Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs (Jorsen).
Abstract This paper both reviews the other papers in this special issue and puts them in the context of the current agenda of research in dyslexia education.
The pluralistic nature of the field is explored with reference to this special issue.
The paper suggests a way forward for the field in terms of a developing research agenda for dyslexia education as we progress further into the 21st century.
There are important educational questions to be asked in relation to dyslexia. What does it mean for a student in the 21st century to be classified as dyslexic?
How is dyslexia constructed and understood and how do the different disciplines influence educational provision, and indeed how is this experienced by students?
Researchers generally agree that it is not a straightforward matter of discovering children with intrinsic, diagnosable cognitive impairments, which can be simply remediated.
It is recognised in current writing about special educational needs (SEN) that it is necessary to take account of a range of interacting factors and related values: biological, psychological, social and cultural – to understand and respond appropriately to children identified as having learning difficulties in school (Davis and Florian, 2004a, b; Norwich, 2009).
This paper reviews the other papers in our special issue and sets out an agenda for future research in the field.
The special issue sets out to extend current discussion and thinking about dyslexia and education beyond the current perspective.
The collection contains papers drawing on the themes of identification and assessment, training, emotional well-being, systemic support and development and narrative research (i.e., our papers do respond to the biological, psychological etc.).
Indeed, because dyslexia inspires a debate on a number of levels, and in a range of academic disciplines, much can be gained by the bringing together in one issue of alternative perspectives and paradigms.
Further, by including papers that draw on different traditions of research about dyslexia, we can offer the potential for teasing out new knowledge by exploring the tensions between perspectives.