality education to all through appropriate curricula, organizational arrangements, teaching strategies, resource use and partnerships with their communities’’ [1].

Special education is guided by the European principles defined by European Union, and their underlying principle is based on several international resolutions, such as the Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action on Special Needs Education [1]. Those principles can be summarised under three fundamental rights: the right to education for all children with Special Educational Needs - SEN (no matter how complex the disability is, the student should have access to the mainstream education system), the right to equality (the inalienable right of all children to equal opportunity in gaining access to and achieving success in education with adequate support to each individual’s needs) and the right to be part of society (each school must find the right solutions for the needs of each individual and students with disabilities should preferably be included in the mainstream teaching system, special schools being the exception).

Although the rights of students with Special Education Needs (SEN) are thoroughly enunciated in the legislation of the three considered countries – Italy, Poland and Portugal – there seems to be no reference on how to address the case of students with the type of specific learning disorders such as dyslexia, dysgraphia or dyscalculia, that compromise the ability to put thoughts into written words, spelling, reading comprehension, math calculation and math problem solving, with serious impact in everyday activities [2].

Apparently, the procedure, when in the presence of a student with difficulties that can be related to one or more of the disorders mentioned above, is somehow random and dependent on the dynamics of each school, leaving the teachers and educators a little lost amidst a large number of generic laws not specifically conceived to address the situation. The legislation of each country, for these students, it is summarized below.

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The SMiLD project is funded by the European Commission through the Italian National Agency for the Erasmus+ Programme. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.