NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ864453
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 36
ISSN: ISSN-0198-7429
Response to Kauffman, Mock, & Simpson, (2007): Problems Related to Underservice of Students with Emotional or Behavioral Disorders
Harry, Beth; Hart, Juliet E.; Klingner, Janette; Cramer, Elizabeth
Behavioral Disorders, v34 n3 p164-171 May 2009
This article is in response to Dr. Jim Kauffman and colleagues' article titled "Problems Related to Underservice of Students With Emotional or Behavioral Disorders," which was published in volume 33, issue 1, of "Behavioral Disorders." The work referenced by Kauffman et al. was a report of a 4-year ethnographic study of the processes by which Black and Hispanic children were placed into special education (including emotional and behavioral disorder (EBD)) programs (Harry & Klingner, 2006). The issue that fueled the authors' research was ethnic disproportionality in special education. There are some points of departure between Kauffman et al.'s views and theirs. The main point of disagreement is whether diverse children, specifically African American boys, are among those considered underserved in EBD programs. The authors have serious questions about the notion of underservice of children in general in EBD programming, particularly in light of intransigent and decades-long rates of overrepresentation of specific subgroups in this category. On most other points, the authors agree with the principles espoused by Kauffman et al. but disagree on the means of arriving at them. In this article, the authors address the arguments as follows: First, they explain why they disagree with the belief that children representing all groups are underserved in EBD. They underscore their agreement with Kauffman et al. that the category itself is ambiguously defined, but they emphasize the challenges that cultural difference and the country's history of racism bring to this issue. The authors then turn to an explicit defense of their research methodology and the resultant findings because Kauffman et al. seem not to be aware of the rigor with which the authors approached their task. Third, they address some of the implications of their findings, namely, issues of stigma, restrictive placement in EBD programs, and the concept of prevention. Finally, the authors take issue with view of Kauffman et al. that scholars who criticize special education should "leave the field." Overall, throughout their argument, the authors contend that an ecological approach and current proposals for multitiered models of intervention that emphasize matching targeted, research-based, early intervention efforts to students at risk for behavioral problems will improve practice as well as outcomes, replacing the notion of identification of disability with one of prevention and support.
Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders. Council for Exceptional Children, 1110 North Glebe Road, Arlington, VA 22201-5704. Tel: 612-276-0140; Fax: 612-276-0142; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A