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Researching Learning Difficulties

Researching Learning Difficulties
A Guide for Practitioners

First Edition

October 2004 | 208 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

The authors recognize that there are tensions, especially the difficulty of validating research on small varied populations in a wide range of schools, community, and other settings. The book will help readers to critically evaluate the implications of research reports for their own practice and will enable them to:

  • Access research in learning difficulties, drawing on other disciplines
  • Understand different types of research methodology and their strengths and limitations
  • Examine the constraints on methodology because of the characteristics of the field
  • Understand the particular issues of small-scale research and participatory research
  • Explore new methodologies that are developing in the field
Historical Perspective
Research Agendas
Trends in Research
Evaluation Research
Researching Intervention
Participatory Research
Small-Scale Research
Looking beyond the Discipline

'This book is highly recommended and endorsed. It celebrates the diversity of work that is currently undertaken in the field of learning difficulties with a concern to enable people working within different spheres of activity to share something of their work to contribute to the bigger picture.

'As part of an academic, school or staff development resource library this book will aid, stimulate and focus researchers at all levels to hone their selected methods, evaluate results and critically judge qualitative and quantitative data' - Special Children

`This timely book, written in a highly accessible way... provides a coherent basis for users as well as practitioners, of research involving children and young people with learning difficulties' - Ann Lewis, Professor of Special Education and Educational Psychology, University of Birmingham.

This is a welcome text in the fields of both research and learning difficulties. It provides a clear foundation from which researchers can build their understanding of inclusive research with recommendations about additional accessibility considerations that must be considered when conducting research. The historical context for how research in learning difficulties has progressed is also valuable for those new to the fields.

Ms Lorraine Loveland-Armour
Department of Education, Newman University
February 20, 2017

I enjoyed the book, I found it quite a intense layout however. Very good content with some good theories.

Miss Julia Chiari
Employability, Work Ready People- Hit
September 19, 2014

A useful introduction to the background issues when conducting research with children with additional needs. One especially useful chapter considers differing perspectives from a range of disciplines and the way that these different perspectives influence research.

Mrs Julie Prentice
Department of Childhood Studies, Canterbury Christ Church University
June 18, 2014

An in-depth overview of some of the key issues that an inclusive researcher is likely to face.

Mr Cathal Butler
School of Education, Bedfordshire University
October 23, 2013

A good book to refer to as an introduction for practitioners understanding of research in learning difficulties.

Dr Martin Partridge
Faculty of Health , Staffordshire University
March 19, 2013

There was nothing else that I was aware of specific to researching pupils with SEN and yet this was something that many students were interested in - this book fills a gap in student need.

Dr Kate Wall
Education , Newcastle upon Tyne University
October 27, 2009

Sample Materials & Chapters

Foreword by Professor Ann Lewis


Jill Porter

Research Interests * Policy and provision for pupils with special educational needs * Policy, provision and practice for people with learning difficulties across the age span * Organization of inclusive and special schooling * Early mathematical development * Research methodologies and special populations More About Author

Penny Lacey

Penny Lacey had a background in teaching children and young people with severe, profound and complex learning difficulties before she came to the School of Education in 1991. More About Author

For instructors

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ISBN: 9780761948513

SAGE Research Methods is a research methods tool created to help researchers, faculty and students with their research projects. SAGE Research Methods links over 175,000 pages of SAGE’s renowned book, journal and reference content with truly advanced search and discovery tools. Researchers can explore methods concepts to help them design research projects, understand particular methods or identify a new method, conduct their research, and write up their findings. Since SAGE Research Methods focuses on methodology rather than disciplines, it can be used across the social sciences, health sciences, and more.