Learning Disabilities Research & Practice

Abstract - Detail

Science Education and Students with Learning Disabilities

Authors: Brigham, F. J., Scruggs, T. E., & Mastropieri, M. A.


Students with learning disabilities (LD) are increasingly expected to master content in the general education curriculum, making the need for effective instructional supports more important than ever before.  Science is a part of the curriculum that can be particularly challenging to students with LD because of the diverse demands it places on cognitive performance. In this summary we review a number of strategies that have been validated for learners with LD. The strategies include supports for (a) verbal learning of declarative information, (b) processing information in texts, (c) activities-based instruction/experiential learning, (d) scientific thinking and reasoning, and (e) differentiated instruction. We also summarize the research regarding the impact of teacher behavior on achievement for students with LD in science education. The strategies reviewed yield tangible and positive effect sizes that suggest that their application to the target domain will substantially improve outcomes for students with LD in science education.

Publishing information: Volume 26, number 3