Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care (Jan 2015)

Perceptions of teachers about learning disorder in a northern city of India

  • Susanta Kumar Padhy,
  • Sonu Goel,
  • Shyam Sunder Das,
  • Siddharth Sarkar,
  • Vijaylaxmi Sharma,
  • Mahima Panigrahi

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 4, no. 3
pp. 432 – 434


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Background: Teachers are perhaps the closest observers of child′s academic performance and can be instrumental in detecting learning disorder (LD) early. Objectives: The present study aimed to assess the teachers′ perceptions about LD. Materials and Methods: This is a cross-sectional questionnaire-based study in the public schools located in the urban, rural and slum areas of Chandigarh. Teachers were recruited from 20 randomly selected schools out of a total of 103 schools in the Union Territory by proportionate sampling. The sample size required for α of 0.05 and power of 0.80 to detect a difference of 15% from base rate of 35% was 80. Eighty teachers of 3 rd and 4 th grades of these schools were recruited using purposive sampling. Teachers were briefed for 5 minutes about the symptoms of LD. They were asked questions using a structured questionnaire about their socio-demographic status, methods of teaching, and students′ progress and their perception about LD. Descriptive statistics was mainly used to represent nominal and ordinal data using frequency and percentages. Non-parametric statistical tests were used to assess relationship between the variables. Results: Eighty teachers were recruited, 87.5% were females, 57.5% had more than 5 years teaching experience; 56.3% of teachers thought that they were aware of LD, 67.5% of teachers perceived that they do encounter children with LD in the school, 43.8% endorsed educating such children in special schools, while 36.3% endorsed integration to regular schools. Interestingly, more than three fifth of teachers were willing to undergo special training for LD intervention. Conclusion: Teachers acknowledge that there is a need for further steps to be taken to help children with LD. They perceive opening special cells or sending such children to special schools for appropriate intervention which may not tally with the perception of clinician who may wish to provide LD intervention in hospital setting.