Haunted by Math: The Impact of Policy and Practice on Students with Math Learning Disabilities in the Transition to Post-Secondary Education in Mumbai, India

  • Melinda Sue Eichhorn Gordon College (MA)
Keywords: Math learning disability, dyscalculia, intervention, higher secondary, post-secondary, transition, primary math, elementary education, policy, India


Only six states in India currently identify learning disabilities as a category of disability.  This article highlights the challenges students with math learning disabilities face in their transition from secondary school to higher secondary education and Bachelor of Commerce degree programs in the state of Maharashtra. While the current educational policy aims to help students with learning disabilities participate in the general education curriculum and pass the 10th standard secondary exam, the implementation of curricular modifications has repercussions in post-secondary settings when students lack the math content knowledge for a required math course in their Bachelor’s degree program. This qualitative study highlights the transitional experiences of secondary and post-secondary individuals with math learning disabilities in Mumbai through interviews with students, college administrators, and lecturers; and a document review of Maharashtra’s special education policies. The results suggest that current special education policies and college practices in Mumbai do not prepare students with math learning disabilities with the math knowledge that they need to succeed in post-secondary mathematics courses. Current higher secondary and post-secondary interventions in Mumbai are reviewed and implications for policy and practice for all levels of education are discussed.

Author Biography

Melinda Sue Eichhorn, Gordon College (MA)

Assistant Professor

Department of Education