From "Backwardness" to "At-Risk": Childhood Learning Difficulties and the Contradictions of School Reform
This book examines the joint effort of twentieth-century public schoool administrators and private philanthropy to initiate reforms to provide for children with learning difficulties. The author explores the development of these reforms from the establishment of special classes for backward children at the beginning of the century to the creation of programs for learning disabled children. He considers what this history tells us about current efforts to provide for at-risk students. He looks at both the way school administrators conceptualized childhood learning difficulties and the institutional arrangements which they introduced to accommodate these students, and pays particular attention to the preference of school administrators throughout this century for accommodating low achieving children in segregated classes and programs.