ERIC Number: ED219889
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Aug-1
Reference Count: 0
Assessing Learning Disabilities in Terms of Cultural Background, July 1, 1979-June 30, 1980.
Belz, Helene F.
A series of research studies, involving 1,841 high school students was conducted to develop a model to screen for cultural bias in the diagnostic process for those students with learning and behavior problems, both in and out of the special education program. A review of the literature looked at the factors of sex, ordinal place, father's occupation, one versus two parent families, and ethnic status. An initial study examined the classification of fathers' occupations and its relationship to achievement test scores. A second study attempted to describe the population of referred students in terms of the factors examined in the literature review. Among findings were that there were twice as many boys as girls referred for school problems, there was a sharp increase in Hispanic cases from 1961 through 1965, and there was decreasing proportions of first and middle children referred to psychological services whereas the proportion of younger children increased. Another study analyzed all items in the Skill Inventory Checklist which reflected personal interactions other than correct test reponses (negative response style, help seeking behavior, identification of self or others as problem solvers, and positive or ideal response style). The reliability of the Correct Knowledge Inventory (a checklist which consists of 24 content areas) was investigated. Finally, research was performed to classify finished case studies according to cultural themes or syndromes: masculinized/aggressive girl syndrome, helpless/handicapped boy syndrome, authoritarian/aggressive boy syndrome, and mothering/passive girl syndrome. Among conclusions are the following: sex of the student seemed to have less bearing on reasons for referral in biracial cases than those from single parent or one race homes, if the father's occupation was stable; close examination showed that many "learning disabled" students are able learners who lead complex lives outside the classroom and have highly skilled patterns which interfere with classroom expectations. Appendixes, which make up half the document, include a report of the preliminary study on fathers' occupations, a breakdown of the total population by fathers' occupations, a preliminary checklist for personal interaction variables, scoring instructions for the Correct Knowledge Checklist, and a sample case history. (SW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: California State Dept. of Education, Sacramento.
Authoring Institution: San Jose East Side Union High School District, CA.
Note: Print is poor in parts.