LD and the rise of highly gifted and talented programs: examining similar rationales across decades and designations

Kathryn S Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Sleeter's 1987 article "Why is there Learning Disabilities?" provides an analytical template for examining the rise in discourse surrounding Highly Gifted and Talented (HGT) programs in the past ten years. This article begins with an historical and policy account of the local context that supported the rise of HGT. Then it highlights three key rationales from Sleeter's paper to demonstrate how the discourse related to supporting the rise of LD is reconstituted into the discourse related to supporting the rise of HGT. These discourses are analyzed using critical discourse analysis to demonstrate how the rhetoric for LD and HGT maintains race and class stratification in the public school system. This article finishes with an example of one school with an HGT program that believes students can have their needs met without separating them.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDisability Studies Quarterly
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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