What New Teachers Need to Know about Dyslexia: What’s New with Policy on Dyslexia Instruction for Preservice Teachers

What New Teachers Need to Know about Dyslexia: What’s New with Policy on Dyslexia Instruction for Preservice Teachers

First Author: Dr. Peggy Semingson -- The University of Texas at Arlington
Keywords: Dyslexia, Developmental dyslexia, Pre-service teachers, Teacher education, Teacher Knowledge
Abstract / Summary: 

This poster presentation summarizes recent changes in dyslexia legislation using Texas as a case along with key ideas from recent extant literature on dyslexia and implications for preservice and novice teachers. Major recent policy changes requiring teachers to learn about dyslexia has impacted preservice teacher education in major ways in Texas, including related changes to Texas Education Code. This poster analyzes the history of recent dyslexia-related legislation in Texas including a content analysis of the Dyslexia Handbook (2018 update). The Dyslexia Handbook in Texas came about from policy mandates about dyslexia and is used for teacher education. This analysis is situated in the context of the larger push for the “science of reading” in teacher education, along with the widespread push from grassroots-based activists who desire changes in policies and teacher education relating to dyslexia (e.g., Decoding Dyslexia social media groups). The poster describes a coherent dyslexia education framework of what the teaching of the science reading entails for preservice teachers along with key ideas about the science of dyslexia from the literature will provide implications for teaching preservice and new teachers. Based on this analysis of policy, the major handbook, and key ideas of the science of reading, the poster provides implications for teacher educators and professional development curriculum design. Implications include: 1) Teaching educators about the consensus of a neurobiological definition of dyslexia and characteristics and screening tools for identifying dyslexia, 2) Teaching about co-occurring conditions with dyslexia 3) Referral processes and data collection 4) Instructional methods and accommodations and 5) Understanding the building blocks that inform evidence-based dyslexia instruction. Core features of developing instructional modules on dyslexia for face to face or online instruction, based on this analysis and resources, will be shared.