Learning Disabilities Essay

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The term learning disabilities is widely accepted for what it is, but what exactly is it? Developing a definition for learning disabilities proved to be a formidable challenge according to Janet Lerner, in fact it was such an overpowering task it has been compared to “Justice Potter Stewart’s comment on pornography: impossible to define, “but I know it when I see it.”” (Lerner 2002, p.8)
Similarly, a mathematical learning disability is a formidable endeavour to try and define, mainly due to the extent and complexity of the field of mathematics. (http://ldx.sagepub.com/content/37/1/4.full.pdf+html )
“One meaningful way of contextualising ‘learning disabilities’ is to think about it as an umbrella term under which all affected individuals are described as having varying degrees of impairment of intellectual and social functioning” (GOOGLE BOOK, p.22)
Distinguishing if someone has a learning disability can be difficult as a result it is often not possible to rely solely on one single criterion in order to provide the answer. Therefore (GOOGLE BOOK) stated that three principles which have been used consist of intellectual ability, legislative definitions and social competence. http://books.google.ie/books?hl=en&lr=&id=9f78JovnJPEC&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&dq=learning+disability*+inclusion%5D&ots=S8CYL163Vh&sig=o4fzREcYlBvprnfpNUavR64COdo&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false
A mathematical learning disability can be described as students who struggle with remembering mathematics facts, concepts, rules, formulas, sequences, and procedures (Mishra 2012). Similarly a MLD has been described as difficulties applying basic operations in one or more of the domains within mathematics. This indicates interference with “the sense of quantity, symbols decodin...

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...fs and knowledge; the influence of teachers’ beliefs on instruction; and the role teacher education programs play in both altering teachers’ beliefs and fostering an awareness of the importance beliefs play in instruction” (p.5)
Brantlinger (1996) categorized teachers’ attitudes and beliefs toward inclusion as either “inclusive beliefs” or “anti-inclusive beliefs” which facilitate and maximise inclusive environments hinder and weaken the implementation of inclusive strategies in schools respectively (p.19).
Janney et al. (1995) found that the more experience you have with integrating students into the classroom the more comfortable you were and positive your attitudes were as a result. Thos was backed up by McLeskey et al. (2001), who established that teachers’ negative attitudes toward inclusion stem from a lack of experience with well-designed inclusion programs.

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