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Commentary: New Beginnings, Old Problems

Perhaps the bad old days are over. Perhaps a new era in the study of learning disabilities has really begun. Maybe the days are past when a few clinical observations could be turned into a full-fledged theory that then worked its way into the textbooks and subsequently into classrooms; or when some weak correlational evidence and strong contacts with publishers could be parlayed into nationally marketed curricula for teachers; or when face validity rather than a detailed task analysis led to labels like "visual perception" and the resulting "specific" process deficits that were, of course, almost literally invented. Perhaps all this is behind us.