This research found
Mpowered to be achieving
OVERWHELMINGLY POSITIVE results.
Satisfaction with the program was high, and the vast majority of participants said they would recommend the programme to others. The majority of those who had undertaken other dyslexia programmes reported that Mpowered was better than the other programmes they had used.
Parents reported high degrees of improvement in literacy and mathematics, with 89.1% of students showing improvement in reading skills, 91.9% in writing skills, and 73.7% in mathematics.
The skills taught in the program were found to be highly useful and practical. More than half of the parents reported that their children used skills taught by Mpowered every day, and students were reported to be keeping up in class better after taking the programme, with some parents reporting that their children continued their education for much longer than expected as a result.
The programme had significant social impacts as well. Dyslexia is often associated with negative self–image among students who see dyslexia as a disability, and the programme was found to have an often transformative effect by building confidence and providing students with the tools to continue learning on their own.
As a result of this changing outlook, 92.1% of parents reported that their child’s school life had improved, and 59.4% reported an improvement in their home life.
A programme with a dyslexic teacher was found to be highly valuable, as was the programme's system of gathering dyslexic students together in a classroom to learn. Participants reported that the group environment was supportive and encouraging, but did not detract from the programmes individualised curriculum.
Survey participants were highly enthusiastic about the programme and pleased with its outcomes.
This is shown by a very high degree of reported satisfaction with the program, with 97.1% of respondents saying they were satisfied or very satisfied with the program and only 2.9% or a single participant saying they were not.
“lt changed my granddaughter’s world and I will be forever grateful.” ( parent )
“She is looking forward to going to secondary school with the knowledge and tools she needs as a student with dyslexia” ( parent )
“Our son went on to get the top character award for year 13 and did much better academically than expected, he is now in tertiary education – he’d been really struggling and wanting to leave school prior to Mpowered. He still has significant struggles with dyslexia but is excelling in his studies.” (Parent)
“My daughter got so much from this programme. It still helps her in her school life now four years later.”(Parent)
“Mpowered has been all positive for our family. With two dyslexic children, it has empowered us all to work with the dyslexic aspects of their learning. As a mother and teacher, I have been able to get a greater understanding of how to assist and encourage dyslexic students to learn and how to use tools to assist their learning”. (Parent/ Teacher)
“We need lots of Helens around the country. We need to really reach out to these students. The thing with Helen's course is that it’s real, and she has a real understanding of students that have dyslexia, and she makes it a normal aspect rather than a disability.” (Teacher)
“My dream would be that there was an online Mpowered curriculum that we could do that was recognised by NZQA. (Parent)
It’s rare that we conduct research that has such clear outcomes. In some ways, the overwhelmingly positive results made our job rather easy, but in others, it made it difficult because we felt like we had become cheerleaders rather than researchers. But the results are the results.
The Mpowered programme is clearly valued by its clients, but this isn’t just a positive result for those who run the programme, it’s also a flicker of hope for all of those who face the considerable challenges that dyslexia presents. (Page 1)
Unlike many other available programmes, Mpowered is designed specifically for students with dyslexia and takes a broader approach that goes beyond simply teaching literacy skills. Mpowered uses a synthesis of existing methods and a highly personalised approach to build a programme that targets the needs of each individual student.
As well as teaching practical skills of reading and writing, Mpowered aims to help its students learn and participate in education more effectively by understanding why dyslexia affects them in the way that it does, and what positive effects it may have. This includes conceptualising dyslexia’s effect’s in new ways, and teaching students about its effects on the brain.
This method focuses on helping students to see dyslexia as a potential advantage rather than a disability and to positively influence the self-image and build confidence. (Page 5)
Mpowered shows every sign of being a highly effective and valuable programme, with a unique approach to dyslexic education that is clearly valuable and important.
A large majority of parents and caregivers reported that Mpowered had provided improvements – often transformative improvements – in their children’s literacy and numeracy skills and that their children were better able to keep up in class as a result. For the majority of those who had also tried other programmes, the improvements that resulted from Mpowered were reported to be greater than those experienced in other programmes.
The Mpowered programme has substantial value for students around New Zealand and has considerable potential to be applied in other ways as well, be it using alternative delivery methods, or in areas traditionally underserved by education, such as in New Zealand’s prisons. (Page 24)
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