Learning Re-Abled: The Learning Disability Controversy and Composition Studies

Author: Patricia Du
Publisher: Heinema
Keywords: learning, studies, composition, disability, abled, controversy
Number of Pages: 216
Published: 1995-09-18
ISBN-10: 0867093609
ISBN-13: 9780867093605

Book Description:

Students with learning disabilities are entering college in far greater numbers than ever before, but most composition instructors have little experience working with these students and current composition theory doesn’t offer much help.

In the first comprehensive study to connect composition and learning disabilities, Patricia Dunn both challenges and confirms what many believe about writing. "Learning Re-Abled" examines the many issues that contribute to the learning disability controversy and provides historical perspectives on LD and composition, showing how the two fields complement and conflict with each other. She discusses disagreements surrounding different educational approaches and makes sense of the claims and counterclaims of the experts.

"Learning Re-Abled" shows how influential composition theorists fail to account for the struggles some students encounter when faced with written projects. In a section focusing on a student whom she exposed to both whole language and phonics-based instruction, Dunn shows how multisensory links can improve learning. Several other students describe their successes and failures in a linguistic-based academic world; their stories suggest ways in which all educators might rethink their assumptions about teaching and learning. In the final section, Dunn calls for philosophical change and cooperation as well as for a pooling of resources from a variety of fields, urging readers to transcend disciplinary boundaries.

Dunn wrote this book because her years of teaching experience and doctorate in composition studies could not account for the linguistic difficulties some of her students were experiencing-including her own nephew. By reading widely, tutoring, and interviewing LD college students, she came to realize that our educational system can indeed help all students to learn but only if we adopt a much more flexible, creative, and broad minded approach to learning, which she demonstrates in her book.

"Learning Re-Abled "is a powerful challenge to broaden and enrich the learning of all students and teachers by recognizing ways of knowing that will allow the learning disabled to become re-abled.

Table of Contents

Front Matter



1. Learning Disabilities: The Controversy

2. Gaps in Composition Theory and Practice

3. Multisensory Teaching Methods: Tutoring Joey

4. Learning Differences: The Perspective of LD College Students

5. Implications for College Instructors


Works Cited

Practice & Pedagogy

Series Editor: Mike Palmquist, Colorado State University

About Patricia A. Dunn

Before earning a doctorate from The University at Albany (SUNY) with a concentration in composition studies, Patricia Dunn taught English at the high school and two-year college levels. She is currently associate professor of English at Stony Brook University, where she teaches composition and English education courses. Her publications explore the nexus of composition, rhetoric, English Education, and disability studies. She is especially interested in the role multiple literacies play in the teaching of writing.

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