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Commentary on “Why study the history of learning disability?”

Jill Bradshaw (Lecturer in Learning Disability, Tizard Centre, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK)
Peter McGill (Co-Director and Professor of Clinical Psychology of Learning Disability, Tizard Centre, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK)

Tizard Learning Disability Review

ISSN: 1359-5474

Article publication date: 5 January 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a commentary on “Why study the history of learning disability?” by Goodey.

Design/methodology/approach

In his paper, Goodey makes the point that the term “learning disability” is not a fixed, stable concept, but one which has changed and evolved over time. This commentary explores the difference between care staff and professional understandings of people with learning disabilities including how these have changed in recent times.

Findings

Care staff knowledge is likely to be based on direct experiences of particular people with learning disabilities whilst professional knowledge is likely to be based on theoretical concepts of general application. These differences in source of knowledge may interfere with desired collaboration between staff and professionals.

Originality/value

This commentary suggests that differences in understandings should be recognised and the application of theory to practice is far from simple.

Keywords

Citation

Bradshaw, J. and McGill, P. (2015), "Commentary on “Why study the history of learning disability?”", Tizard Learning Disability Review, Vol. 20 No. 1, pp. 11-14. https://doi.org/10.1108/TLDR-10-2014-0035

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited