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Bachor, Dan G. and Carol Crealock.

Scarborough (Ont.), Prentice-Hall, c1986. 543pp, paperbound boards, $29.95, ISBN 0-13468000-6. CIP

Reviewed by Glenn DiPasquale

Volume 15 Number 1
1987 January

This is a big, impressive book that is extremely broad in scope. The authors are both professors in Canadian faculties of education (Bachor in British Columbia and Crealock in Ontario), and both have respectable lists of previous publications in the field. Their goal was to produce a comprehensive text on the education of special needs students that would be Canadian in both approach and content, and they have succeeded in grand style. To be sure, this book is still teeming with American references, and is clearly influenced by the experiences of our vast and prolific neighbour to the south. However, this is not only understandable but desirable, since it would be impossible to write such a text and ignore the mountains of important data generated in the United States. Nonetheless, Bachor and Crealock have done an excellent job of producing a text that is relevant to Canadian educators and loaded with Canadian content. They have far surpassed previous efforts such as the Canadian edition of the Hammill and Bartel classic, Teaching Children With Learning and Behaviour Problems, where an introductory chapter by Bunch was added simply to give a Canadian overview and flavour.

The book consists of fourteen chapters. The first three are introductory and fairly general. Chapters four and five address the behavioural and emotional aspects of special education and are both selective and somewhat narrow in content. Chapter six is a solid delineation of approaches to assessment and remediation in reading, and chapter seven is an exceptional treatment of these processes in mathematics. Chapters eight and nine deal with composition skills, spelling, handwriting, and grammar, and combine these topics in rather a unique way. The tenth chapter is a welcome addition to such a text, dealing with the difficult and often ignored topic of thinking skills. Similarly, the next chapter tackles organizational skills, another topic educators and researchers discuss frequently but understand only superficially.

The remaining three chapters are highly specific and deal with secondary school issues, consulting, and the use of computers with special needs students. The last two are written by other authors and are very capably handled. Finally, the book concludes with some fifty-five pages of suggested readings and references.

A couple of minor negative points need to be mentioned. One is the authors' decision to adopt the American term, "Individual Education Plan," or IEP, complete with its connotations of onerous paperwork and administrative nightmares. The intent of the authors was quite different and they would have been wise to use a different terminology. Also, the writing, though generally adequate and readable, tends to get repetitive and overly simplified at times, which may annoy some of the graduate or undergraduate readers the book is aimed at.

Despite these minor irritations, this book is a sure winner. It is extremely well organized, thoroughly thought out, and very comprehensive. But best of all, it is very Canadian. Highly recommended for use in teacher training from coast to coast.

Glenn DiPasquale, York Region Board of Education, Newmarket, Ont.
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