Historical Context, Professional Authority, and Discourses of Risk: Child Guidance and Special Education
by John Richardson — 2002
This paper compares the problem of social maladjustment addressed during the child guidance movement of the 1920s and 1930s with the issue of minority overrepresentation revealed in the late 1960s and persisting to the present. Both exhibit similarities as discourses of educational risk that shaped the conception of problems facing youth and influenced the mode of professional intervention. The specific focus of the paper, however, is the contrast in the directional fate of each: Although child guidance became increasingly narrowed to a portion of the middle-class, school-age population, special education broadened its jurisdiction and has helped to shape a view of full inclusion in public education. The contrast in response to challenges that threatened professional authority is identified as the critical difference that accounts for the divergent paths taken.
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