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Título:THE ACADEMIC TRAJECTORY OF UNIVERSITY STUDENTS DIAGNOSED WITH ADHD IN LIGHT OF THE BIOECOLOGICAL HUMAN DEVELOPMENT Instituição:PONTIFÍCIA UNIVERSIDADE CATÓLICA DO RIO DE JANEIRO - PUC-RIO Autor(es):CATIA REGINA PAPADOPOULOS
The objective of this study was to investigate, from the perspective of
Bronfenbrenner s Bioecological Model of Human Development the factors that
impact the development of university students diagnosed with ADHD so that they
achieve success in admission to an undergraduate school. A total of 10
undergraduate students from a private university in Brazil took part in the study.
Data were collected through a semi-structured interview carried out at the
University. The analyses used the qualitative approach of content analysis. The
categories and subcategories were built based on PPCT (Process, Person, Context,
Time) which is a part of Bronfenbrenner s model. The results pointed to a positive
trajectory for these students, be it for getting admitted into college, for remaining
there, or for both. When looking at their basic and high school educational
trajectory, we found that the presence of a few factors stood out in the data, such as
(a) an attractive school that is welcoming and encouraging; (b) a structured
classroom, with few students, which allows for ample interchange among students
and between them and their teachers; (c) the mediation of learning by teachers hired
by the parents as teaching aids, by family members, classroom mates and school
teachers and; (d) parents initiatives in helping them gear their academic
development towards a successful one. As for their college history the influencing
factors encountered where: (a) extra time for tests and; (b) pedagogical,
psychological, and academic support. When looking at their academic trajectory as
a whole, that is, from early childhood education up to college, the factors to which
students attributed their success were: (a) having had or not a diagnosis; (b)
medicinal and/or psychotherapy treatment; (c) metacognitive strategies; (d)
teachers characteristics – thoughtful and caring in explaining concepts slowly and
using different methods; (e) personal characteristics; (f) identifying themselves with
the teacher/professor; (g) family and school support and; (h) socialization.The
results lead us to infer that in the context of these students academic history, there
is no set protocol that can be followed that will ensure academic success. We saw
that students gave us pointers which nonetheless were relevant, if considered as a
practice that can greatly contribute to their development, whether or not they have
been diagnosed. However, it is our understanding that if there are attitudes and
actions from the part of the family, the school and society that highlight and
strengthen the individual characteristics and abilities of such students, thus reducing
the power of pathologizing, we should see a better outcome. We also understand
that, beyond the macrosystemic stereotypes from today s society which emphasize
deficiencies and impairments, as well as a deterministic discourse of school failure
for students diagnosed with ADHD, one should focus instead on how those students
think, what they can actually accomplish and how they learn. Finally, we
recommend that more resources be allocated to the development of learning and
teaching methods that can be applied in school, as well as in other contexts, so that
the process can be smoother, including different modalities of learning, whether or
not there is a diagnosis for the student.