Volume 7 -                   MEJDS (2017) 7: 66 | Back to browse issues page

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1- PhD. Candidate of educational Psychology Mazandaran University
2- MA in General Psychology Farhangian University
3- Associate Professor University of Mohaghegh Ardabili
Abstract:   (212 Views)

Background: Specific Learning Disabilities (SLDs) is a major concern of educators worldwide. Students with learning disabilities often struggle with various aspects of academic performance. Therefore; the aim of the present study was to compare learning styles in normal students and students with specific learning disability.
Methods: The study population included all normal and learning disabled students of junior secondary schools in Ardabil-Iran. Convenience sampling was used to recruit 80 participants, namely 40 normal students and 40 students with the specific learning disability. All the students with the specific learning disability participated in a clinical interview and were investigated and selected based on the diagnostic criteria for specific learning disability contained in the fourth revised Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatric Disorders (DSM-IV-TR). Since, in addition to ascertained diagnostic signs, having a normal emotional quotient (IQ) has been determined for the diagnosis of specific learning disorder; all the students with specific learning disability were initially tested by Raven's Progressive Matrices test in order to ensure that the subjects have a normal IQ. Then, Kolb’s Learning Style Inventory was utilized to test the assumed differences in preferring the learning styles by two groups of the students. The Independent T-test and multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) were used to analyze the data. The analysis was carried out by the 18th version of SPSS software.
Results: Initially, the results of the Independent T-test revealed that the difference between the normal students’ IQ and that of the students with specific learning disability was not significant (P=0.56). It implies that any difference between two groups of the students cannot be attributed to their cognitive ability. Subsequently, the results of MANOVA test showed that there was a significant difference between the normal students and the students with specific learning disability in all learning styles. That is, the mean scores of students with specific learning disability in all the learning style subscales, including convergent (P<0.001), divergent (P<0.001), assimilating (P<0.001), and accommodating (P<0.004) were significantly lower than that of their normal counterparts. In addition, the values of effect size in the current study revealed the fact that the most tangible differences in applying the learning styles were in assimilating (effect size=0.27), divergent (effect size=0.13), convergent (effect size=0.13), and accommodating learning style (effect size=0.04), respectively.
Conclusion: It can be concluded that the major weaknesses of the students with specific learning disability in underlying processes such as step-by-step planning are as follows: self-regulating and focusing on tasks, the experience of more academic failures, lack of flexibility in adopting an appropriate learning approach, and avoiding new and challenging situations. 
This study provides relatively valuable information about proper academic materials and methods which are appropriate to the needs of this category of students, through highlighting the major differences in adopting learning styles by the students with specific learning disability.

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Type of Study: Original Research Article | Subject: Psychology
Received: 2016/06/14 | Accepted: 2016/08/17