• Muluken Tesfaye Dilla University, Institute of Education and Behavioral Sciences, Ethiopia
  • Tesfaye Basha Ludago Dilla University, Institute of Education and Behavioral Sciences, Ethiopia


The objective of this study was to explore the academic achievement of grade four students with Math learning difficulties in Dilla primary school, Gedo Zone of SNNPR. The study used descriptive survey type of mixed method design with both quantitative and qualitative methods. For the purpose of quantitative data, screening and assessment process of 30 students with math learning difficulties, the last three years mathematics achievement results from the school record, regional math achievement exam and BANUCA test are used. To obtain qualitative data   5 students with math learning difficulties, 4 math teachers and 4 parents are selected through simple random and purposive sampling techniques. The findings show that, the mean value of four years math performance of the participants are 41.4, which is poor or below their overall average achievements 54.70. When their current mathematics performance is evaluated by regional achievement exam the result shows below average with mean value 24.91. Regarding the factors of their poor performance, it is categorized under problems related to attitude, pedagogical, social and economic aspects. And also the result indicates that positive relationship between math and overall achievement in the current grade four and the previous three grade levels. Moreover, the   t – test comparison value shows that poor math performance has its own and reasonable effect in   overall achievement of students with math learning difficulty. Finally, to ameliorate the identified problems and for overall findings possible recommendation are given accordingly.

Key Words: Academic Achievement, Math Learning Difficulties, Primary School


Aiken, L.R.Jr. (1970). Attitudes  towards  Mathematics.  Review  of   Educational research, no. 40:

              551 – 596.

American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical Manuel of Mental Disorders

              dsm-iv:American Psychiatric Pub.

Anning, A., & Edwards, A. (1999). Promoting Children’s Learning from Birth to Five:Developing

            the new early years professional. Buckingham: Open University Press.

Ansari, D., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2002).  Atypical  trajectories  of number development: A neuro

              constructivist perspective. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 6(12), 511-516.

Bird, R. (2009) . Overcoming  Difficulties  with  Number:  Supporting  Dyscalculia  and  Students

      who struggle with Maths. London: Sage Publications.

Bogdan, R. C. & Biklen, S. K. (2007).  Qualitative  Research   for   Education: An Introduction to

       theory and methods (5th Ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Brain B. (2002),  Screening   for   Dyscalculia:   A new   Approach   SEN    Presentation,    Britain, 

        Oxford University.

Butterworth, B. (2003).  Dyscalculia   Screener:  Highlighting   Children  with  Specific  learning

        Difficulties in Mathematics. London: NFER-Nelson.

Butterworth, B. (2010).Foundational numerical capacities and the origins of dyscalculia.Trends in

               Cognitive Science, 14, 534–541. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2010.09.007

Bynner, J.,  &  Parsons, S. (1997).  Does   numeracy   Matter?    London:  Basic   Skills    Agency.

Chin, S. and Ashcroft, R. (2006) (3rd edition) Mathematics  for  Dyslexics,  Including Dyscalculia.

              London, Wiley.

Fennema, E. and Sherman, J. (1976).  Sex  related  differences    in  Mathematics  learning   Myths,

                realities and related factors.  A  paper presented at the annual meeting of the American

               association for the advancement of science, February, Boston.

Gaivien P.  ( 2008 ),  Numerical   Magnitude    Representation    in   Developmental   Dyscalculia, 

        Finland, university of Jyvaskyal,

Gall, M. D., Gall, J. P., & Borg, W. R. 2007. Educational Research: An   Introduction     (8th ed.).

        Toronto, ON: Allyn & Bacon.

Geary, D. C., Hamson, C. O. and  Hoard, M. K. (2000) ‘Numerical and Arithmetical Cognition: A

               longitudinal    Study    of     Process  and  Concept  Deficits  in Children with   Learning

             Disability’, Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 77(3): 236–63

Geary, D. C., & Hoard, M. K.  (2001). Numerical  and   Arithmetical   Cognition: a   Longitudinal

               Study of  Process  and   Concept  Deficits  in Pupils with Learning Disability. Journal of

              Experimental Pupil Psychology, 54, 372-391.

Geary, D. C. (2003). Learning disabilities in arithmetic: Problem solving differences and cognitive

                deficits. In H. Swanson, K. R. Harris, & S. Graham (Eds.), Handbook of learning

                disabilities (pp. 199–212). New York: Guilford Press.

Geary, D. C (2004).  Mathematics   and   Learning Disabilities.  Journal of Learning  Disabilities,   


Hanich,Jordan,Kaplan,&Dick.(2001).  Performance  across  different  areas  of  mathematical 

             Cognition in children with learning difficulties. Jornal of Educational Psychology,   


Hembree, R. (1990). The Nature,Effects, and Relief of Mathematics Anxiety. Journal for Research

                in Mathematics Education, 21(1), 33-46.

Hannell, G. (2005). Dyscalculia: Action  Plans for Successful  Learning in  Mathematics. London:

              David Fulton Publishers.

Heward, E. L. (1996). Exceptional  Children: An  Introduction to  Special Education.  Englewood

              Cliffs:Merrill/Prentice Hall.

Karin L., Anna B. &  Brian B. ( 2003 ),     Developmental   Dyscalculia    and     Basic   Numerical

              Capacities,a study of 8 – 9 years students, London.

Kroesbergen, E. H., & Van Luit, J. E. H. (2003).  Mathematics  Interventions  for   Children  with

             Special Educational Needs. Remedial and Special Education, 24(2), 97–114.

Lawrence M. (2010), Problems  in  Learning   Mathematics , Comparison of  Brunei junior   High

               School Students in Classes with and without Repeaters, journal of Mathematics research,

Lerner,J.,& Johns,B(2009). Learning Disabilties and Related Mild Disabilities: Characteristics,

            Teaching Strategies and New Directions. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Lewis, C., Hitch, G.,  &  Walker,  P. (1994).  The Prevalence  of  Specific  Arithmetic and Specific      

              Reading Difficulties in 9- and 10-Year Old Boys and Girls. Journal of Pupil Psychology

       and Psychiatry, 35, 283-292.

Mazzocco, M. M. M. (2007). Defining and Differentiating Mathematical Learning Disabilities

              and  Difficulties. In D. B. Berch & M. M. M.  Mazzocco   (Ed.), Why is  math so  hard  for

            Some Children? (pp. 29–47). Baltimore,Maryland: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.

Michele M, M.Mazzocco, (2005), Challenges  in  Identifying Target Skills for Math   Disability

              screening and Intervention, journal of learning Disabilities, v.38,318-323.

   Ministry of Educatio (2010), Inclusive Education: BANUCA Basic Numerical and  Calculation  Abilities user guide, Addis Ababa, Pekka Räsänen & Bulto Natayi

Rivera, D. P. (1997). Mathematics  education  and student  with learning disabilities: Introduction

              to the special series. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 30, 2–19.

Robert R, Torri Ortiz L. (2006),  Strategy  Instruction  for  Students  with  Learning  Disabilities,

             USA, the Guilford Press,

Shalev, R. S., & Gross-Tsur, V. (2001).  Developmental   Dyscalculia. Pediatric Neurology, 24,


Swanson, H. L. (2002). Searching for the   Best  Model  for Instructing  Students with   Learning

             Disabilities. Focus on Exceptional Children, 34(2), 1-15.

Tsai, S. & Walberg, H.J. (1983). Mathematics achievement and attitude productivity in junior high

               school. The journal of Educational research, no 47: 267 – 272.

Van De Walle, J. A. (2004). Elementary and Middle Mchool Mathematics.  (5th  Edition).  Boston:

               Pearson Education.

Zeleke, S. (2004). Children with Mathematics Difficulties: Some features of their Cognitive and

            Affective Functioning. Oslo: Unpublished.




How to Cite

Tesfaye, M. ., & Ludago, T. B. . (2016). ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT OF STUDENTS WITH MATH LEARNING DIFFICULTIES IN DILLA PRIMARY SCHOOL, GEDEO ZONE. Turkish International Journal of Special Education and Guidance & Counselling ISSN: 1300-7432, 5(2), 23–42. Retrieved from



Research Article