Contesting the recognition of Specific Learning Disabilities in educational policy: Intra- and inter-national insights

Ian Hardy*, Stuart Woodcock

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This paper analyses national and international inclusive educational policies to draw attention to the multiple ways in which different jurisdictions recognize, or inadequately recognize, students who possess specific learning disabilities (SLD). In making this argument, the paper analyses key international, national and state/provincial policies from the United States, Canada (Ontario), England, and Australia (Northern Territory, New South Wales). The research reveals the extent to which different jurisdictions elide the category 'students with learning disabilities' (in its various guises) with 'students with general learning difficulties' (GLD) (or its various iterations). The paper argues such an elision is detrimental to students who have specific learning disabilities, and recommends avoiding the conflation of their needs within the much broader paradigm of 'learning difficulties'. Reformed policies are a vital part of the broader contextual conditions necessary for changed practices. In delineating the nature of key policies within and across state/provincial, national and international settings, the paper also provides insights and examples of more productive practices as a path for change.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)113-124
    Number of pages12
    JournalInternational Journal of Educational Research
    Volume66
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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