Norris Haring Professor Emeritus University of Washington
This volume honors Barbara Bateman, whose brilliant career in two disciplines-special education and the law -- has contributed significantly to the education of students with disabilities and to our understanding of the legal and ethical aspects of our practices. I am among the few special educators who has been a Bateman observer and acquaintance since she was in her final years of preparing for the Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, and I feel honored to introduce this book.
A good place to begin is to provide a brief review of Barbara's early contributions to the procedures for identifying, defining, and educating students with learning disabilities. During her studies at Illinois, she developed, along with her advisor, Sam Kirk, the first published definition of learning disability. She realized that to this point, circa 1962, almost all definitions and descriptions of students showing behavior characteristics of individuals with brain damage included labels involving dysfunctioning of the brain. Bateman's definition focused more on the behavioral aspects of learning. In keeping with that, the Kirk-Bateman ( 1962) definition stated:
A learning disability refers to a retardation disorder or delayed development in one or more of the processes of speech, language, reading, writing, arithmetic, or other school subjects resulting from a psychological handicap caused by a possible cerebral dysfunction and/or emotional or behavioral disturbance. It is not the result of mental retardation, sensory deprivation, or cultural or instructional factors. (p. 8)
The process of defining learning disabilities began as early as the early 1940s when Strauss and Lehtinen differentiated learning problems into two