NLA Discussion: Learning disabilities, literacy and policy
David J Rosen
DJRosen at world.std.com
Thu Nov 13 23:59:41 EST 1997
George, Glenn, and other NLA Colleagues,
On Thu, 13 Nov 1997, GEORGE E. DEMETRION wrote:
> What I like especially is Glenn's interpretation of literacy as one
> intervening variable among others in helping people to expand their life
> capacities. Where I might differ is that I don't see this applying
> simply to LD students, but as a more generalized objective of adult
> literacy education. Thus, perhaps in some ways, opposites do meet;
> Glenn, seemingly as interpreting "learning disabilities" as an innate
> physiological malfunction, whereas I look at knowledge and felt
> "inadequacy" more as a psycho-cultural phenomenon and by doing so achieve
> a certain personal agency over such a labelling that in some compelling
> ways characterizes my own struggle and sometimes failure to learn.
> Perhaps Glenn identifies more freedom through the diagnosis. If so, I
> can respect that, but let's keep an open mind.
George and Glenn, I would like to move the discussion toward consideration
of the implications of the differences in your points of view for public
Glenn, if learning disabilities exist as innate physiological
malfunctions, what are the implications for adult literacy policy?
George, if this is more a psycho-cultural phenomenon, what public policy
should we advocate for?
And each of you, what is the right locus of policy? Local government?
State? Federal? Graduate Colleges of Education?
Or should learning differences/learning disabilities be a matter for
individual programs or teachers to decide, and not in the policy arena at
After Glenn and George have responded, I hope others will, too.
David J. Rosen
NLA List Moderator
<DJRosen at world.std.com>
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