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The Learning Mystique: A Critical Look at Learning Disabilities Paperback – January 15, 1989


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 353 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (January 15, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449903516
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449903513
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,588,151 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

During the past two decades, children who fail to master their early grade-level work have been diagnosed as "learning disabled" because of "minimal neurological dysfunctions." A vast subcultureresearch programs, professional papers, etc.supported by educators, psychologists and doctors has developed to provide treatment and remediation for the inexplicable conditions. Yet, as Coles points out in this important critique, there is little concrete, scientific evidence to prove the condition exists as described. By proposing an alternative theory, one that focuses on a variety of social and familial relationships experienced by children, as well as individual neurological differences that are not necessarily dysfunctions, Coles challenges the educational establishment. His findings must be considered by educators and others concerned about children who fail to thrive in the classroom. Coles is professor of clinical psychology at the Robert Wood Johnson (formerly Rutgers) Medical School in New Jersey.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

The author argues against today's dominant theory that learning disabilities are caused by neurological deficits. He explains the development of this paradigm as the response of our educational system to post-war social and economic trends. Coles first examines the history of dyslexia research, finding most of it to be inconclusive. He then presents a new model of learning problems, in which family and school environments are the major determinants of academic success. In this "interactive" paradigm, the attitudes and methods of education are more important than inherent strengths or deficits of the individual child. This book prompts us to reexamine some of our educational system's basic assumptions.Amy Goffman, Children's Rehabilitation Ctr., Charlottesville, Va.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Format: Paperback
While the focus is on learning disabilities, which is largely (though not completely) a product of researchers' insistence that they do exist, Cole's larger project seems to be to suggest what the real problems are in educating the 'disabled' and the economically disadvantaged (Coles focuses in particular on early reading instruction). Teachers, administrators, and educational theorists may need to look at themselves rather than blaming students' disabilities for their lack of learning. Administrators and teachers need to throw away their low expectations and make sure teaching is at the level at which a student enters the classroom, however difficult it may be to individualize instruction. Theorists need to accept that direct rather than implicit reading skills instruction is part of what's needed in primary school classrooms. Society in general can help out by spending the money to lower class sizes, especially for kindergarten and first grade, where nearly everyone should learn to read, even the more or less falsely labeled 'learning disabled'.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jocelyn St Clair on March 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
I bought a second hand book for a really good price. The condition of the book was like new and delivery on my purchase was so quick. I have to say that i am a very satisfied customer.
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