The Role Of The Teacher

Topics: Educational psychology, Psychometrics, Learning disability Pages: 44 (6880 words) Published: December 18, 2014
The Role of the Teacher in Identifying
Learning Disabilities
A Study Using the McCarney Learning
Disability Evaluation Scale (LDES)

Journal of Learning Disabilities
Volume 42 Number 6
November/December 2009 483-493
© 2009 Hammill Institute on
Disabilities
10.1177/0022219409335217
http://journaloflearningdisabilities
.sagepub.com
hosted at
http://online.sagepub.com

Andry Vrachimi Souroulla
Georgia Panayiotou
University of Cyprus

Constantinos M. Kokkinos
Democritus University of Thrace, Greece
The purpose of the study was to examine whether the Greek translation of the Learning Disability Evaluation Scale (LDES) can be used in the identification of learning disabilities. The LDES was completed by 165 teachers for one of their students, aged 5 to 14 years. The LDES was significantly correlated to students’ grades in Math and Greek Language and to the Reading Ability Test. Scores on LDES from the above randomly selected sample were significantly different from scores on LDES for another sample of 47 students, who were manifesting learning disabilities, indicating that the LDES can distinguish between the two samples. The exploratory factor analysis revealed that the LDES maintains the original factor structure and the reliability values supported its internal consistency. Results and limitations are discussed. Keywords:  assessment; learning disabilities; teacher ratings

T

ypically, in clinical practice, a comprehensive psychological evaluation of a child with school-related problems includes the developmental history of the
child; administration of standardized measures of intelligence and academic achievement; observations of the child in different settings; interviews with the parents,
the teacher, and the child; various behavioral measures;
and ruling out any organic deficits that may explain the
problem that the child exhibits. The current study examines the role of the classroom teacher as one of the informants in this assessment procedure and the importance of valid teacher rating scales, which can be used in order

to successfully identify school-related problems and,
more specifically, learning problems.
The use of reliable and valid teacher-completed rating
scales is a well-established practice for the assessment of
behavioral and emotional problems. The Conners Teacher
Rating Scale (CTRS; Conners, 1989), for example,
assesses classroom behavior problems primarily related
to Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), but
it can also screen for conduct, emotional, and social problems (Andrews, Saklofske, & Janzen, 2001; Eipstein, March, Conners, & Jackson, 1998; Trites, Blowin, &
Laprade, 1982). The Childhood Symptom Inventory–4

Teacher Checklist (CSI-4; Gadow & Sprafkin, 1994)
also screens for a variety of childhood emotional and
behavioral disorders (Gadow & Sprafkin, 1994; Mattison,
Gadow, Sprafkin, Nolan, & Schneider, 2003; Nolan &
Gadow, 2001) and, unlike the CTRS, is based on the
criteria specified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual
of Mental Disorders–Fourth Edition, Text Revision
(American Psychiatric Association, 2004). Symptoms of
child psychopathology can also be assessed with a questionnaire constructed by Achenbach, the Teacher’s Report Form (TRF; Achenbach, 1991), which has well-established psychometric properties (Achenbach & Rescorla, 2001). Results from serial use of the TRF confirm the

usefulness and validity of the instrument to assess the
emotional and behavior problems on a longitudinal basis
(Mattison & Spitznagel, 2001).
As Achenbach, Bird, Canino, Phares, Gould, and
Rubio-Stipec (1990) point out, a comprehensive assessment of a child’s adjustment requires multiple sources of information each of which may contribute different views
of the child’s functioning. This practice becomes necessary because of the low to modest agreement between the different informants, either parents, teachers, or children
(Achenbach, McConaughy,...

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