Critical Voices on Special Education

Problems and Progress Concerning the Mildly Handicapped

Edited by Scott B. Sigmon

Subjects: Special Education
Paperback : 9780791403204, 265 pages, July 1990
Hardcover : 9780791403198, 265 pages, July 1990

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents

Preface, by Scott B. Sigmon


Introduction: Critical Voices on Special Education,

by Scott B. Sigmon

Part I: Problems


by Scott B. Sigmon

Chapter 1: Remarks on Social Inequality and Measured Cognitive Abilities in the Schools,

by Scott B. Sigmon

Chapter 2: Learning Disabilities: The Social Construction of a Special Education Category,

by Christine E. Sleeter

Chapter 3: Foundations of Education and the Mildly Learning Disabled: Toward a New Understanding,

by Scott B. Sigmon

Chapter 4: Reducing the Number of Students Identified as Learning Disabled: A Question of Practice, Philosophy, or Policy?,

by Lynn M. Gelzheiser

Chapter 5: Impediments to Implementing National Policy Change for Mildly Handicapped Students,

by George J. Hagerty and Marty Abramson

Part II: Progress


by Scott B. Sigmon

Chapter 6: Toward a Radical Methodology for Rational Discourse on Special Education,

by Scott B. Sigmon

Chapter 7: The Orthopedically Disabled Child: Psychological Implications with an Individual Basis,

by Scott B. Sigmon

Chapter 8: Minority Overrepresentation: A Case for Alternative Practices Prior to Referral,

by Larry Maheady, Richard Towne, Bob Algozzine, Jane Mercer, and James Ysseldyke

Chapter 9: A Vygotskian Perspective on Assessment in Reading,

by Peter H. Johnston

Chapter 10: The Use of Non-normative Procedures in the Assessment of Handicapped Children: Rationale and Guidelines,

by Steven A. Carlson

Chapter 11: Setting Demand Variables: A Major Factor in Program Planning for the LD Adolescent,

by Jean B. Schumaker and Donald D. Deshler

Chapter 12: Learning Strategies: An Instructional Alternative for Low-Achieving Adolescents,

by Donald D. Deshler and Jean B. Schumaker

Chapter 13: School Counseling Psychology: A Vehicle for Role Change Regarding Special Education,

by Scott B. Sigmon

Chapter 14: New Conceptualizations for Special Education,

by Alan Gartner and Dorothy Kerzner Lipsky

Conclusion: A Critique of Special Education's Major Problems with Suggested Solutions,

by Scott B. Sigmon

Appendix A: A Framework to Determine When the School Psychologist Should Counsel,

by Scott B. Sigmon

Appendix B: Black and Male in Special Education: A Brief Local/NJ State Analysis,

by Scott B. Sigmon

Appendix C: Questioning Elementary Urban Public School Teachers on Classroom Rules for Control,

by Scott B. Sigmon

Appendix D: Rights Without Labels,

by the National Coalition of Advocates for Students (NCAS), the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), and the National Association of Social Workers (NASW)

Appendix E: Enlarged Special Education Group Creates "Problems,"

by Scott B. Sigmon

Appendix F: Position Statement: Advocacy for Appropriate Educational Services for All Children,

by NASP and NCAS





The authors of this work address special education's most pressing concern: the inappropriate placement into special education programs of millions of students who fall behind or do not conform well enough to the academic or behavioral standards of today's public schools. Too often, these students are misdiagnosed as "mildly handicapped" and are presumed to have some physical or sensory disability. In fact, this formal labeling practice may carry consequences that are not only self-defeating and potentially ruinous for the stigmatized individual pupil, but also ultimatley threatenting to society as a whole.

The book includes contemporary discussions about needed institutional change, the shortcomings of practice currently in vogue and related to the education of the so-called mildly handicapped, and an appeal for new attitudes toward children that recognizes them as individual learners. The authors offer a unique combination of practical solutions to help set the course for more humane, efficacious educational practice with students who have difficulty learning. They discuss preplacement interventions such as teaching learning strategies, effective short-term counseling, and new ways to assess reading for instructional, rather than "special" placement, purposes.

Scott B. Sigmon is a school psychologist in East Orange, New Jersey.


"Special education needs to make profound changes. This collection voices many proper criticisms and recommendations for change. It is an excellent selection of papers by outstanding authors on important topics. Many professionals in special education are looking for a different direction in the field and will want to read this book." — Gerald S. Coles, Department of Psychiatry, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School