ERIC Number: ED458756
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Learning Disabilities: Historical Perspectives. Executive Summary.
Hallahan, Daniel P.; Mercer, Cecil D.
Although the federal government's involvement in learning disabilities through task forces, legislation, and funding has been evident only since the 1960s and 1970s, the roots of learning disabilities can be traced back to the early 1800s. Learning disabilities are one of the newest categories officially recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, but the origins of the concept are long-standing. This paper summarizes a report that investigates the history of learning disabilities and divides this history into five periods: European Foundation Period (1800 to 1920); U.S. Foundation Period (1920 to 1960); Emergent Period (1960 to 1975); Solidification Period (1975 to 1985); and Turbulent Period (1985 to 2000). It argues that during the most recent period, circumstances have solidified the field while several issues have also threatened to tear the field apart. It points out that from 1976-77 to 1998-99, the number of students identified as having a learning disability has doubled to more than 2.8 million, representing just over half of all students with disabilities. Controversies over identification and inclusion are discussed. The paper also discusses research advances that have resulted in breakthroughs in knowledge about how children learn to read and what constitutes effective reading programs. (CR)
Descriptors: Clinical Diagnosis, Disability Identification, Educational History, Educational Practices, Educational Trends, Elementary Secondary Education, Evaluation Methods, Federal Legislation, Learning Disabilities, Student Evaluation
For full text: http://www.air.org/ldsummit/.
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Special Education Programs (ED/OSERS), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act