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The Changing Roles and Responsibilities of an LD Specialist

Publisher: Learning Disability Quarterly, 25 (1)
Page Numbers: 19-31

This article chronicles a single teacher's journey from expert resource teacher for students with learning disabilities (LD) to novice inclusion teacher and then expert inclusion specialist over a seven-year period. Through case study methodology, the purpose was the clarify the emerging role of the inclusion teacher by (a) describing her activities, (b) relating her perceptions of her role, and (c) explaining how her role differed in resource and inclusion settings over the years. Four broad categories emerged during the data analysis: assessment practices, teaching, consultation, and interpersonal skills. The authors concluded that the role of the inclusion teacher is complex and multifaceted and depends largely on the teacher's interpersonal and communication skills. The inclusion teacher must be knowledgeable about the general education (GE) curriculum, skillful at anticipating student difficulties with learning tasks, and adept at providing ongoing adaptations and accommodations. As increasing numbers of students with disabilities are educated in GE classrooms, preservice and inservice teacher education programs must address how best to prepare both GE and special education teachers for their roles.