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ERIC Number: ED424583
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Speaking for Students with LD.
White, Linda Feldmeier
The explanation of the anomalies that learning disabled students present depends on the discourse in which educators and researchers locate learning disabilities. The field of learning disabilities is a discipline in the midst of a paradigm shift in which the new discourses are incompatible with the field's basic tenets and assumptions. Behaviorist and medical discourses still dominate, but a cognitivist discourse of learning disabilities has emerged, as well as a whole language and social constructionist discourses. The trend to classify students as learning disabled is increasing. There is very little recognition outside the specialized literature that professionals in the field question the learning disabled diagnosis. Most people do not know that the field is in crisis and that eminent researchers concede that they cannot define or identify what they study. Analysis of the position of learning disabled students can lead to positive change, if the analysis leads to creation of more meaningful opportunities for learning disabled students to speak. Educators might be more sensitive to learning disabled students if they recognize their own experiences as learning disabled selves, such as in not understanding "new literary criticism" despite repeated intellectual effort. If teachers are sensitive to the ways learning disabilities are constructed, they can be better listeners. Teachers can talk with students with learning disabilities to help them recognize their abilities, and teachers can listen more carefully for what students can tell them. (Contains 24 references.) (RS)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (49th, Chicago, IL, April 1-4, 1998).