Archive for the 'Professional development' Category

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DLD conference sessions filling

Although registration continues for the Division for Learning Disabilities conference, “Bridging the Gap Between Research and Practice,” some of the sessions are reaching their limits and will be closed. As a part of its emphasis on creating workshop settings where participants learn how to implement evidence-based practices, DLD caps the number of participants in sessions.

Linda Siegel has put together a very impressive line-up of presenters and topics. As one can see here, the agenda for the meeting in San Diego 23 & 24 October 2009 is chocked full of good sessions by internationally renowned presenters.



David F. Bateman How to Prepare for and Survive a Due Process Hearing
Jenny Sue Flannagan & Lucinda S. Spaulding Best Practices for Inclusive Science Instruction
Steve Graham & Sharlene Kiuhara Writing Problems and Writing Solutions
Paige C. Pullen Phonological Awareness Assessment and Instruction: A Sound Beginning
Karen R. Harris, Karin Sandmel, & Mary Brindle, “The Magna Carta Provided That No Free Man Should be Hanged Twice for the Same Offense”: Self-Regulated Strategy Development for Writing
Charles A. Hughes Two Recent SIM Writing Strategies: The Essay Test-Taking Strategy and the Editing Strategy
Erica Lembke & Todd Busch Using Curriculum-Based Measurement for Data-Based Decision Making within a Response to Intervention System
Maureen W. Lovett Multiple Component Intervention to Improve the Outcomes of Struggling Readers: Remediating Reading Skill Deficits and Misguided Beliefs About Effort and Achievement at the Same Time
Marjorie Montague Improving Mathematical Problem Solving of Middle School Students with LD
Brian Bottge Teaching Mathematics to Adolescents with LD in Rich Problem-Solving Contexts
Rosemary Tannock Understanding and Engaging Children’s Wandering Minds
Karen J. Rooney Adolescent Literacy: Putting Research into Practice to Develop the Literacy Skills of Older Students
Deborah C. Simmons Integrating Vocabulary Strategies into Social Studies Instruction
David Scanlon The ORDER Routine: For Comprehending Content-Area Concepts
José Luis Alvarado & Anne Graves RTI for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners: Supporting Teachers to Implement Tier I and Tier II Literacy Instruction for Older Struggling
Susan P. Miller Building a Strong Numbers and Operations Foundation to Enhance Mathematics Success
Nicole Ofiesh “Got Accommodations?” Implications for Planning Instruction and Transition from Secondary to Postsecondary Settings
Rollanda E. O’Connor Successful Tier 2 Interventions in Reading: Grades K-4
Kimberly Bright & Paul Riccomini I THINK: A Real-Life Problem-solving Strategy for secondary students with Learning Disabilities

Link to the conference page at to register.

JLD on professional development

JLD cover

The Journal of Learning Disabilities for September-October 2009 features a special series of articles about the teaching of reading teaching. Issue editors R. Malatesha Joshi and Anne E. Cunningham put together a set of articles by stellar authorities in the area of reading to examine “Perceptions and Reality: What We Know About the Quality of Literacy Instruction.”

Moats, L. (2009). Still wanted: Teachers with knowledge of language. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 42, 387-391.

Joshi, R. M., Binks, E., Hougen, M., Dahlgren M. E., Ocker-Dean, E., & Smith, D. L. (2009). Why elementary teachers might be inadequately prepared to teach reading. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 42, 392-402.[Link]

Podhajski, B., Mather, N., Nathan, J., & Sammons, J. (2009). Professional development in scientifically based reading instruction: Teacher knowledge and reading outcomes Journal of Learning Disabilities, 42, 403-417. [Link]

Cunningham, A. E., Zibulsky, J., Stanovich, K. E., & Stanovich, P. J. (2009). How teachers would spend their time teaching language arts: The mismatch between self-reported and best practices. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 42, 418-430. [Link]

Spear-Swerling, L. (2009). A literacy tutoring experience for prospective special educators and struggling second graders. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 42, 431-443. [Link]

Kaiser, L., Rosenfield, S., & Gravois, T. (2009). Teachers’ perception of satisfaction, skill development, and skill application after instructional consultation services. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 42, 444-457.[Link]

Joshi, R. M., Binks, E., Graham, L., Ocker-Dean, E., Smith, D. L., & Boulware-Gooden, R. (2009). Do textbooks used in university reading education courses conform to the instructional recommendations of the National Reading Panel? Journal of Learning Disabilities, 42, 458-463. [Link]

Stotsky, S. (2009). Licensure tests for special education teachers: How well they assess knowledge of reading instruction and mathematics. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 42, 464-474. [Link]

Lyon, G. R., & Weiser, B. (2009). Teacher knowledge, instructional expertise, and the development of reading proficiency. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 42, 475-480.[Link]

NJCLD on adolescent literacy

The National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities (NJCLD) held a symposium regarding the release of “Adolescent Literacy and Students with Learning Disabilities: Building Effective Programs and Partnerships Adolescent.” Invited guests representing various US agencies, organizations, and interest groups joined delegates from the organizations that are members of NJCLD the afternoon of Friday 5 June 2009 for the session.

Mary Beth Klotz, chair of the NJCLD, introduced the session and individual speakers. Froma Roth, a representative of the American Speach-Language-Hearing Association and one of the writing team that prepared the statement, began the session with a brief recapitulation of its contents. Brett Miller followed Professor Roth with an overview of current research supported by the Reading, Writing, and Related Learning Disabilities of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, US Department of Health and Human Services. Nancy Hennesy, of the Council for Learning Disabilities and also a member of the writing group, described the complex and challenging context for addressing deficits in adolescent literacy.

These are the folks who participated in the panel:

  • Mary Beth Klotz (National Association of School Psychologists);
  • Nancy Hennessy (International Dyslexia Association) ;
  • Amanda Karhuse (National Association of Secondary School Principals);
  • Brett Miller (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development);
  • Barbara J. Moore (Anaheim Union High School District, CA);
  • Patti Ralabate (National Education Association);
  • Froma P. Roth (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association); and
  • Kippi Sutphen (Parent Representative).

Link to the NJCLD Web site (maintained by LD Online). Watch for the slides and other materials from the symposium to be posted there. Meanwhile, download a copy of the NJCLD document.

Free Current Practice Alerts

It’s sometimes hard to sort through the rhetoric about different methods used in teaching students with Learning Disabilities. However, two groups within the Council for Exceptional Children have made the task considerably easier. In a series of publications now numbering 16, the Division for Learning Disabilities and the Division for Research cut through the bologna to provide quick reviews about the effectiveness of current educational practices. These Current Practice Alerts, which are readily accessible for general readers, cover familiar topics including these:

  • Class-wide Peer Tutoring
  • Co-Teaching
  • Cooperative Learning
  • Direct Instruction
  • Fluency Instruction
  • Formative Evaluation
  • Functional Behavioral Assessment
  • Graphic Organizers
  • High-Stakes Assessment
  • Mnemonic Instruction
  • Phonics Instruction
  • Phonological Awareness
  • Reading Comprehension Instruction
  • Reading Recovery
  • Social Skills Instruction

They are succinct and faithful to the research evidence. They even make explicit recommendations about whether to use the practice. What’s the hitch? Well, they’re free, so see for yourselves.

Link to the Web page listing these resources.

Kirk used “Learning Disability” before 1963

I was fiddling around with a new feature of Google and thought I’d test its use on a task. Having just read the only entry in the proposed canon for LD (please add to it, folks), I thought I’d search for instances of the perpetuation of the myth that S. A. Kirk coined the term Learning Disability in 1963 in a speech to the group that would become the Association for Children with Learning Disabilities (and, ultimately, the the Learning Disabilities Association of America, and of many other countries, too).

“But, everybody says that’s when he coined it, don’t they?” Not really. Some folks know that Professor Kirk and Barbara Bateman had already used the term “Learning Disabilities” in a paper published a half year earlier (and, given the delay between submission and publication of an article, they’d likely used the term at least a year before the famous meeting).

This analysis does not take anything away from the importance of the meeting in Chicago; that was a signal event, an illustration of the political clout of parents who rally around a common theme in the service of their children. That meeting was the beginning of what one might call the Learning Disabilities movement in the US and now the world. In fact, the LDA site doesn’t make the mistake about the birth of the term; it simply recounts the momentuous events that occured there and then.

Professor Bateman explained it correctly (and she should know) in her 2005 paper “The Play’s the Thing”: “The definition of LD, now controversial, was not an issue when the term learning disabilities was first introduced by Kirk in 1962.”

Anyway, I started a list of places where writers have perpetuated the myth that the term “Learning Disabilities” was introduced in 1963 at the Chicago meeting. Here are a few.

  • “Dr. Kirk’s most influential pronouncement was a speech he delivered to an education conference in 1963, when he coined and defined the term ‘learning disabilities.'”
    New York Times obituary for Professor Kirk.
  • “The phrase ‘learning disability’ was coined here in Chicago in 1963 by Kirk”
  • “The term learning disabilities was first coined in 1963 by Samuel Kirk”
    2005 Newsletter of the Oregon chapter of Learning Disabilities Assocation of America.
  • “The term learning disabilities was first coined in 1963 in Chicago, Illinois, by Samuel Kirk,”
    Doris Johnson’s abstract for a plenary session at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • “The term learning disability was first coined in a speech that Samuel Kirk delivered in 1963 at the Chicago Conference on Children with Perceptual Handicaps.”
    S. W. Lee in The Encyclopedia of School Psychology (p. 290).

But, I really ought to give credit to those who got it right, who didn’t repeat the misinformation. Ahhh, but that’s another entry.

Bateman, B. (2005). The play’s the thing. Learning Disability Quarterly, 28, 93-99.

1st-person dyslexia

On the “Story Corps” entry airing today on US National Public Radio’s Morning Edition, Inez Cortez discussed what it’s like to have to struggle to learn to read and the pleasure of learning how to do. In the “A Daughter’s Struggle With Learning To Read” produced by Katie Simon, Ms. Cortez spoke with her mother, Kim Wargo, in a frank and direct manner.

Because she was highly verbal but struggled with reading, her parents sought help as early as kindergarten.

Wargo says that once she realized that Ida had dyslexia, she was able to concentrate on ways to help her. Ida began working with a learning specialist at her elementary school, as well as an occupational therapist. She worked with these specialists for about two years. By the third grade, she was reading above grade level — something she continues to do.

Some of the best parts of this brief interview are Ms. Cortez’s comments about her view of her dyslexia. It’s worth the few minutes that it takes listen to it.

Link to Ms. Simon’s story. For educators who read this post, the freely available audio probably will be a good addition to prospective teachers’ (and others’) experiences. Sadly, the Story Corps Web site doesn’t make it easy to point to an individual entry in its catalog; for a little while, it will be a the top of the listen now page at that site.

Update: By sending myself a note about the story I was able to obtain the direct address; this should be a bit more persistent than the one I posted earlier today.

CLD extends call

The Council for Learning Disabilities has extended its call for proposed papers for it conference next fall. Here’s a snippet with relevant information.


Call for Proposals Extended!
LD Roundup
“Responsive Assessment and Instructional Practices”

The Council for Learning Disabilities is presently seeking proposals for the 31st International Conference on Learning Disabilities. The conference will be held at the Westin Park Central Hotel in Dallas, Texas on October 2-3, 2009. Please visit the CLD website ( for information concerning conference strands and submission procedures.

The Call for Proposals deadline has been extended to February 9, 2009, so don’t miss this great opportunity!

Contact Information- For more information, contact Mary Provost, Conference Director

phone: 843-971-2980 email: mcprovost [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Thinking alike and right

Over on TeachUTeachMe Becky Barr has a post about learning styles that makes me feel good. It’s not simply that she cites a post of mine from Teach Effectively!, but that she helps carry the flag for reasonable preparation of future teachers.

Link to Professor Barr’s article.

Of course, I also like her picture of Buster Brown; I had a Cocker Spaniel as a companion from the time I was 1 month old until I was in my early teens.

By the way, while you’re out surfing about, check Guy Wallace’s recounting of a talk by Sigmund Tobias ‘ take on learning styles.