Contesting the recognition of Specific Learning Disabilities in educational policy: Intra- and inter-national insights
Ian Hardy, School of Education, University of Queensland, Australia ; Stuart Woodcock, Faculty of Human Sciences, Macquarie University, Australia
International Journal of Educational Research Volume 66, Number 1, ISSN 0883-0355 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
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.
Hardy, I. & Woodcock, S. (2014). Contesting the recognition of Specific Learning Disabilities in educational policy: Intra- and inter-national insights. International Journal of Educational Research, 66(1), 113-124. Elsevier Ltd.