The purpose of this paper is to capture students’ understandings of dyslexia as a component of identity. Specifically, the journey that students embarked on in order to contribute to self-understanding of learning and how dyslexia contributes to these experiences was examined.
This qualitative case study explored concepts of social identity theory, how students understood their dyslexia and whether or not labelling theory informed students’ identities through an arts-based phenomenological lens. Eight university students participated in a brief survey, a semi-structured interview and created artefacts representing their dyslexia, which facilitated dialogue about their individual experiences in a higher education context.
Interpretive phenomenological analysis revealed that student participants associated strongly with the identity of dyslexia; however they did not consider themselves to be part of a dyslexic group. They also discussed different routes that informed their decisions to undergo diagnostic assessments for dyslexia. Students did not report dyslexia identity as a label. Nonetheless, the students expressed that creating an artefact supported them to better understand and communicate their dyslexia.
Although visual methods are increasingly prevalent in educational research, they are not typical in the field of dyslexia in higher education. This research therefore engaged students in active self-reflection which provided valuable insight into the nature and diversity of the experiences that can emerge from identification of dyslexia at university.
Loveland-Armour, L. (2018), "Recently identified university students navigate dyslexia", Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. 10 No. 2, pp. 170-181. https://doi.org/10.1108/JARHE-04-2017-0033Download as .RIS
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