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Learning Disability Quarterly, v28 n4 p247 Fall 2005

As a special educator, the author finds herself in an ever-increasing "Mad Hatter-March Hare" sort of existence. This is true on many special education fronts: in curriculum, in classroom settings, and in the shear complexity of professional conversations. A Tweedle Dum, Tweedle Dee "rigor" issue in her current world is the widely accepted notion that special or general education interventions and curricula must be "scientifically research based," or variants thereof such as "scientifically based," "peer reviewed," "peer juried" and "data driven" (No Child Left Behind Act). The thought goes something like this: Children with disabilities are better off in general education classrooms because special education classrooms are somehow inferior or produce minimal results (the opposite of "rigorous"). Still, the apparent dream is that students with learning disabilities, despite being identified as not doing well (actually failing) in general education, must be placed in general education so they will do better. The world of general education as it interfaces with the world of special education is becoming so complex that most teachers are on overload. According to her, it is time to resolve the convoluted thinking that mandates the "same" high ("rigorous") grade-level standards for all. Teaching children with disabilities is a complicated task and requires more instantaneous responses more often than most adults can handle.

Descriptors: Special Education Teachers, Special Education, Educational Research, Disabilities, Regular and Special Education Relationship, General Education, Federal Legislation

The Council for Learning Disabilities, P.O. Box 4014, Leesburg, VA 20177. Web site:

Autor: Larson, Nancy Weidner


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