Dyslexia Support and the Community of Practice Amongst Schools in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, UAE
: Dyslexia Support and the Community of Practice Amongst Schools in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, UAE.

  • Christopher Blake

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Education (EdD)


This thesis uses an exploratory, grounded theory methodology (GM) approach to seek, through constant comparison, an understanding of the extent to which dyslexia can be socially and contextually constructed. GM can be defined as an active, continuous systematic process of analytic steps, while simultaneously being open to proceed and explore a phenomenon. In this case, the phenomenon is dyslexia, including the support and inclusive practises in schools to legitimately adhere to Special Educational Needs policy in schools (both locally and internationally) to cultivate diversity in education. In this thesis, I used GM, which includes semi-structured interviews (SSI), field notes, observations on learning support departments, school websites and school inspection reports, rather than follow a guided deductive of being an expert in the field of dyslexia support and a directed approach of content or GT. I decided to use GM to focus on building social and contextual relationships between data, which unlike GT can lead to an eventual endpoint, using GM I hope that instead my contextual data findings can generate and develop new areas of research. In short, using GM does not lead my research to an endpoint, but provides a new point to start, expand, and develop new research on dyslexia support and inclusion. Five schools in Abu Dhabi, UAE, each with a different curriculum, were included in the study. Interviews were conducted with school principals, special educational needs coordinators, and support teachers. Besides, 9 mothers with children identified with having dyslexia and one parent with a daughter identified with having dyslexia from Dubai were interviewed. The hypotheses were developed in line with the purpose of this research, which was to identify and explore the barriers and obstacles that can hinder effective support for dyslexia and inclusion, using the process of open coding, axial coding, and selective coding through data analysis. This thesis concludes with suggestions for further, more extensive, and significant support for dyslexia, with active parental engagement, and schools being receptive to a community of shared practices and decisions on effective learning strategies that work for each child's dyslexia. Also, if schools say they are inclusive or follow the values underpinning inclusion, then they need to promote active awareness and understanding of dyslexia, with transparency and accountability regarding all concrete steps towards inclusion. This should include compulsory and continuous teacher training, which includes how to effectively screen for dyslexia and use an Individualized Education Program (IEP) effectively and investment in resource centres to support schools, teachers, parents, and learners within the community.
Date of Award26 May 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorSimon Hayhoe (Supervisor) & Tristan Bunnell (Supervisor)


  • Dyslexia
  • Support
  • Inclusion
  • Grounded Methodology
  • International Dyslexia

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