Students with specific learning difficulties (SpLD) often appear to experience poorer educational and occupational outcomes than their peers. It is important to consider how these outcomes may be perpetuated by stereotypes and stigma associated with SpLD. One hundred and fifty-four primary (elementary) school teachers from the United Kingdom were presented with vignettes describing students with and without SpLD, and asked to provide information regarding how they would respond to these students. Results suggested a divergent response, with teachers exhibiting lower expectations of students with SpLD. When these students experienced failure, teacher feedback was more positive, frustration was lower, sympathy was higher, and expectation of future failure was stronger for students with SpLD. This response could be interpreted as being based in a deficit medical view of SpLD that uses stereotyped and stigmatised information rather than actual student abilities. This should not be the intention or result of inclusive educational practice.
- specific learning difficulty
- attribution theory