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ERIC Number: ED532185
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 129
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1095-5470-0
Self-Study: I Am Six Degrees from Special Ed
Torres, Tera J.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Houston
As a diagnostician, my primary responsibility is to conduct psychoeducational evaluations to determine the existence of a learning disability. Such a determination results in either the provisions for or the denial of special education services. In a quest to further understand my position within the schools, I conducted a deep study into this notion of what it means to be learning disabled. Ultimately, the original question is identified as merely a precursor to the real issue at hand: the moral culpability of school personnel. This study involves an extensive timeline to provide the reader with a frame of reference with respect to special education law. Also included in this study is a thorough investigation into the definition of "learning disability." As the definition of learning disabled is unraveled, I begin questioning the very existence of such a disorder. Using narrative inquiry as the method of investigation, this self-study becomes the stage on which stories of individual students are interpreted by me, the diagnostician. The framework provided by Pinnegar and Daynes (2007) illustrates the author's turn from quantitative research to narrative inquiry and, ultimately, to self-study. The data are raw and uncertain, creating more questions than answers. This work may prove enlightening, and hopefully thought-provoking, to both the novice and seasoned special educator. Fingerpointing aside, policies and procedures are thoroughly examined and challenged. It is the fervent hope of the author that this work serve as a reminder that we still have much work to do in our public schools. Reform is not only needed in the areas of school climate and teacher accountability; special education is also an area of extreme challenge and we cannot continue to leave the decision-making up to policymakers. We must listen to the children on the other side of those laws. This is their story as it emerged in my self-study of my teaching practice as a special educator and diagnostician. This is also a plea to practitioners to take a "bona fide" look at their own practices and to hold themselves accountable for the education of "all" students. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A