Mathematics Education for Students with Learning Disabilities

A special issue of Education Sciences (ISSN 2227-7102). This special issue belongs to the section "Special and Inclusive Education".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2023) | Viewed by 11822

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
College of Education, NC State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
Interests: teaching students at risk for mathematics difficulties or disabilities; learning disabilities; mathematics education;

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

This Special Issue of Education Sciences focuses on mathematics education for students with learning disabilities.

In this Special Issue, we invite researchers and educators to identify some of the most compelling and current issues regarding mathematics education for students with learning disabilities today and submit a research manuscript based on this topic.

One example of a compelling issue is the critique of equitable participation and instruction of mathematics for students with learning disabilities. The following are some of the most compelling questions around this issue: How do researchers and practitioners advocate for equity and inclusion in mathematics education and mathematics education research for students with learning disabilities? What are the affordances and constraints of the current state of the literature on effective mathematics instruction for students with learning disabilities in terms of equity and inclusion?

Another example of a compelling issue might be the use of technologies to support the mathematics education of students with learning disabilities. Some of the most compelling questions in this area are: What design and development considerations for technology-enhanced instruction are necessary to support mathematics education for a diverse array of students with learning disabilities or differences? How might immersive technologies (e.g., game-based learning and AI-infused tools and technologies) have the potential to innovate and transform the mathematics education of students with learning disabilities?

Finally, another compelling issue is the removal of boundaries across disciplines (e.g., mathematics education, cognitive psychology, special education, disability studies), the opening of channels of communication, and multidisciplinary collaborations. This Special Issue provides researchers with the opportunity to share ideas across disciplines to support the mathematics teaching and learning of students with learning disabilities in holistic, synergistic ways. Some of the most compelling questions around this issue might include: What can we learn from other disciplines to support the mathematics education of students with learning disabilities? What models of instruction and assessment are shown to be effective across different disciplines and how might different models of instruction inform and innovate each other to better the mathematics education of students with learning disabilities? What innovations and collaborations exist to innovate and inform mathematics education that cross traditional “boundaries” such as theoretical, philosophical, and/or methodological approaches?

Dr. Jessica H. Hunt
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Education Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • mathematics education
  • teaching for students with learning disabilities
  • learning disabilities

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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11 pages, 1086 KiB  
Article
Promoting Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration among Mathematics and Special Education Researchers
by John K. Lannin, Jessica Rodrigues, Delinda van Garderen, Qingli Lei, Emily L. Singell and Salima Karim
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(11), 1150; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13111150 - 17 Nov 2023
Viewed by 933
Abstract
This manuscript provides a theoretical framing of a collaborative research design effort among mathematics education and special education researchers. To gain insight into the current state of research on mathematics learning, we drew on how researchers in mathematics education and special education have [...] Read more.
This manuscript provides a theoretical framing of a collaborative research design effort among mathematics education and special education researchers. To gain insight into the current state of research on mathematics learning, we drew on how researchers in mathematics education and special education have defined and operationalized the term ‘mathematical concept’ related to the learning of fractions. Using this information, we designed a future study that focuses on and connects prior research in mathematics and special education. We conclude by discussing the implications of such collaborative research efforts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mathematics Education for Students with Learning Disabilities)
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16 pages, 252 KiB  
Article
An Interdisciplinary Learning Community of Education and Psychology Majors
by Shelby Yates and Casey Hord
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(8), 767; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13080767 - 27 Jul 2023
Viewed by 651
Abstract
The researchers conducted a qualitative case study to describe the experiences (over the course of a semester) of an interdisciplinary team of three special education and three psychology undergraduates who participated in a relational learning community and a graduate student who designed and [...] Read more.
The researchers conducted a qualitative case study to describe the experiences (over the course of a semester) of an interdisciplinary team of three special education and three psychology undergraduates who participated in a relational learning community and a graduate student who designed and facilitated this learning community. An Associate Professor and special education researcher oversaw and co-facilitated the project. The design of the learning community promoted the building of rapport and trust among the group members and the progress of the group toward a common goal of incorporating principles from psychology to develop teaching strategies for students who are struggling in math and experiencing severe math anxiety. Gathering more frequent and individualized feedback would have helped the learning community facilitator make some key adjustments earlier in the project, but the incorporation of rapport building activities that supported trust and collaboration among the group was supportive of group progress toward a common goal. We learned key lessons about how to design and implement a learning community that can be applied to the field of education, interdisciplinary collaboration, and other contexts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mathematics Education for Students with Learning Disabilities)
10 pages, 209 KiB  
Article
Preservice Special Education Teachers’ Perceptions of Field Experience with English-Language Learner Students
by David L. Adams and Casey Hord
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(7), 726; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13070726 - 17 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1024
Abstract
In the United States, students are increasingly diverse in their academic and linguistic abilities. The specialization of teaching professionals has been the primary method used in order to respond to this increase. Programs for these professionals have largely been siloed along the dichotomous [...] Read more.
In the United States, students are increasingly diverse in their academic and linguistic abilities. The specialization of teaching professionals has been the primary method used in order to respond to this increase. Programs for these professionals have largely been siloed along the dichotomous groupings of students identified in law, namely, disabled/nondisabled or English proficient/nonproficient. However, the reality of students is much more complex and interdisciplinary approaches present an opportunity for meeting the realistic needs of all students. This study used a one-time, open-ended survey to gather the perceptions of four preservice special education teachers who worked collaboratively with students identified as English-Language Learners (ELL) and their teacher. These perceptions were analyzed in light of recent literature calling for increased collaboration among professionals in special and bilingual education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mathematics Education for Students with Learning Disabilities)
20 pages, 2702 KiB  
Article
Effect of Model-Based Problem Solving on Error Patterns of At-Risk Students in Solving Additive Word Problems
by Yan Ping Xin, Soo Jung Kim, Jingyuan Zhang, Qingli Lei, Büşra Yılmaz Yenioğlu, Samed Yenioğlu and Xiaojun Ma
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(7), 714; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13070714 - 14 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1532
Abstract
Students with learning disabilities/difficulties in mathematics often apply ineffective procedures to solve word problems due to a lack of conceptual understanding of word problem solving, which results in poor mathematics performance and falling further behind the normal achievements of their peers. Current mathematics [...] Read more.
Students with learning disabilities/difficulties in mathematics often apply ineffective procedures to solve word problems due to a lack of conceptual understanding of word problem solving, which results in poor mathematics performance and falling further behind the normal achievements of their peers. Current mathematics curriculum standards emphasize conceptual understanding in problem solving as well as higher-order thinking and reasoning, including all students. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of a computer-assisted model-based problem-solving intervention program (MBPS) on elementary students’ word problem-solving performance by analyzing the error patterns. Results indicate that after the MBPS intervention, participants significantly improved their problem-solving performance and made fewer errors in solving problems across a range of additive word problem situations. Specifically, the participating students made their attempt to represent the mathematical relation, decontextualized from the word problem story, in the model equation before solving the problem, rather than blindly applying an operation or relying on the “keyword” strategy as they did during the preassessment. Implications of the study are discussed in the context of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics’ calling for teaching big ideas to help students develop a deep understanding of mathematics knowledge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mathematics Education for Students with Learning Disabilities)
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24 pages, 1663 KiB  
Article
Effects of Game-Enhanced Supplemental Fraction Curriculum on Student Engagement, Fraction Knowledge, and STEM Interest
by Jessica H. Hunt, Michelle Taub, Matthew Marino, Alejandra Duarte, Brianna Bentley, Kenneth Holman and Adrian Kuhlman
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(7), 646; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13070646 - 25 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1455
Abstract
People with disabilities are underrepresented in STEM as well as information, communication, and technology (ICT) careers. The underrepresentation of individuals with disabilities in STEM may reflect systemic issues of access. Curricular materials that allow students to demonstrate their current fraction knowledge through multiple [...] Read more.
People with disabilities are underrepresented in STEM as well as information, communication, and technology (ICT) careers. The underrepresentation of individuals with disabilities in STEM may reflect systemic issues of access. Curricular materials that allow students to demonstrate their current fraction knowledge through multiple means and provide opportunities to share and explain their thinking with others may address issues of access students face in elementary school. In this study, we employed a sequential mixed-methods design to investigate how game-enhanced fraction intervention impacts students’ fraction knowledge, engagement, and STEM interests. Quantitative results revealed statistically significant effects of the program on students’ fraction understanding and engagement but not their STEM interest. Qualitative analyses revealed three themes—(1) Accessible, Enjoyable Learning, (2) Can’t Relate, and (3) Dreaming Bigger—that provided contextual backing for the quantitative results. Implications for future research and development are shared. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mathematics Education for Students with Learning Disabilities)
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19 pages, 363 KiB  
Article
Future Mathematics Teachers’ Perceptions towards Inclusion in Secondary Education: University of Granada
by Emilio Crisol-Moya, María Jesús Caurcel-Cara, Paula Peregrina-Nievas and Carmen del Pilar Gallardo-Montes
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(3), 245; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13030245 - 25 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1282
Abstract
Designing and implementing inclusive practices is considered one of the basic actions for the construction of inclusive education. Actions depend largely on teachers’ attitudes, which can be modified by the training they receive. This study analyzes 73 future mathematics teachers’ perceptions of the [...] Read more.
Designing and implementing inclusive practices is considered one of the basic actions for the construction of inclusive education. Actions depend largely on teachers’ attitudes, which can be modified by the training they receive. This study analyzes 73 future mathematics teachers’ perceptions of the diversity training received in the Master in Compulsory Secondary Education and Post-Secondary, Vocational Training and Language Teaching (MAES), as well as their attitudes towards diversity at the University of Granada (Spain). The participants’ ages ranged from 22 to 50 years (M = 27.12, SD = 6.45); 47.9% were cisgender women and 52.1% were cisgender men. This research was a non-experimental, descriptive, and multivariate study, developed under the assumption of the quantitative methodological paradigm. The result revealed that attention to diversity should play an important role in the teachers’ future teaching practice. Nevertheless, they were dissatisfied with the initial training received, considered themselves not qualified enough to face diversity in their classrooms, and they had an ambivalent attitude toward attention to diversity. However, attitudes and educational levels were more favorable in the case of women, older participants, and among those who had had contact with people with SNES. It is concluded that it is appropriate to continue to influence the attitudes in relation to this issue, since pedagogical training on the factors that condition the teaching–learning process in terms of attention to diversity provides greater effectiveness in this field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mathematics Education for Students with Learning Disabilities)
16 pages, 284 KiB  
Article
Numeracy for Adults with Learning Disabilities: A Focus on Concepts of Time
by Lorraine Gaunt
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(12), 868; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12120868 - 27 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1797
Abstract
Being numerate is a vital skill for participating in the community and helps individuals to become active and informed citizens. Understanding concepts of time supports adults to organise and participate in crucial tasks, both at home and at work. This research explored how [...] Read more.
Being numerate is a vital skill for participating in the community and helps individuals to become active and informed citizens. Understanding concepts of time supports adults to organise and participate in crucial tasks, both at home and at work. This research explored how two adults with learning disabilities used concepts of time in their workplaces. Data were collected using observations and interviews to establish participants’ current understandings and applications of concepts of time in their workplaces, and the numeracy demands of their work tasks. Results demonstrated that participants required deep understandings of duration and succession concepts of time to be more actively involved in their workplace tasks. The findings demonstrate the need for individuals with learning disabilities to develop abstract concepts of time throughout their learning and highlight the scant attention paid to these concepts in the school curriculum. Recommendations for how to support an understanding of these important concepts within the school curriculum are made. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mathematics Education for Students with Learning Disabilities)

Review

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17 pages, 496 KiB  
Review
Mathematics, Learning Disabilities, and Learning Styles: A Review of Perspectives Published by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
by Candace Joswick, Lisa Skultety and Amanda A. Olsen
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(10), 1023; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13101023 - 10 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1776
Abstract
Learning styles is the idea that there are unique ways in which individuals approach learning and process information. Though refuted, the idea of learning styles has not declined in peer-reviewed reports of empirical studies or teacher/practitioner resources. Some reports have also used learning [...] Read more.
Learning styles is the idea that there are unique ways in which individuals approach learning and process information. Though refuted, the idea of learning styles has not declined in peer-reviewed reports of empirical studies or teacher/practitioner resources. Some reports have also used learning styles as a tool for improving the mathematics education of students with learning disabilities—an area of interest for mathematics education and special education communities alike. In this paper, we review articles published by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics to investigate the perspectives of learning styles at the intersection of mathematics education and learning disabilities. Analyses highlight the relationship between mathematics education, learning disabilities, and learning styles, and the varied meanings and perspectives of the articles’ authors. Of note is both the perpetuation of unfounded concepts and the lackluster response to explicit contests of the idea of learning styles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mathematics Education for Students with Learning Disabilities)
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