Beyond culture as group traits: Future learning disabilities ontology, epistemology, and inquiry on research knowledge use

Alfredo Artiles, Kathleen King Thorius, Aydin Bal, Rebecca Neal, Federico Waitoller, David Hernandez-Saca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


The construct of culture has been largely invisible in the research and long-standing debates in the learning disabilities (LD) field, such as those pertaining to the definition of LD and how research knowledge is used in local settings. When used, the idea of culture tends to be defined as unrelated to LD and studied as restricted to individual/group traits. We challenge the culture-LD dichotomy and the limited conception of culture used in this knowledge base. For this purpose, we make the case for a cultural model of learning that can inform scholarship about the nature of LD, and we propose a culture-based model for the study of research knowledge use in professional practices. Moreover, we offer a third perspective on culture to study the strategies that the LD research community might be using to demarcate and maintain a cultureless paradigm of LD. Our discussion offers potentially rich opportunities for a culturally minded and reflexive stance in the LD field that is urgently needed in our increasingly diverse society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-179
Number of pages13
JournalLearning Disability Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011



  • culture
  • future research
  • learning disabilities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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