Literacy Challenges and Opportunities for Students with Learning Disabilities in Social Studies and History


Requests for reprints should be sent to Janis A. Bulgren, University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning. Electronic inquiries should be sent to


The Common Core State Standards for literacy in history and social studies present opportunities and challenges for teachers of and adolescents with learning disabilities (LD). In addition to reading challenges, students must engage in higher order thinking and reasoning. To provide opportunities for students to successfully respond to such challenges, teachers must have an understanding of the expectations in the Standards, and of the learning needs of students with LD. Teachers can assure success for adolescents with LD by selecting proven instructional procedures and engaging in collaboration to provide students with the supports they need. Examples of one evidence-based practice, Content Enhancement, are provided to illustrate instructional protocols for teachers of diverse classes that include adolescents with LD.