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Disability Classification in Education

Disability Classification in Education
Issues and Perspectives

March 2008 | 296 pages | Corwin

"Makes a strong contribution to the field, illuminating many issues and significant concerns."
—Mary Carlson, Special Education Teacher
Park Hill K–8 School, Denver, CO

"A unique, timeless collection that raises interesting questions about disability classification internationally."
—Wendy Dallman, Special Education Teacher
New London High School, WI

Promote equal educational opportunity through improved classification practices!

The identification of children for special educational services has long been a topic of debate. Are students classified accurately? Do current classification systems produce adequate education services? Have systems designed to ensure equity instead resulted in discrimination?

Disability Classification in Education offers a comprehensive analysis of current classification systems and categorical labels in the United States, the United Kingdom, and other countries. Covering specific national policies from historical, sociological, and legal perspectives, this collection of articles from a group of esteemed educational researchers identifies the disparities between different classification systems and suggests changes based on recent requirements, challenges, and trends. Aligned with NCLB and the reauthorization of IDEA 2004, this edited volume examines:

  • The evolution of special education classification policies
  • The relevance of existing disability classification systems
  • Dilemmas educators face in using current classification procedures
  • Alternatives for serving learners with special needs
  • Approaches to developing a standardized or universal classification policy

Intended to stimulate discussion and spark change, this guide helps school or district administrators and university faculty improve the professional practice of those entrusted with the development and well-being of children with disabilities.

About the Authors
Part I. International and Cross-National Contexts Within the Current Use of Disability Classification
Lani Florian, Margaret J. McLaughlin
1. Disability Classification in Education
The Purpose of the Book  
Structure of the Book  
Judith Hollenweger
2. Cross-National Comparisons of Special Education Classification Systems
Approaches to Develop Indicators Relevant to Special Needs Education  
Serge Ebersold, Peter Evans
3. A Supply Side Approach for a Resource-Based Classification System
A Resource-Based Approach From a Comparative Perspective  
A Resource-Based Approach for Policy Monitoring  
Klaus Wedell
4. Evolving Dilemmas About Categorization
Categorization in a Historical Perspective  
Recent Conceptualizations of Categorization  
Philip J. Burke, Kristin Ruedel
5. Disability Classification, Categorization in Education: A US Perspective
Prior to 1975  
The Hobbs Report  
Diana Pullin
6A. Implications for Human and Civil Rights Entitlements: Stigma, Stereotypes, and Civil Rights in Disability Classification Systems
Use of Classifications in Law  
Diminishing Disability  
Diana Pullin
6B. Implications for Human and Civil Rights Entitlements: Disability Classification Systems and the Law of Special Education
Applying IDEA Classifications  
IDEA and the No Child Left Behind Act  
New Contexts for Classification  
Sheila Riddell
7. The Classification of Pupils at the Educational Margins in Scotland: Shifting Categories and Frameworks
SEN Policy Frameworks  
Policy Frameworks and Classification Systems  
Policy Outcomes: Special Education and the Classification of Children in Scotland  
The Impact of Disability Legislation in Scotland  
The Education (Additional Support for Learning)(Scotland) Act 2004  
Identifying Children With Additional Support Needs  
Rights of Appeal, Adjudication, and Mediation  
Inclusion and Additional Support for Learning  
Part II. Interaction and Impacts of Classification Policies on Educational Systems
Brahm Norwich
8. Perspectives and Purposes of Disability Classification Systems: Implications for Teachers and Curriculum and Pedagogy
Different Kinds of Classifications  
Are Categories of Disabilities and Difficulties Used in Special Education Relevant to Teaching?  
Implications for Classification of Special Educational Needs  
Concluding Comments  
Michael L. Hardman, John McDonnell
9. Disability Classification and Teacher Education
Preparing Teachers by Disability Category  
Beyond Disability Categories: Preparing All Teachers for a Standards-Driven System  
Alan Dyson, Elizabeth Kozleski
10. Disproportionality in Special Education: A Transatlantic Phenomenon
Disproportionality in Special Education in the USA  
Disproportionality in Special Education in England  
Disproportionality in Two Countries  
Katherine Nagle, Martha L. Thurlow
11. Classification of Children With Disabilities in the Context of Performance-Based Educational Reform? An Unintended Classification System
Performance-Based Accountability: A New Classification System  
Part III. New Approaches to the Classification Dilemma
Rune J. Simeonsson, Nancy E. Simeonsson, Judith Hollenweger
12. International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health
Defining and Classifying Childhood Disability  
Classification Problems in Education  
The Dimensional Paradigm of Disability  
Toward a Common Language of Disability in Special Education  
Deborah L. Speece
13. Learning Disabilities in the United States: Operationalizing a Construct
Lorella Terzi
14. Beyond the Dilemma of Difference: The Capability Approach on Disability and Special Educational Needs
Conceptualizing Differences in Education: Disability and Special Educational Needs  
Reconceptualizing Disability: The Capability Approach  
Beyond the Dilemma of Difference: The Capability Approach in Education  
Martyn Rouse, Kelly Henderson, Lou Danielson
15. Concluding Thoughts: On Perspectives and Purposes of Disability Classification Systems in Education

"Makes a strong contribution to the field, illuminating many issues and significant concerns."

Mary Carlson, Special Education Teacher
Park Hill K-8 School, Denver, CO

“A unique, timeless collection that raises interesting questions about disability classification internationally.”

Wendy Dallman, Special Education Teacher
New London High School, WI

This book highlights the dilemmas about classification with reference to SEN. This was particularly useful given the recent legislation and Code of Practice in 2014 when discussing the impact of categorisation and Education & Health & Care Plans.

Mrs Irene Scott
Faculty of Education (Parkgate), Chester University
April 13, 2015

This book highlights key issues in disability classification in education. Several chapters give new perspectives on views and perspectives on disability which is the focus of the course Special education of today. It is recommended to students in the course "Special education of today".

Miss Nina Klang
Special Education , Malardalen University
November 12, 2009
Key features
  • Internationally appealing, high-profile author base (McLaughlin, Thurlow, Dyson, and more)
  • Topic is one of great interest and import
  • Addresses reauthorized IDEA and NCLB issues
  • Includes charts and graphs
  • A highly researched volume

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