International Journal of Evaluation and Research in Education (IJERE)
Vol. 8, No. 4, December 2019, pp. 676~685
ISSN: 2252-8822, DOI: 10.11591/ijere.v8i4.20307

Neurodiversity awareness: Is Malaysia there yet?
Aida A. Rahman1, Woollard J.2
1Language Academy, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Malaysia
2Southampton Education School, University of Southampton, United Kingdom


Scientific research on dyslexia has taken place for the past 50 years during
which time arguments on brain deficiency have created tensions between
education and cognitive neuroscience researchers. However, clinical research
on dyslexia through functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has
finally revealed that a dyslexic’s brain works differently. The findings have
finally brought in a new synergy between research in education and cognitive
neuroscience and empirically supported the neurodiversity movement.
Recently, neurodiversity has been used as a framework for specific learning
difficulties (SpLD) justice and to support dyslexia in inclusive education.
This qualitative study was conducted to understand the Malaysian
mainstream primary school teachers’ beliefs about SpLD and the current
framework for Malaysian literacy support programme. The data collection is
through social media focus group discussion and individual instant
messaging interviews with forty-one teachers. The findings reveal that the
current programme is built on theories of remediation and that the teachers
have exhibited good levels of understanding of remediation, but not yet
understand neurodiversity. It makes recommendations with regard to teacher
professional development.

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