The information and ideas presented in this chapter have been
generated in the context of the Seattle Project--a longitudinal study
of intellectually advanced children undertaken by the Child Development
Research Group at the University of Washington. Service
activities connected with the study include a preschool
program for some of the project children and a counseling and
diagnostic service which provides families of intellectually advanced
children with assessment and information on school placement.
Although a good deal of information concerning the language
arts and social studies curriculum for the gifted is well articulated
and readily available in the literature, there is a gap between this
information and its application in classroom practice. Several factors
contribute to this situation.
One of the most valuable types of intellectual talent for both
society and the individual is mathematical reasoning ability. It
undergirds much of current achievement in technology, science,
and social science. Usually this ability is poorly assessed by in-school
mathematics tests, because often they consist of a mixture of computation,
learned concepts, and reasoning. Also, it is difficult to
measure mathematical reasoning ability until the young student has
acquired enough knowledge of elementary general mathematics
with which to reason. The basic content of the test items must be
fairly well known so that reasoning can be the chief trait measured.
Since the last yearbook of the National Society for the Study
of Education in which secondary-school programs for the gifted
and the talented were discussed, several significant changes in the
larger society have required rethinking of some of the programs
described there. Most striking perhaps is a strong egalitarian mood,
which led to the dismantling of many special schools for highly
able students throughout the country. Some of these have, of
course, survived (for example, the Bronx High School of Science),
and recently there have been some indications that renewed efforts
in this direction can be anticipated. By and large, however, plans to
facilitate effectively the education of the highly able student at the
secondary level are currently required to operate within comprehensive,
nonselective high schools. Some private schools remain an
exception to this trend, and this issue will be discussed in more
Shortly after World War I, the Education Committee of the
Cleveland Women's City Club became convinced that able children
in the Cleveland Public Schools were not being sufficiently challenged
and that, as a result, the nation was being deprived of some
of its most valuable assets. At the same time, Florence Hungerford,
a general supervisor in the Cleveland school system, established the
first class for gifted children in grades four, five, and six at the
Denison Elementary School. On learning of these efforts, the
Women's City Club joined forces with the school system and the
Major Work Program was born.
The Governor's School of North Carolina is a summer residential
school for exceptionally talented secondary-school youth.
The school originated in 1963 as one of several innovative educational
developments stemming from the office of the then Governor
Terry Sanford. As Special Assistant to the Governor, novelist John Ehle, a devotee of the arts in his native state, developed and proposed
the idea of the Governor's School.
In the score of years since publication in 1958 of the fifty-seventh
yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education
on education of the gifted, higher education witnessed a surge
of interest in academic excellence followed by a student protest
movement with a powerful egalitarian drive. The same period saw
an enormous outpouring of government and private funds in the
interest of first-rate scholarship, followed by a shrinking of financial
support that threatened the continued existence, let alone the quality,
of major public and independent colleges and universities.
Through this all, interest in superior students reached its apogee in
the early 1960s, fell to a nadir in the early 1970s, and shows signs
of revival at the end of the decade. Fortunately, many programs
that began in the 1950s and 1960s laid down viable roots and persevered.
It has been our point of view—and this is consistent with a behavioristic framework—that we could develop procedures to help
these children overcome their pathological behaviors and develop
healthy ones without having to postulate an underlying process
such as autism. Instead, we have thought that we may be able to
isolate the controlling conditions for each one of these behaviors,
taken one at a time. We may then find that some of these behaviors
interact in the sense that if you change one behavior, certain others
will change concurrently.
Behavior modification was first incorporated into the teaching
of the retarded child in the early 1960s. Now, a little more than
ten years later, it is considered by many ranking educators to be
the approach with the greatest promise. This chapter will
(a) describe briefly the theoretical and methodological foundations
of this approach, (b) present a behavior analysis of the retarded
child, (c) describe the behavioral concept of teaching (and training)
the retarded child, (d) describe examples of programs based
on behavior analysis, and (e) discuss some problems and issues.
For decades thoughtful leaders in America have held that education
should be looked upon as a process in which the greatest development
of each child and youth is sought in accord with his unique
nature and needs. Although marked progress has been made, this
worthy goal has not been achieved.
In the first chapter of this yearbook, the committee differentiated
between the terms "educationally retarded" and "disadvantaged."
The members of the committee were aware of the large variety of
terms used to describe these groups. The committee believes
that these presentations will provide a helpful background for reading
the chapters of the yearbook which contain descriptions of programs.
Over the years, Americans with little wealth, power, and prestige have
been tagged with such interchangeable labels as socially (or culturally)
"disadvantaged," "depressed," "deprived," "disinherited,"
"disenfranchised," "alienated," "underprivileged,'' and ''handicapped."
These euphemisms connote a tradition of public sympathy
for the underdog, perhaps even some embarrassment over his plight.
More recently, however, passive good will has given way to a nearmilitant
crusade to banish intergroup inequity and to affirm
The members of the committee for the yearbook, The Educationally
Retarded and Disadvantaged, recommended that a description
be included of the remarkably successful program developed
in the Army for "functionally illiterate" soldiers during World War
II. The committee members believed also that the principles derived
from this work would prove especially applicable and helpful
in our efforts to cope with the problems of the disadvantaged today.
The identification and diagnosis of the educational needs of retarded
and disadvantaged children and youth assume special significance
in this day of great concern for the conservation of human
talent. It cannot be denied that talent has been wasted and that only
in recent years has it been widely accepted that much of this waste is
found in the group known as the educationally retarded and disadvantaged.
They have been neglected less, perhaps, from lack of concern
than from a lack of understanding them.
An important aspect of the massive efforts of the 196o's to improve
the education of those segments of our population least well served
by our system of free compulsory education is the emergence of a
new educational purpose. "Compensatory education," a term introduced
in the middle of this decade to describe a variety of special
programs for disadvantaged children and youth, is descriptive of this
new aim-to compensate for those environmental deficits in society
and in the school which retard and limit the educational progress of
the children of the poor.
Early childhood is a period of rapid growth. Changes, some of
which are the greatest that occur in the total development of the individual,
become evident as the child manifests differences in physical
appearance and abilities and develops, in a few short years, a
multiplicity of complicated skills and behavior patterns. Some developmental
tasks, such as walking, running, jumping, and talking,
emerge dramatically and can be observed readily as they are initiated
and refined. Feelings, attitudes, and concepts, which are personality
components, are also engendered by early experiences but may evolve
relatively unnoticed due to their less perceptible nature.
The role of the elementary school in the education of the disadvantaged
child is crucial. The child enters school at five or six
years of age already fairly well established in the pattern of his life.
His accomplishments in the first few years of life will seldom be
matched in quantity and quality by those of any other comparable
span of time. He has entered the world as an extremely unfinished
product, utterly helpless and utterly dependent. In a very few years
he has become relatively independent, having mastered the complicated
tasks of walking, of talking, of communicating through behavior
and through language. He is well on the way from his earlier
complete egocentricity toward accepting socialization. These are the
expected accomplishments of the child whose environment is favorable
to his growth and development.
What are the basic provisions and programs on the
secondary level that are beginning to meet the needs of educationally
In America today, the school dropout looms as one of the nation's
major problems. Presidents of the United States, Congress, governors,
labor and business officials, educators, social workers, and juvenile
court judges have expressed their concern publicly and frequently.
Yet, the school-dropout problem has been with us a long time; in
fact, it is only slightly less ancient than the schools themselves.
This chapter will present (a) a general appraisal of the setting for
community programs; (b) reasons for the community-school approach;
(c) an organizational plan designed to carry out community-centered
programs; and (d) plans for working with the retarded and
Today, most children in the econ01nically advanced and technologically
developed countries take education at all levels for
granted. Education is compulsory, and there are adequate resources
to provide enough schools, teachers, and teaching materials for all
the children of all people. Yet, even in the United States of America,
there is still much to be done in backward areas of the country
where education has long been substandard.
Attention is focused in this chapter on administrative problems and
procedures in urban school systems. Special attention is given to
administration in relation to the education of the educationally retarded
and disadvantaged in such systems. We are aware that such
pupils are found in rural areas and small towns, and much that will
be said applies equally to schools in small communities. However,
because the vast majority of the pupil population in the United
States live in cities (it is estimated that 70 per cent of the population
live in urban areas), and because we plan to present as many specifics
in this paper as space permits, we chose to stress the problems and
procedures in city school systems.
The areas of greatest concern to administrators, as they view the
role of teachers, frequently encompass a range of behavior that can
be subsumed under the rubric, morale. This is especially true when
they work with teachers in depressed urban areas, and most observers
have stressed the presence of low morale among these teachers.
In the yearbook, we have, of course, included descriptions of only
a limited number of programs extending from preschool through
the adult levels. We believe that these programs reflect the best
features of present practice and, hence, provide a helpful resource
for persons seeking to improve current practice or to inaugurate
We sought, also, to indicate the effectiveness of the programs and
practices. This was attempted through descriptions of accomplishments
in accord with the varied purposes of each undertaking.
The last yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education to deal with social deviancy was issued in 1948. That yearbook was based on the state of knowledge, both as to theory and technology, in the period ending with World War II. Much of what was then believed true has stood the test of time. Yet, there has been enough significant new knowledge, enough changes in the play of social forces, and enough experience with new programs to warrant a thorough re-examination of the field of social deviancy as it relates to education.
There is an earnestness about social criticism that renders it unpalatable to those who are in positions of responsibility for carrying out day-to-day programs, probably because it challenges the efficacy of many program activities. It seems, therefore, the duty of the critic to point out that problem-centered discussion must, by its nature, accentuate the negative. Since this chapter seeks to present some of the data relevant to the developmental problems of adolescents in the United States, it does not deal with the functional aspects of the social structure. Obviously, such a narrow focus may seem to distort issues. By way of demurrer, the reader is asked to keep in mind that the generalizations contained in the chapter, in most cases, apply to a minority of the population. The problems described are real and urgent, but if they ever come to involve the majority of youth, the resulting social upheaval would make such relatively calm discussion all but impossible.
In order to understand social maladjustment, it is useful to see it against the perspective of deviancy. Social maladjustment is an undesirable form of deviancy. However, there are desirable forms of deviancy. Therefore, it is useful to consider the various forms of deviancy that are shown by children and youth, including the various forms of social maladjustment. Some of these forms of deviancy should be encouraged by the educational process. The purpose of this chapter is to take a comprehensive look at deviancy and to indicate why certain forms of deviancy are undesirable and should be reduced by education.
Since juvenile delinquency and other forms of socially deviant conduct are largely the product of social forces, both our understanding of such phenomena and our efforts to cope with them must of necessity be largely influenced by sociological theory. It is the purpose of the present chapter to review realistically the present status of sociological thought.
The primary problem which all these groups, small and large, face is to maintain and enhance the social and individual goals of their members. To accomplish this, groups organize and maintain institutions—organizational arrangements of living governed by rules, customs, rituals, laws, and values. In addition to the problems which each group or society has in the administration of these organizational arrangements of living, it has the job of educating its children to function within the changing boundaries of these customs, rules, and laws. Societies seek continuity of goals, values, and their way of life. Yet, they recognize that technological and social change requires that flexibility and skill be taught to the young so that they, in turn, can modify and adapt their human institutions to their problems and needs.
There appear to he two major aspects of career development which hear on the achievement of a satisfactory identity as a worker: (1) identification as a male with an orientation toward work as an essential adult function; and (2) opportunity to try out this identification in various role-playing situations that facilitate the development of values and instrumental behaviors appropriate to the identification.