Psychoeducational assessment practices for the learning disabled: A philosophical analysis

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 20 (2):183-194 (1990)
Four lines of argument are adduced to support the contention that current disease-modeled approaches to learning disability (LD) are inadequate and that a more environmentally-centered approach should be utilized. The first argument employs philosophy of science to criticize the blatant operationalism of the extant theorizing, while noting that the theories frequently try to employ a realist slant. The second line of argument attacks the disease model itself, employing the work of other philosophers who have noted the extent to which "disease" is a value-laden construct. Still another line notes that, at first glance, current work on paternalism might seem to provide some kind of rationale for LD placement, but that this is probably not the case. The fourth line of argument adverts to the possibility that sociopolitical motivations underlie some of the labeling efforts. It is concluded that current efforts are fruitless and that a new definitional effort is needed, one which specifically cites the locus of disability as the classroom environment.
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