The present research study maps educators’ discourse about the meaning of learning difficulties in school reality. International surveys testify that many students are identified as requiring special education when school evaluation data matches them with a specific disability category that is outlined by state education regulations. This classification process may alter the school experience of many students and the way they are perceived by other people. Data derives from 12 semi- structured interviews with male and female teachers from two primary schools in Greece. Data analysis and interpretation are based on the theory of labelling. Among other things this study provides evidence that teacher often refer to the students using labels that indicate their supposed learning difficulty rather than using their names. This situation can also affect their communication and interaction in a negative way. The findings suggest that it would be useful for teachers to unpack the concept of ‘learning difficulties’ and redefine each student’s characteristics with the capabilities that these children possibly have. Such an effort would be the cornerstone in order to be a more important and cooperative relationship between teachers and these students.


Full text: pdf«Α problem» child in educators’ discourse: Official diagnosis or just a label? An interpretative approach553.13 KB