Dyslexic learners

Rebecca Elias, Summit Point School's Academic Director, has carried out research into the attitudes, knowledge and beliefs of New Zealand secondary school teachers concerning dyslexia.

Download the dissertation

R. Elias (2014), Dyslexic Learners: An Investigation into the Attitudes and Knowledge of Secondary School Teachers in New Zealand


The dissertation focuses on collating data on teachers' attitudes towards and awareness of dyslexia, as previous research in New Zealand has produced very different findings. Teachers were surveyed to determine the nature of their attitudes about dyslexia, the extent of their knowledge about dyslexic learners in New Zealand, the support provided to learners with dyslexia, and the perceived barriers to providing support for dyslexic students.

144 New Zealand secondary school teachers with 6 to 19 years of experience took part in the survey; 74 percent of the participants taught in Auckland. The teachers surveyed displayed a reasonable degree of awareness about what dyslexia is, and were largely positive in their perception of the disability. The main barriers they listed to providing support to dyslexic learners were:

  • lack of time,
  • knowing what teaching methods to use,
  • knowing what resources to use.

As a whole, the findings indicate that further support and training is necessary to mitigate the obstacles and confusion experienced by teachers when providing instruction for students with dyslexia.