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Disability Classification in Education

Disability Classification in Education
Issues and Perspectives

April 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

For instructors

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