The kids who are discussed in this article would be called "LD" today - you don't want to know how they were referred to in the early Twenties. Back then there were no Federally-funded commissions thronging with sympathetic PhD candidates to ramble on about "convergence issues", "processing concerns", "the-classroom-learning-environment" and the "Learning Disabled". There were only frustrated kids, frustrated teachers and broken-hearted parents. This 1937 news article reports on the pioneering teachers at Seward Park High School in New York City and the earliest attempts to address the needs of students who suffered from language processing disorders, dyscalculia, dyslexia, dysgraphia and America's favorite - good ol' ADHD.
When the Soviet Union launched the first artificial satellite, Sputnik, in the Autumn of 1957 it shocked the American people and set in motion an event that was quickly labeled "the Sputnik Crises". Almost at once, school boards all across the fruited plane resolved to improve their math and science programs in order to ensure the blessings of liberty for generations yet unborn.
One of these institutions was Laguna Beach High School in Southern California and the attached article, "Turning Bad Schools into Good Schools", will tell you about the various steps they had taken in order to alter their curriculum and the prevailing campus culture as well.
We were gratified to learn that some fifty-odd years later, Laguna Beach High is still one of the finest schools in the country.
The editors of PATHFINDER MAGAZINE were rightfully scandalized to report that the Mississippi State Senate voted in favor of purchasing two sets of civics books for the school children of their state:
"[The] idea behind this, said the Senate Education Committee, was to eliminate instructions for voting from the books to be distributed to Negro pupils".
The Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School in Chicago turned some heads when it first opened. As you read the attached column you will learn about the unorthodox approach they bring to the subject of educating the autistic and the emotionally disturbed. With the fullness of time it has been revealed that they must be doing something right - it has been in business since 1944.
Although the author of this article, educator Cedric Fowler, does not offer a name for the subject he is proposing, it will not take you very long to recognize it as "social studies". Fowler argued that the text books available at that time were more suited to the Nineteenth Century than the tumultuous Thirties, ignoring all the various hot topics of the day that would have made subjects such as history, geography and civics come alive for those students who were enrolled at the time of the Great Depression.
"Life has become more complex for young Americans since the time of their fathers and grandfathers, and educational method has become more complex and more comprehensive with it... The work of Dewey, Thorndike and a score of other authorities has liberated the schoolroom from its stuffy atmosphere, has made it possible for it to become an ante-room to adult life."
Written in 1958 with the aid of the Educational Testing Service, (Princeton, New Jersey), the article attempted to persuade America's high school students to get used to standardized tests because they're a really cool idea and they'll make your life better. Illustrations are provided to indicate how the testing work and how well such tests had proved useful to the Air Force in weeding out sub-standard candidates for flight training. The journalist seemed to imply throughout these columns that the egg-heads were really doing us all a big, big favor by creating these tests.