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November 2008 – A Pan-Canadian perspective on the professional knowledge base of learning disabilities

D.F. Philpott & M. Cahill

International Journal of Disability, Community and Rehabilitation (IJDCR)
Volume 7, No. 2 (Fall 2008)
http://www.ijdcr.ca/VOL07_02_CAN/index.shtml

Abstract

This study explores the professional knowledge base of learning disabilities (LD) in Canada by examining the pre-service training of both teachers and psychologists, as well as the existence of policy designed to guide their work. Particular attention is given to assessment practices and the process of developing academic accommodations for these students. Since education in Canada is completely a provincial and territorial jurisdiction, the authors were interested in exploring commonalities of educational policy and standards of knowledge among the professionals charged with responding to the needs of these students. Findings acknowledge that there exists great diversity in both the professionals who work with students who have LD and in actual models of support that schools offer. Nonetheless, the study raises questions on the knowledge base in LD and the need for enhanced professional development opportunities, and supports a dialogue for common policy in Canadian schools.