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Experiential learning: changing student attitudes towards learning disability

Smith, Carly, Forrester-Jones, Rachel (2014) Experiential learning: changing student attitudes towards learning disability. Tizard Disability Learning Review, 19 (3). pp. 110-117. ISSN 1359-5474. (doi:10.1108/TLDR-12-2012-0010) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:48665)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided.
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– The purpose of this paper is to analyse the reflective journals kept by 62 students researching and interviewing people with learning disabilities. The aim was to explore the content and discover any themes that were generated throughout the journals as a result of the pre-, during- and post-interview process.


– The method used to analyse the journals was Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (Smith and Osborn, 2008).


– The results showed that there was a shift from negative to positive reflections as the frequency of contact with people with learning disabilities increased and that the majority of students reported a change in attitude towards this group of individuals after experiencing direct contact (two to three meetings over a period of two months).

Research limitations/implications

– Implications of the findings are for government policies, promoting social inclusion through education, to offer the opportunity for direct contact with people with learning disabilities, (in keeping with Allport's, 1954 Contact Theory) at an earlier stage in education, fostering an environment for earlier attitude change and increased social inclusion.

Social implications

– Changing society's attitude through our education system may decrease marginalisation by the public as well as discriminatory and abusive behaviour found in some social and community care settings.


– This piece of research may add value to social, government and educational policies. Finding an evidence base to continue to build policies for decreasing marginalisation and promoting social inclusion for people with learning disabilities.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1108/TLDR-12-2012-0010
Uncontrolled keywords: Research, Attitude, Disability, Student, Reflective, Intellectual
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Tizard
Depositing User: Rachel Forrester-Jones
Date Deposited: 27 May 2015 14:04 UTC
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2022 10:58 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Forrester-Jones, Rachel.

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