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ERIC Number: EJ931428
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 9
ISSN: ISSN-0731-9487
Complicating and Explicating: Taking up Reason in Learning Disabilities Research
Bursuck, William
Learning Disability Quarterly, v34 n2 p162-164 Sum 2011
In these days of the achievement gap, evidence-based practices, and accountability issues, Julie Allan's "Complicating, not explicating: Taking up philosophy in learning disability research" challenges everyone to think seriously about how well the field is meeting the mission of providing for the academic and social needs of students with learning disabilities, including preparing them for life after school. In Allan's view, research and practice in the field of learning disabilities as currently construed are not working; students with learning disabilities are not empowered, but "constrained and controlled by the discourses and practices in special education." Allan goes on to propose that educators align their research and practices not with the scientific method, but with the "philosophers of difference" in order to think differently about the construction of learning disability and to envision new forms of learning. There is merit to what Allan is saying, but this author finds it disconcerting that she dismisses, largely through omission, the current body of knowledge and practice in learning disabilities. While this stance is consistent with her philosophy of deconstruction, the author had thought that the purpose of her paper was to foster "healthy dialogue," consider both "the value and limitations of scientific thinking," and "widen the circle" of discourse, not create a new, exclusive one.
Council for Learning Disabilities. P.O. Box 4014, Leesburg, VA 20177. Tel: 571-258-1010; Fax: 571-258-1011; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A