The Practice of Special Education Referral: Teachers’ Discursive Assumptions

By Kathy-Anne Jordan.

Published by The International Journal of Learner Diversity and Identities

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: June 22, 2016 $US5.00

Black students nationwide continue to experience disproportionate special education referral and disability identification rates. Although research studies show that teacher judgment is a significant factor in the special education referral process leading, in many cases, to subsequent confirmation of disability for students they refer, few studies have examined teachers’ discursive constructions of student difference via actual referrals. This article reports on a study that critically examined special education referrals and supporting anecdotal records for Black males. Critical discourse analysis (CDA) of findings revealed that teachers reproduced institutional and societal discourses surrounding the nature and meaning of difference and how it is best addressed within schools. Educational implications for young, Black males are discussed.

Keywords: Special Education, Critical Discourse Analysis, Black Males, Disproportionality

The International Journal of Learner Diversity and Identities, Volume 23, Issue 3, September 2016, pp.33-54. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: June 22, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 564.667KB)).

Dr. Kathy-Anne Jordan

Associate Professor, Special Education, Mercy College, New York, NY, USA