The History of Special Education: A Struggle for Equality in American Public Schools

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2008 - Education - 157 pages
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Osgood examines the history of the school lives of children placed in formal or informal special education settings in American public schools during the last 120 years. As the public school system in the United States grew throughout the 20th century, special education became a recognized and dependable, but marginalized, arm of public schooling. Throughout the 1900s special education emerged as its own world in many ways, developing policies, practices, structures, and an identity that became more diverse and inclusive.

This work describes and interprets the nature and characteristics of special education. It examines carefully the human aspects of identification and placement; the nature of work and play in the classroom; the relationship among students, teachers, administrators, and parents involved in the process; the status and relation of children with disabilities to their non-disabled peers in various school settings; and the impact of school experiences on the lives of these children beyond school.


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1 The Changing Worlds of American Children 18001940
2 Life in Institutions to 1940
3 Public Schools and the Accommodation of Students with Disabilities to 1940
Generating Public Awareness
5 Ensuring the Rights and Enhancing the Lives of Children with Disabilities in and out of the Classroom 19601980
Considering the Lives of Children with Disabilities
Name Index
Subject Index

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About the author (2008)

Robert L. Osgood is Associate Professor of Education, Indiana University, Purdue University, Indianapolis.

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