ERIC Number: ED358631
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Gender Disparities in Special Education.
Harmon, Judson A.; And Others
This report presents results of an investigation of possible reasons for the pronounced gender inequality in numbers of students served by special education in Wisconsin, especially in the categories of emotional disturbances (81 percent male), learning disabilities (71 percent male), and speech and language (66 percent male). The study found that these percentages have been fairly stable over time and are slightly above national averages. A review of the literature resulted in 11 hypotheses explaining these gender differences. These hypotheses are evaluated and grouped under five general factors: (1) biological differences; (2) learned differences; (3) different reactions of boys and girls to school; (4) different reactions of teachers to boys in comparison to girls; and (5) flaws or weaknesses in criteria, procedures, or tests. Recommendations include: develop a state policy on gender equity in special education and implement it as an element of compliance monitoring; provide inservice training to raise awareness of the law, the adverse effects of gender bias, and the need to avoid labeling children inappropriately; improve and strengthen classroom interventions prior to referral; improve the referral and evaluation team processes; and improve the quality of special education programs so that teachers are not reluctant to refer girls. (Contains 86 references.) (DB)
Descriptors: Biological Influences, Compliance (Legal), Educational Policy, Elementary Secondary Education, Eligibility, Emotional Disturbances, Handicap Identification, Incidence, Learning Disabilities, Policy Formation, Referral, Sex Bias, Sex Differences, Special Education, State Standards, Student Placement, Teacher Student Relationship
Bureau for Exceptional Children, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, 125 South Webster St., P.O. Box 7841, Madison, WI 53707-7841.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin State Dept. of Public Instruction, Madison. Bureau for Exceptional Children.
Identifiers - Location: Wisconsin