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Remove from our midst these unfortunates : a historical inquiry into the influence of eugenics, educational… Thomson, Gerald E. 1999

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REMOVE FROM OUR MIDST THESE UNFORTUNATES: A Historical Inquiry Into the Influence of Eugenics, Educational Efficiency as well as Mental Hygiene Upon the Vancouver School System and Its Special Classes, 1910-1969. by GERALD E. THOMSON B.A., Simon Fraser University, 1979 Teacher's Certificate, Simon Fraser University, 1979 M.A., Simon Fraser University, 1992 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Educational Studies) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard: THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA March 1999 © Gerald E. Thomson, 1999 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of &z4ucexMotngC S-f'Lics/l&s' The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date H Q K < ^ 2 3 , ( ^ f t y ? . DE-6 (2/88) - 1 1 -ABSTRACT This is a history of special education in the Vancouver school system from 1911 to 1969. Special education is taken in the broadest sense to mean all forms of school instruction specifically created to depart from the preparation of a pupil for matriculation or academic graduation. The historical course of school reform in Vancouver was driven by the need to accommodate children who traditionally left school for work when they became too old for their grade placement. However, in a general sense, this history documents the evolution of the Vancouver school system itself from the early to mid-twentieth century and the forces which lay behind various aspects of school reform. The special classes for subnormal students was the first reform effort to deal with non-traditional pupils or feeble-minded school children as found by the second school doctor after 1910. This, in turn, led to the hiring of an American psychologist from Seattle, Washington, to find a new type of feeble-minded child, the higher-grade moron, in order to expand the special classes even further. The psychologist introduced mental testing into Vancouver's schools and helped to create a climate of acceptance for such scientific innovations in education. This study reveals the important role a group of principals played in promoting education reform within Vancouver's schools. They began to take courses at the University of Washington during the early 1920s and helped to popularize many facets of American educational efficiency. Platooning, mental testing, differential high school curriculum organized into vocational/academic tracks, and the expansion of the special classes for subnormal children acted to organize, as well as categorize, large numbers of students in order to achieve educational efficiency. The creation of the Bureau of Measurements in 1927 and the opening of Kitsilano Junior High in 1928 represented the culmination of this effort to bring scientific efficiency to the schools of Vancouver. The influence of the 1925 Putman/Weir Survey of the School System must - 1 1 1 -be re-evaluated in light of the evidence this study presents regarding the transmission of ideas from the Seattle school system and the University of Washington to Vancouver. The study also elucidates two other intellectual forces that propelled school reform in Vancouver. American educational efficiency has already been mentioned. Eugenics and the promotion of its principles by the first special education teacher, the first woman to chair the School Board, and the Local Council of Women had long-term consequences. The eugenic rationale for the segregation of subnormal school children became entrenched in educational policies of the school system itself. The forced institutionalization of the feebleminded, as well as their sterilization, were legalized under provincial statutes. Mental hygiene was officially introduced to Vancouver's schools in 1939 and was dispensed by the first clinical psychiatrist who remained in his position of authority until retiring in 1969. As head of the Mental Hygiene Division of the Metropolitan Health Services during the post-Second World War period the psychiatrist began training counsellors to deal with mentally-troubled youths. Archival data shows that most of these troubled youths were from the working-class east side of the city as opposed to the wealthier west side. What emerges is a historical pattern emerges of discrimination against various types of exceptional students who had to be removed from the midst of the regular classroom. This study encompasses the scope of school reorganization in Vancouver during the period 1911 to 1969 through various special education reforms. It traces the erosion of traditional education but also attempts to reveal the conservative nature of the enacted school reforms. The differentiation, segregation and labelling of students in order to educate them according to their natural intellectual ability was on the surface educationally progressive. In the end this study will show these practices to be more bureaucratic solutions than reformist measures. -IV-TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract pp.ii-iii Table of Contents pp.iv-v List of Tables List of Figures pp.vii-ix Acknowledgement p.x PART I: Education as Social and Scientific Management pp.1-3 CHAPTER ONE pp.4-35 "To Single Out Little Tots": Eugenics and the Creation of Special Classes for Subnormal Children within the Public Education Systems of North America. CHAPTER TWO • pp.3 6-74 "Sorting the Students": Differentiating the American School Population During the Early Twentieth Century. CHAPTER THREE pp.75-122 Mental Hygiene in Canada: Medical Doctors and Educational Psychologists Differentiate the Canadian School Population. PART II: pp.123-125 The Impact of Eugenics and Mental Hygiene Upon the Vancouver School System as Seen Through the Medical Doctors, Teachers, Psychologists and Psychiatrists Who Managed the Pupil Population. CHAPTER FOUR pp.12 6-149 Evaluating the Physical and Mental Condition of the Race: The Medical Influence of Dr. F. W. Brydone-Jack and Miss Elizabeth Breeze, R.N., upon the Vancouver School System. CHAPTER FIVE pp.150-208 Special Classes With a "Special Teacher": Miss Josephine Dauphinee and Her Supervision of the Special Classes System from 1911 to 1941. CHAPTER SIX pp.209-252 The Psychological Clinic and the Psychometricians: Miss Martha Lindley, Miss Ruby Kerr and Dr. Peter Sandiford. -V-CHAPTER SEVEN pp.253-299 "A Man Who is Fond of Charts and of Children" : Robert Straight and the Bureau of Measurements - Quantifying the Pupil Population from 1927 to 1951. CHAPTER EIGHT pp.300-340 "The Aim of Mental Hygiene is Not an Attempt to Coddle Children": Dr. C. H. Gundry and the Mental Hygiene Division of the Vancouver School Board, 1939-1969. CONCLUSION pp.341-348 BIBLIOGRAPHY pp.349-368 APPENDIX I; Vancouver's Special Classes 1910-1941 p p . 3 6 9 - 3 9 4 APPENDIX H i Chart of Special Class Growth 1910-1941 p.395 APPENDIX III: Special Class Size and Pupil/Teacher Ratio 1910-1941 pp.396-397 -VI-LIST OF TABLES TABLE 1 American Army Tests: Years of schooling for officers and draftees, 1918. p. 56a TABLE 2 IQ ranges and IQ comparisons of Vancouver students by parental occupation, 1925. p.109a TABLE 3 IQ ranges and values of Negro and White students in Kent County, Ontario, 1939. p. 113a TABLE 4 Distribution of Intelligence Quotients (Terman Group Test-Form A) of Grade 8 pupils, June 1927. p.186a TABLE 5 IQ comparisons of Vancouver High School, Normal School and University students by parental occupation, 1925. p. 238a TABLE 6 IQs of Vancouver Japanese and Chinese pupils, 1926. p. 241a TABLE 7 Distribution of Intelligence Quotients (Terman Group Test-Form A) of Grade 8 pupils, June 1927. p.281a TABLE 8 A g e - G r a d e T a b l e , V a n c o u v e r S c h o o l s , S e p t e m b e r 1 s t , 1 9 2 7 . p . 282a -Vll-LIST OF FIGURES FIGURE 1 Cincinnati's Problem, 1915. FIGURE 2 Courtis Pupil Records, 1913. FIGURE 3 The Evolution of the American Public School, 1919. p.17a p.49a p.52a FIGURE 4 Manual Training Classroom, Vineland Training School. p.60a FIGURE 5 H. H. Goddard's Kallikak genealogy, 1912 FIGURE 6 Steps in Mental Development, 1914 FIGURE 7 Public Hospital for the Insane, New Westminster, 1920. p. 61a p. 86a p.95a FIGURE 8 Peter Sandiford's ray diagram of mental development, 1913. p.104a FIGURE 9 The interrelationship of various types of schools, 1918. p.106a FIGURE 10 The physical examination of pupils in a Vancouver classroom, 1911. p.135a FIGURE 11 Vancouver School Medical Staff, 1912 FIGURE 12 Vancouver Special Class photographs, 1919, FIGURE 13 Special Class exhibition, 1919 FIGURE 14 Works of. Special Class pupils at the Pacific National Exhibition, 1922. p. 137a p. 163a p. 174a p. 177a FIGURE '15 Special Class Time Table, 1921. FIGURE 16 Central School photograph, 1890, FIGURE 17 Photograph of Miss A. Josephine Dauphinee, 1928, p.180a p.189a p.199a -Vlll-FIGURE 18 Group portrait of the Vancouver Board of School p.217a Trustees, 1918-1919. FIGURE 19 Observation Class and Special Class photographs, p.224a 1920. FIGURE 2 0 Advertisement - Second Annual Convention of the p.225a Child Welfare Association of B.C., 1919. FIGURE 21 Advertisement - University of Washington Summer p.258a Quarter, 1923. FIGURE 22 Photographs of Robert Straight and Herbert p.264a Baxter King. FIGURE 23 Thorndike-McCall Reading Test, January 1929, p.284a Grades 3B-9 inclusive, Vancouver, B.C. FIGURE 24 Cartoon of Robert Straight, 1933. p.287a FIGURE 25 Metropolitan Health Committee organizational p.309a plan, 1937. FIGURE 26 Photograph of Dr. Charles Hegler Gundry, 1939. p.312a FIGURE 27 Map of the Vancouver School System as of 1936. p.317a FIGURE 28 Vancouver School Board: Special Invitation p.324a to Principals and Teachers, April 28, 1954. -IX-ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I would like to acknowledge all those who made the completion of this dissertation possible. The support of Dr. J. Donald Wilson, my principal advisor, was crucial to helping me focus and complete this project in a timely fashion. I would also like to thank the other members of my committee. Dr. William Bruneau and Dr. Stephen Petrina for their efforts. Additional thanks to Dr. Charles Ungerleider and Dr. Neil Sutherland for their comments while actively involved in this project. Aside from my academic advisors I would like to thank Mrs. Eileen Thomson for her dedication in typing this dissertation and Miss Corinne Douglas for constructing the Appendices from my raw data. May the research contained in this project benefit and inform all those who read these pages. -1-PART I; Education as Social and Scientific Management: The first part of this dissertation is a theoretical outline of the ideological forces at work within the field of North American education during the early twentieth century. In the course of investigating the history of the special education classes which developed in the Vancouver school system from 1910 to the 1960s, it became increasingly apparent that little true understanding could be gained unless a certain amount of background was provided. A variety of social forces propelled the actions of the individuals who built the special class system, the psychological clinic, the educational measurement bureau and the mental hygiene or psychiatric division within the Vancouver school system. Under present-day circumstances their actions might seem rather eccentric or extreme. However, all of the social forces that influenced these individuals can be firmly located within the broader ideological environment of progressive social reform prevalent during the early twentieth century. One of the main thrusts of the American progressive movement was an attempt to manage social problems out of existence. This effort found expression in a mechanistic type of public education that invoked the Deweyan vision of educating the individual for a democratic society. A rational and scientific system of public education emerged which sorted school children into different streams or curriculum tracks based upon their supposed innate mental ability. Intelligence testing was refined through the classification of soldiers in the American Army during World War One and in turn became a practical device to manage large urban school systems in the 1920s. A differentiated curriculum was devised in the high schools of North America composed of an academic stream for children of high ability, a vocational stream for the average to dull children, and a segregated program of special classes for slow learners -2-or mentally challenged children who were referred to at the time as the "feebleminded". It was a school system based upon the scientifically discerned intellectual worth of human beings. It also claimed to support the child-centred vision of public education as found in John and Evelyn Dewey's Schools of To-Morrow (1915). The first chapter in this part of the dissertation provides evidence of a link between eugenics and special education policy in North America during the early twentieth century. The selection of subnormal children on a scientific basis for the special classes and the institutional segregation of the feebleminded were primarily based in eugenics, a social rationale embraced by many social radicals of the day from across the political spectrum. The second chapter describes two movements in early twentieth century North American education that had definite links to the eugenic movement: educational efficiency and intelligence testing. Taking the premise of endless factory production from efficiency measures outlined by Frederick W. Taylor in his famous business studies, the new academic leaders of educational administration at several universities envisioned the school principal as an "educational engineer". The wise engineer/principal ran his factory/school by dividing the workforce/students into differentiated curriculum streams according to their intellectual ability or social worth using the new intelligence tests. Maximum utilization of each student's mental potential was the goal of these efficiency measures; however, those judged inferior received decidedly less consideration. Teachers had little individual control over such a highly regimented educational system with formalized teaching practices. The final chapter in this first part of the dissertation addresses the creation of the special class system in Canada's schools which was largely the product of the emerging "mental hygiene" movement in education. Canada's impetus for the creation of these special classes came largely from medical doctors directly involved in the system of health inspections conducted -3-by each local school district. The second part of this dissertation will address the individuals who actively promoted the restructuring of the Vancouver school system in accordance with the theoretical arguments of medical classification, eugenics, educational efficiency and mental hygiene. The reader must have some degree of familiarity with these arguments in order to grasp the willingness of the Vancouver School Board to create a special class system for subnormal children in 1910 without the benefit of provincial funding. These special classes continued to expand over the next half century. The School Board's sense of social conviction about the necessity of such mental hygiene measures in public education must have been extremely strong. -4-CHAPTER ONE "To Single Out Little Tots"; Eugenics and the Creation of Special Classes for Subnormal Children within the Public Education Systems of North America. i. Introduction: In 1929 as the Great Depression was about to begin the Mayor of New York City, Fiorello La Guardia, spoke to a conference of educators who taught "subnormal" children. Not known to express his views in a polite and indirect manner, the populist La Guardia was blunt in his criticism. He stated: "There is nothing more repulsive to me and nothing more unwarranted than to single out little tots, under 12, put them in a separate room and label them...". 1 His remarks reveal that a very profound change had occurred in North American education during the early twentieth century, namely the infiltration of the scientific view of the child as a biological organism which could be classified by mental ability. This subject, the historical influence of psychology upon the conduct of public education, is an area of scholarship that has received uneven attention in both Canada and the United States. The literature is divided between works which focus upon "mental hygiene", or the broad application of psychology principles to educational concerns of childhood such as health education and "eugenics", or the active promotion of specific measures to segregate the mentally unfit while encouraging the mentally superior to dominate society. In the United States Sol Cohen has studied the propagation of mental hygiene as a social, educational and public health policy in public institutions such as schools from the 1920s to the 1940s. He emphasizes that these educational initiatives were funded through the financial support of the Rockefeller Foundation. 2 Theresa Richardson has attempted to construct a comprehensive history of mental hygiene as a distinct social policy in North America that was promoted by both the Canadian and American National Committees for Mental Hygiene. 3 Angus McLaren chose eugenics as the focus for his study of how the science of -5-the well-born directly affected Canadian government policies on public health, immigration, the medical treatment of the mentally subnormal and educational matters such as sex hygiene. 4 Eugenics has been cited by numerous American writers as a specific factor influencing social policy in such areas as public health measures, immigration and education. Donald Pickens examined American eugenics as being an appendage of the American progressive movement which directly affected such academic fields as educational psychology and, in particular, the works of Edward L. Thorndike. 5 In a more comprehensive study of American eugenics, Daniel J. Kevles sought to show how the movement was a decidedly nativistic product of the professional middle classes who used its scientific mandate of race betterment to shape public policy during the decades between the two World Wars. 6 Mark H. Haller used hereditarianism as the basis for his volume on the link between the American eugenic/genetics movement of the interwar period and the social Darwinism of the late nineteenth century. 7 Hamilton Cravens makes the valid point that many eugenic social initiatives in the United States were an extension of hereditarian ideas originally fostered by Social Darwinism. Cravens also explored the eugenic biases which existed during the creation of the first dubious scientific measures of intelligence in America and the dominance of hereditarian theory over environmental causation. 8 The now classic volume on American eugenics, intelligence testing and, indirectly, mental hygiene is Stephen Jay Gould's expose of the fraudulent scientific claims of early genetic theories of intelligence and the social wrongs committed under its auspices. 9 Diane B. Paul believes this tantalizing preoccupation with controlling human heredity is what first created and continues to empower science's concern with America's genetic destiny. 10 In a work that does not focus upon the United States, Mark B. Adams convincingly shows how the eugenic preoccupations were a truly international phenomenon during the twentieth -6-century. However, there are few links made in any of the works on North American eugenics and mental hygiene to the practice of public education. A notable exception is Steve Selden's work on how eugenic ideas became a part of the high school biology curriculum in the United States from 1919 to 1949. 11 Also Cohen and Richardson demonstrate how mental hygiene, through the financial backing of the Rockefeller Foundation, was implemented in the public school system. Yet the eugenic, and later, mental hygiene preoccupations of such educational projects as special classes for subnormal students appear to be generally overlooked despite being a widespread reality from 1900 onward in North American public school systems. In a recent article by Mona Gleason about the post-Second World War educational paradigm created by the influence of psychology on schooling practices in Canada, exactly the same point is posited. Psychology is described by Gleason as "a force largely unexplored in Canadian educational history". 12 This is a very accurate appraisal of the situation with the exception of some recent volumes by Margaret Winzer, James Trent, Jr., Barry Franklin and Leila Zenderland. 13 Winzer provides a very comprehensive history of special education; Trent focuses on the creation of the menace of the feebleminded; Franklin critiques the medical model from which the modern field of learning disabilities arose and Zenderland examines the role of Henry Herbert Goddard in popularizing intelligence testing. All of the volumes focus on the United States with the exception of Winzer's. Winzer and Trent, Jr. do give credence to the eugenics movement and its effect on special education. However, in this dissertation both eugenics and mental hygiene will be placed in a central position in order to understand how these social/scientific philosophies affected the daily practices of many fields of public activity and, in particular, education. Sheila Martineau has called this flirtation between the eugenics movement and -7-the educational state a "dangerous liaison" of "puritanical proportions" which inflicted "a tyranny of social controls" over the "lives of disadvantaged children". 14 In many ways this encapsulates what my dissertation is about; first, the infiltration of eugenic and mental hygiene ideas on a broad scale within academic/medical theory and second, the use of those same ideas on a purely local scale as regards the Vancouver school system. This first chapter concerns the scientific underpinnings of special education and the singling out of "little tots" as a new sub-species of human being, the subnormal child. ii. Francis Galton and the Eugenic Impulse to Categorize: Eugenics began as a practical proposal to transfer the genetic manipulation techniques used on domestic animals and plants, as in stock breeding or plant hybridization, to the genetic improvement of the human species. A cousin of Charles Darwin, Francis Galton, first proposed that nature could be manipulated in the case of human beings to breed for better characteristics (positive eugenics), and alternatively by restricting reproduction to phase out undesirable genetic characteristics (negative eugenics) . Galton used the Greek word "eugenes", meaning "good in stock" and coined the term eugenics to describe what he envisioned as the science of the well-born. Galton's first volume on the subject. Hereditary Genius (1869) made the pronouncement that mental abilities were stable and transmitted over time as mental traits. This supposed fact was later stressed in his Inguiries into Human Faculty and Its Development (1883) and Natural Inheritance (1889) . Angus McLaren states that Galton "was the first to assert that 'intelligence' was a scientifically meaningful concept and that it was inheritable". 15 Galton's work gave scientific credence to the commonly held notions of the populace that some people or families were simply "born bad" and that certain races had a propensity for intellectual capacity, while others were suited to physical labour requiring little mental effort. In fact Galton states bluntly in his Inguiries volume that -8-eugenics would "give to the more suitable races or strains of blood a better chance of prevailing speedily over the less suitable" races of man. Eugenics was more than just a descriptive term for "judicious mating" and provided "a neater word" for capturing a planned program of social "viriculture". 16 Galton prided himself on the almost God-given ability he possessed to judge individuals of either sex by their desirable traits. He loved to create tallies of the various types of people he saw as he walked the streets or observed groups of people in public places. McLaren relates how Galton described this process in his own words: Whenever I have occasion to classify the persons I meet into three classes, "good, medium and bad", I use.a needle mounted as a pricker, wherewith to prick holes, unseen, in a piece of paper, torn rudely into a cross with a long leg. I use the upper end for "good", the cross arm for "medium", the lower end for "bad". The prick holes keep distinct, and are readily read off at leisure. 17 After 1906 the mantle of eugenics would be passed by Galton to Karl Pearson who he personally approved as the first head of the Biometric Laboratory at University College, London. The Biometric Laboratory had been established through generous funding from Galton and his wealthy followers. Pearson gave statistics a prominent place in the eugenic study of human populations and their mental abilities. He eventually became Director of the Galton Laboratory for National Eugenics but also held the directorship of the Department of Applied Statistics. Pearson's main contribution to posterity was to describe the normal distribution curve. Using data from school teachers about the mental ability of their students from several descriptive categories as "very dull", "slow", "quick", "intelligent" and the like, Pearson found that most populations of school children would form a characteristic curve of mental capacity. There were small pupil populations at the low and high ends of the curve where it rose and descended, with the bulk of students lying in a broad range of normal ability forming the curve's central rise. This data was not obtained with the new Binet-Simon mental tests -9-as Kevles has pointed out but rather from the subjective opinions of British school teachers. 18 Pearson shared with Galton a driving passion to remake the social order on the basis of heredity. In 1898 when he received word of Pearson's statistical discovery, Galton declared that: "We shall make something of heredity at last". 19 Pearson, along with Galton, seemed to have regarded school children as the raw material for eugenic discoveries and the nation's race destiny. They were a captive population for experimentation and classification which served Pearson's research purposes in discerning the normal curve of mental abilities in any sample population. Children were, depending upon their social and mental backgrounds, also representatives of the nation's intellectual assets or future security. Galton advised that the "worth of children" could only be achieved by eugenic selection when he declared: The brains of the nation lie in the higher of our classes. If such people as would be classed W or X could be distinguishable as children and procurable by money in order to be reared as Englishmen, it would be a cheap bargain for the nation to buy them at the rate of many hundred or some thousands of pounds per head. 2 0 While Galton believed in giving minimal training in good habits and character to all children, the eugenic project seemed to demand the devotion of educational resources primarily to a group of selected children. It was a social strategy the principal aim of which was to find ways of "reducing the undesirables" while "increasing those who would become the lights of the nation". 21 Galton's eugenics introduced the concept of social selection for educational purposes and Pearson followed this with a statistical theory concerning the distribution of mental ability within any given population. This finding would later be replicated through the widespread usage of the Binet-Simon mental tests to rank school children. The eugenic project contained an educational component from its very inception under Galton. iii. The Continuity of the Germ Plasm: -10-Galton's eugenic ideas remained speculative at best until they were "taken up and made scientifically respectable by Karl Pearson", writes Angus McLaren. 22 Pearson's initial scientific investigations into such physical characteristics as differing statures, eye colours, fertility and longevity eventually led him into the varying mental capacities of human beings. Pearson proved in mathematic terms the theory of correlation that Galton had only suggested could gauge human intelligence. It was now possible to create idealized achievement rankings or centiles of mental ability within designated ranges of normality. After 1884 the "r" coefficient and other statistical innovations provided the "tools" with which "psychologists could express their findings". 23 Galton, as McLaren points out, resented genetics as it allowed for random biological variation. What Galton and Pearson were seeking through the science of biometrics was to detect the inheritance of fixed characteristics among human beings, including mental ability. 24 The biological/genetic theory that Galton and Pearson required to support their biometric paradigm appeared in 1892. It immediately provided eugenics with a supposedly solid underpinning of scientific validity. In 1892 a German cytologist or cell biologist named August Weismann (1834-1914) published The Germ Plasm; A Theory of Heredity and the English translation appeared only one year later in 1893. The theory held that all characteristics of an organism are inherited through the germinal cells which environmental influences could not alter from generation to generation. Weismann opposed the "pangenesis" of Darwin which held that all cells of the body contribute to an organism's reproductive traits. Instead he believed that like plants and animals human beings reproduced through "blasto-genesis" or from a fixed set of characteristics carried from one generation to another. Weismann believed "the offspring owes its origin to a peculiar substance of extremely complicated structure...the germ plasm.". The germ plasm "can -11-never be formed anew; it can only grow, multiply, and be transmitted from one generation to another". 25 Essentially it was the first theory to recognize the nature of modern genetics, although the genetic code of DNA would not be discovered until the 1960s by Crick, Wilkins and Watson. Contemporary genetics is only now identifying the gene abnormalities that lead to specific disorders such as cystic fibrosis, as well as making inquiries into the possible transmission of gene defects which could result in the development of mental diseases such as schizophrenia. However imprecise Weismann's theory was, in the light of present day genetics it did fundamentally alter how evolution and human reproduction were regarded. In fact Haller (1963) believes that Weismann's theory of "hereditary determiners" being "lodged in the chromosomes of the germ cells" imbued eugenics with a scientific finality which seriously challenged environmentalism. 26 This directly opposed the conception of the child as an organism which learns from experience and thus seriously challenges a fundamental premise of education, the providing of enriching activities to each child. The emphasis on a natural education full of rich and varied experiences had been central to such early theorists of education as Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (1746-1827), Friedrich Froebel (1782-1852) and Johann Friedrich Herbart (1776-1841). Educators could guide the growth of a child's mind by fostering the dynamic interplay of the child with the world around him, a cherished ideal since Jean Jacques Rosseau's Emile (17 62) . The growth of kindergartens as promoted by Froebel and the value placed on play as natural education became central innovations in the field of education during the late nineteenth century. The child-centered movement of Granville Stanley Hall which dominated American education in the early twentieth century was based upon naturalism. It depended upon the child passing from a stage of presavagery to civilization through the "normal stimulus" of such influences as formal education. Hall's student, John Dewey, took the preparatory function of -12-education further and made the school into an "embryonic community" for the larger society. The overall goal was to encourage individual achievement and thus social improvement which made Dewey's ideas extremely attractive to activists within the progressive education movement. The biological view of the child as an organism with specific inherited traits and a predetermined intellectual potential was perversely wedded to educational theories such as Dewey's which stressed natural development. 27 Meritocratic practices in public education were thus scientifically supported and social class determinism naturalized. Weismann's description of human offspring as biological products discouraged the view that education could significantly alter an individual's destiny. He wrote: The type of child is determined by the parental and maternal ids contained in the corresponding germ-cells meeting together in the process of fertilisation, and the blending of parental and ancestral characteristics is thus predetermined, and cannot become easily modified by subsequent influences. The facts relating to identical twins and to plant-hybrids prove that this is so. 28 Weismann himself did not seek to link his theory of the continuity of the germ plasm to eugenics. However, eugenists such as Karl Pearson were quick to make a connection, for upon reading the volume in 18 92 Pearson wrote that Weismann's theory proved that "the bad stock can never be converted into good stock -- then we see how grave a responsibility is cast at the present day upon every citizen, who directly or indirectly has to consider problems relating to the state endowment of education". 29 The eugenic outlook did not necessarily alter how the educational potential of children was regarded but rather gave new scientific credence to traditional practices of social inequality. Some children would need minimal training, while others should have their intellect cultivated through education. Pearson, like his eugenic colleagues in America such as Charles Davenport and Harry Laughlin, was preoccupied with "national fitness" as well as "race progress". To avoid "educational chaos" there should be "a specialized education suited to -13-develop the intelligence of each caste and class". The "great bulk of the population" would require only a vocational education in "craft schools". 30 Pearson's concept of education was that of a scientific instrument by which class formation could be eugenically guided in order to increase the industrial efficiency of society. It was a biologically determined view of education which acted to reinforce traditional class structures in the name of national fitness. The theory of the continuity of the germ plasm acted to change the outlook of those directly involved in the education of the most vulnerable of subnormal children, the mentally challenged. Early psychologists and special education professionals involved in the training of intellectually impaired children often made disparaging remarks about their subjects by invoking Weismann's theory. Subnormal children were simply bad germ plasm. The Scottish psychologist, A.F. Tredgold, feared race decline in Great Britain as at least four per cent of every 1,000 children could be classified as subnormal in intellect. To Tredgold this "condition of germinal impairment" would affect the "aggregate efficiency and capacity of the nation" if not given specific attention through training schemes. 31 The director of the Vineland Training School for subnormal children in New Jersey, Edward R. Johnstone, wrote in 1909 that the inmates of his, as well as other such institutions, "are the representatives of degenerate families". Unless this "stream of degeneracy" is "checked" then society will be overwhelmed with "illegitimate, feeble-minded children" . Johnstone declared: "We are struck by the immense number coming into the world all the time". 32 John Franklin Bobbitt, the prominent instructor of educational administration at the University of Chicago, wrote that if a child "springs from worm-eaten stock" then they are "marred in the original making" and thus not "responsive" to education. 33 Lewis Terman, the Stanford University Professor of Educational Psychology, wrote in 1917 that "Feeble-minded children in the regular classroom" are "a source of -14-moral contagion" who "drag down the standards of achievement for normal children". 34 Psychologist Edward L. Thorndike of Columbia University's Teachers College was most adamant in 1913 that "long before a child begins his schooling" and "long indeed before they are born -- their superiority or inferiority to determined by the constitution of the germs and ova whence they spring". 35 The germ plasm theory allowed eugenics to alter a basic conception of education. Under the biological paradigm of germ plasm a child was trained according to a predetermined level of genetic capability. Children either spring from good or bad human stock and by implication from good or bad germ plasm. Thus eugenics provided a biological rationale for many older forms of social prejudice in education. iv. The Menace of the Feebleminded; In the early part of the twentieth century a campaign was launched that was originally based upon a highly dubious public health argument concerning the mandatory institutionalization, placement in restricted educational settings and eventual forced sterilization of children who were deemed subnormal. The "menace of the feebleminded" campaign lasted from 1890 to the mid-1920s and primarily focused upon the threat to the racial stock posed by the procreation of inferior genetic material. It has only recently been recognized as a social, political and intellectual movement which developed in several distinct stages. James W. Trent, Jr. believes it slowly solidified from 1890 to 1910 and from 1910 to 1920 reached a "hysterical pitch". 36 Before the formulation of Weismann's germ plasm theory in 1892 the education of mentally challenged individuals, or "idiots" as they were commonly called, had been largely confined to physical and task training. This training focus never really disappeared from the field of special education but mentally challenged people were never regarded in the same positive manner after eugenics classified them as bad germ plasm. Edward Seguin was a French educator who began his teaching -15-career in 1840 as an instructor for a class of idiot children. Seguin was not an ordinary teacher as he had studied under Jean-Marc Itard, the famous teacher of the Wild Boy of Aveyron. Seguin, who believed all mentally impaired children could be trained, gained fame as a teacher of idiots at Salpetriere by following the methods of Pestalozzi on "object training". 37 In 1843 he published Hygiene et Education and in 1850 came to the United States after he clashed with French medical authorities. In America his idiot training was praised by Horace Mann and Seguin finally obtained a medical degree. Seguin believed idiocy was divided into two categories, the superficial and the profound or congenital. In the case of superficial idiocy, "basic mental faculties could be stimulated and exercised just like muscles". Education "could overcome atrophy of the nervous system" if there was no permanent malformation. 3 8 After impressive results, Seguin, slowly began to adopt the prevailing medical view that institutionalization provided the most feasible solution to the problem and clearly stated this position in Idiocy (1866). The germ plasm theory discouraged the development of stimulatory education for mentally challenged children as the idiot was now recast as an untrainable, feeble-minded burden on society. The infection of society by bad germ plasm only became a real concern when, due to compulsory school attendance laws, the "crippled, the blind, the deaf, the sick, the slow-witted and the needy arrived in growing numbers" at the doors of public schools. 3 9 The "menace of the feebleminded" movement was a eugenic response by medical and educational professionals to the biological fact of Weismann's germ plasm theory. Total segregation for the worst cases or bad racial stock in institutions was adopted as the first remedy to the feebleminded problem. In a 1909 speech by J.M. Murdoch, Superintendent of the Western Pennsylvania Institution for the Feebleminded, to the National Conference on Charities and Correction it was stated emphatically society needed to "Quarantine Mental Defectives" . -16-40 Margaret Winzer believes the movement emanated from "a handful of influential leaders who elaborated the principles of... eugenics as they sponsored public legislation...directed toward the eradication from society of the delinquent, the defective, and the diseased". 41 Those subnormal children who could be educated might be contained in the new segregated special classes appearing in many North American public school systems. New York created its first special class for "misfit" children at Public School No. 1 in 1899 on Manhattan's Lower East Side. However, the educational innovation which propelled this process was the development of reliable instruments for detecting feeble-minded or backward children in the schools, namely the new Binet-Simon mental tests. Psychologist Henry Herbert Goddard's chance encounter in 1908 with Belgian educator Ovid Decroly precipitated his bringing back to America the 1904 intelligence test developed by Frenchmen Alfred Binet and Theodore Simon for the Parisian school system. While Goddard was at the Vineland Training School for the feebleminded in New Jersey he adapted the test for American children and initiated the moron/imbecile mental categories. In California Lewis Terman, a Stanford educational psychologist, began to renorm the Binet test on California school children in 1913, eventually creating a full revision in 1916. This topic will be addressed in greater detail in the next chapter, but the campaign against the menace of the feebleminded could not have been conducted in the school system without these intelligence tests. Even before the Binet-Simon mental tests had been developed, and during the same year the germ plasm theory was published in English, 1893, a Stanford researcher named Will S. Monroe sent surveys to hundreds of California public school teachers. The survey was published in 1894 and covered 10,842 students, many of whom were found to be either physically or mentally defective. Monroe estimated nine per cent of the sample were mentally dull, two per cent feeble-minded and only six students were -17-imbeciles or idiots. Monroe advised segregated special classes for the defective children as they could not "remain a hinderance to the 90 or more per cent of normal children". 42 Even before the campaign against the "menace of the feebleminded" began, the desire to isolate such exceptional children already existed. The hysteria over the feebleminded was a strange mixture of a genuine desire to help these unfortunates but also put them conveniently out of sight in institutions or special classes. It also reinforced a fear that bad germ plasm was the real cause of social problems like poverty, crime, prostitution, delinquency and drunkenness rather than poor living conditions. Goddard called the feebleminded the "cancerous growth of bad protoplasm". 43 Edward R. Johnstone, the Director of the Vineland School, believed the seemingly growing population of mentally handicapped was a problem which "must be checked" . Johnstone advised the "complete operation" or full sterilization to be the only "entirely satisfactory" solution because partial unsexing, such as male vasectomies, "leaves all of the passions and desires". 44 University of Chicago school administration professor, John Franklin Bobbitt, believed schools were going too far "out of their way to preserve the weak and incapable". 45 Goddard, in particular, took the menace of the feebleminded to its eugenic extremities in his 1912 book entitled The Kallikak Family, A Study in the Heredity of Feeble-Mindedness. The book constructed a pseudo-scientific history of a family with complimentary sane and feebleminded branches. The family was discovered through a female patient, Deborah, who was admitted to Vineland in 1897 and died there in 1978. While researching the Kallikak hoax during the winter of 1983-1984, J. David Smith found a newspaper article concerning the great, great, great-granddaughter of Martin Kallikak, Jr. from the feeble-minded side of the family. She was a distinguished college graduate, despite a heredity of "bad seed" or germ plasm. 46 The "menace of the feebleminded" can be viewed as a deliberate - 1 7 a -F i g u r e 1 : THE FEEBLE-MINDED OR THE HUB TO OUR WHEEL OF VICE, CRIME AND PAUPERISM Cincinnati's Problem A pamphlet distributed by the Juvenile Protective Association of Cincinnati, Ohio in 1915 entitled "Cincinnati's Problem". The message concerning the genetic threat of the feebleminded to the common good of society is dramatically evident. Source; Taken from an illustration in James W. Trent Jr., Inventing the Feeble Mind: A History of Mental Retardation in the United States, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994). -18-attempt at fearmongering by professionals who had vested interests in the institutions and educational systems created to care for these afflicted people. It was the superintendents of various state institutions or asylums who created the American Association for the Study of the Feebleminded. The National Conference of Charities and Corrections became a forum to spread the eugenic version of germ plasm theory that crime, poverty and social problems were essentially genetic in nature. In Canada and the United States the Rockefeller Foundation funded each country's respective National Committees on Mental Hygiene which in turn published reports by medical and psychological experts on the genetic threat of the feebleminded. Goddard and Johnstone were amply supported by laundry soap magnate, Samuel Fels, through the American Association for the Study of the Feebleminded. Goddard and his female assistant, a former school teacher named Miss Kite, used their revised Binet-Simon mental tests to assess Ellis Island immigrants. In 1917 they published their results revealing a rate of 40 to 50 per cent feeblemindedness among immigrants, which served as alarming scientific evidence of a crisis only solved by the restrictive Johnson-Lodge Immigration Act of 1924. 47 The fact that the Governor of New Jersey, Woodrow Wilson, signed a bill in 1911 to authorize both sterilizations and special classes attested to the power of the eugenic argument. 48 Between 1915 and 1918 Alexander Johnson of the Committee on Provision for the Feebleminded lectured in 350 cities across North America about the feebleminded threat, complete with "stereoscopic illustrations", to everyone from the Kiwanis to Sunday School Bible classes. 4 9 The fear of bad germ plasm remained a social preoccupation among many social leaders in North America until the mid-1920s. The "menace of the feebleminded" campaign and its call for social action certainly affected British Columbia. Winzer states that "the eugenic philosophy transcended the Atlantic to impinge the consciousness of Progressives and social reformers in the ...Canadian -19-West". "Influential disciples sponsored and advanced an effort to eradicate from society the ...delinquent, the defective" as a public service to society. 50 McLaren identifies Miss Josephine Dauphinee, the supervisor of Vancouver's special classes for subnormal children, as a vocal proponent of the social segregation and sterilization of the feebleminded during the early 1920s. 51 In fact, during the early 1920s, a Committee on Feeble-Mindedness was created by the British Columbia Teachers Federation (B.C.T.F). The 1928 report of the committee stated there were "some two thousand children of school age in the Province" who "were able to derive only slight, if any, benefit from the regular school curriculum". Feeble-minded children should be immediately removed to special classes in order that "the work of the lightened and the tone of the classroom improved". The data gathered by the committee was compiled from questionnaires sent to schools in the Okanagan Valley, Nanaimo and North Vancouver. Replies from 25 schools with a total enrolment of 5,000 revealed "that almost two per cent (2%) of the school children in these schools are feeble-minded." 52 In 1927 John M. Ewing, principal of Queen Mary School in North Vancouver, had warned B.C.T.F members about "The Moron in Our Midst". "Feeblemindedness", wrote Ewing, "is a characteristic which is inherited in strict accordance to Mendel's Law: the source is to be found in the feebleminded themselves". Only such measures as educational training programs, institutionalization and custodial care would begin to address the pressing problem of the feebleminded in the province. Ewing ended his article by posing the question: "Is there any reason why the B.C.T.F. should not place a campaign for the proper care of the feebleminded in the forefront of their program for 1927-28?" 53 Teachers in British Columbia were directly involved in the campaign against the "menace of the feebleminded". The biological paradigm of Weismann's germ plasm theory and the sudden influx of pupils who had never previously been in school due -20-to the enforcement of compulsory attendance laws produced the menace of the feeble-minded school child. Explanations of circumstantial causes for such social problems as crime, poverty and lack of educational achievement were discarded. It was now alleged that bad living conditions did not produce wayward children but rather bad germ plasm. A prime example of this was the 1877 report of pioneer criminologist Richard L. Dugdale on a clan of multigenerational New York State career criminals. The Jukes: A Study in Crime, Pauperism, Disease, and Heredity. Dugdale's solution to their criminal tendencies was to improve the clan's living conditions as the "environment tends to produce habits which may become hereditary". However, when eugenicist Arthur H. Estabrook published his study of The Jukes in 1915 (1916) it served as a textbook example of the problem of genetic criminality. Estabrook advised forced sterilization as the only solution to end this longstanding problem of familial inheritance. 54 The intellectual tide in North America had shifted dramatically from improving the living conditions of the less fortunate to isolating the products of an inferior gene pool. Children, and adults alike, were now graded as so much genetic material, either good or bad. v. Eugenic Selection: The Special Class System in North America; The social logic of eugenics and educational reform became overtly intertwined in an effort to isolate specific children from regular classrooms through intelligence test screenings. Such children were then confined in "special classes" which could supposedly meet their unique learning needs. E. Anne Bennison writes that the "policy of segregation was founded upon a eugenic belief that these unfortunates were the results of defective genes and that they would become burdens upon society". 55 Bennison's remark underlies the very basis of special education, the singling out of particular students as less socially competent than their "normal" peers. The harshness of the terminology used in the early twentieth century reflects the eugenic classification -21-of such children as social menaces to the larger population. "Being simple" was a broad term with a rather benign connotation. It was replaced by "feebleminded" and sub-classes such as "moron" (Mental age 10 to 12), "high-grade imbecile" (8 to 10), "medium imbecile" (6 to 8), "low-grade imbecile" (4 to 5), and "idiot" (0 to 3). All children so classified were thought to be the genetic products of bad germ plasm and their social as well as educational segregation was born out of a misplaced fear of contagion to the wider population as much as the professed motivation of simple human kindness. The first special classes were created in the Prussian state school system in the late 1800s and by 1900 Germany had over 6,000 children enrolled in such classes. London, England, had 42 centers for subnormal children by 1900 with 85 classes containing 1,200 students. 56 The first American special classes opened in Cleveland's public schools in 1875. The "imbecile class" was disbanded as an unsuccessful experiment, while similar classes for the deaf, blind, speech stammerers and the like gained wide acceptance. It was only after school populations increased due to the enforcement of mandatory attendance laws and as the feebleminded were seen as social deviants that special classes finally achieved broad acceptance. 57 As the enrolment rose in the American public school system from 12.7 million in 1890 to 19.7 million in 1915 the average daily attendance rose by 84 per cent. The school year increased in length from 134.7 days to 159.4 days and expenditures rose by 329 per cent from $141 million to $605 million. More students were coming to school with more problems. When Leonard Ayres published his popular study. Laggards in Our Schools (1909), the public became aware of these problem children retarding the progress of normal children. If backward children were not segregated, it was concluded, the entire public education system could collapse. 58 When Henry Herbert Goddard and Lewis Terman advanced mental measurement as a scientific means to detect the feebleminded, special classes began to gain wide -22-acceptance among educators as, in Bennison's words, types of "clearing houses". Eugenics provided the scientific evidence of genetic inferiority and intelligence tests the definitive means to isolate selected children in special classes. Martin W. Barr, head of the Pennsylvania Training School for Feeble-Minded Children, looked forward in his 1897 address to the Association of Medical Officers of American Institutions for Idiotic and Feeble-Minded Persons to what the next decade would yield. Barr stated: "The recognition as defectives of those backward and feebly-gifted children who have hitherto so embarrassed the work of the teacher has already led to new and better grading of the schools on the continent and in London, while with us. Providence, Rhode Island is taking the lead in a movement which must soon become general". Barr perceived that special class teachers and an efficient method of scientific mental diagnosis would develop in the public school system as the need for segregating feeble-minded children grew. 59 By 1917 the Stanford psychologist, Lewis Terman, wrote in his summary analysis of state-wide survey data that these children cost the State of California more than $5 million a year. About 1 to 4 per cent of all school children were, according to Terman, feeble-minded and they acted to "drag down the standards of achievement for normal children". He believed the feebleminded constituted a "source of moral contagion". 60 In 1916 he wrote that such school children were "ineducable beyond the merest rudiments of training". "Their dullness", he continued, was "inherent in the family stocks from which they came". In the final analysis only one solution to the problem of the feeble-minded child was feasible to Terman. He advised: Children of this group should be segregated in special classes and be given instruction which is concrete and practical. They cannot master abstractions, but they can often be made efficient workers, able to look out for themselves. 61 Terman stated quite openly that "from a eugenic point of view" the sheer number of these children "constitute a grave problem" due to their -23-"prolific breeding". By 1911 over 373 of 898 urban school systems surveyed in the United States had such special classes. 62 Public school officials willingly allocated additional funds to these special classes despite the fact their smaller class size made them more expensive. The motivation of counteracting the menace of the feebleminded proved very powerful. The first system of "ungraded" special classes began in 1899 in New York City at Public School No. 1 on Hudson Street in Manhattan's Lower East Side. A reform-minded teacher in the school named Elizabeth Farrell created, with the help of her principal, a classroom of children classified as mentally defective for the purpose of social uplift. There was no official direction or sanction to conduct this educational experiment at P.S. No. 1. Farrell called the class a "human laboratory" of "atypical" children; in fact it was an entirely male class "made up of the odds and ends of a large school". 63 The principal called it the "misfit" class. It was an assortment of children who one would suspect were the "troublemakers" or "slow" children of the school. The principal must have supported Farrell's experiment for self-serving reasons; it reduced the complaints of teachers about these students lowering classroom achievement. Superintendent of Schools, William Henry Maxwell, took note of Farrell's success with the misfit children and in 1899 he recommended wider provisions for "the special teaching of these unfortunate children". Maxwell knew of the special school system that existed in London, England, and decided the first step was to gauge the size of the population of mentally defective children within the New York City school system. The city's principals reported back that about 8,000 children or two per cent of the current pupils enrolled in New York's schools were defective. Maxwell knew of the Binet-Simon mental tests and the genetic nature of subnormality. He believed that abnormal children had to be clearly divided into those who were the "idiotic or permanently defective", "dull children" who were slow learners, and pupils who were -24-merely "incorrigible" or "truant". 64 The public schools could only place dull children in special classes (IQ 67 to 83: borderline range) as the permanently defective had to be institutionalized and discipline measures applied to the truant. In 1903 Maxwell appointed Farrell as the new inspector of ungraded classes and she tried to link the classes to the wider agenda of progressive social reform in New York City. The curriculum for the classes was not academic in nature as copy books and blackboard questions would constitute "reminders of past failures". Farrell believed such classroom activities as toy making, game playing, gardening and gymnastics would appeal to the children's "instincts". 65 The ideas were taken directly from Edward Seguin who remained highly influential on the education of feeble-minded children. Farrell and Maxwell framed their ungraded classes under the reformist logic of the social obligation of the public schools to save children. So proud were they of the ungraded classes that an information display on the "Education of Defectives" was created for the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exhibition at St. Louis. 66 It was only a small part of a larger exhibit by the New York City school system on services to handicapped children such as the blind, deaf and dumb. Intelligence testing and educational psychology altered the entire system of ungraded classes by the 1920s. At the height of the menace of the feebleminded campaign in World War One, Farrell adopted the new Stanford revision of the Binet test. Between October, 1916, and March, 1917, a "mental survey" of the special classes was undertaken to weed out chronic "feeblemindedness". Farrell embraced the new scientific means of mental measurement as she believed it would stop principals from referring mere behaviourial problems. In 1920 Farrell helped to organize the first mass screenings of all pupils in two New York public schools. In 1920 she selected the Haggerty Intelligence Test, Delta II, because it was a group test and thus easier to administer. 67 Farrell was also aware of the shortcomings of mental measurement as a report by Anne Moore -25-in 1921 on her own survey of June, 1911, revealed the majority of ungraded class pupils came from homes with foreign-born parents. In 1921 it was estimated that although 88 per cent of pupils in the ungraded classes were born in the United States, over 75 per cent of them had foreign-born parents. 68 Farrell even seemed to recognize this ghettoizing effect of the ungraded classes themselves when she wrote in 1912 that the "differences are already too apparent" between ordinary pupils and those in the special classes. School officials and teachers had to make general pupils understand that such children were in the special classes because these students' "mental power is like theirs only of less degree". 69 Segregation had to employ a eugenic rationale of innate human differences which implied such pupils were less than mentally competent or subnormal. Bennison notes in one of her footnotes the comments of Elizabeth Judson who researched the special classes in the school system of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Judson asked a small boy where the Auxiliary School building was and he replied he did know, but "that is where the children are not as well educated as they are in other buildings". 70 Even a small child could grasp the problem of the special classes, that these children were selected for an inferior education. Farrell's acceptance of intelligence testing diminished the original humanitarian basis for the special classes. Her original motivation for social uplift became subverted by classification and segregation. Historian Joseph L. Tropea sees this process as almost a predictable consequence of several factors. Focusing on the history of the Detroit special class system in the early twentieth century, Tropea draws several conclusions. With increased school hours and pupil attendance more children came to public schools on a regular basis. Legal changes made it more difficult for administrators to "rely on attrition" to weed out student populations naturally. There was a "poorly rationalized segregation of pupils" which required organizational changes to scientifically operationalize "the management and control of -26-pupils". The creation of psychological clinics to test and place students in special classes was a vast improvement over the previous experiments with "unruly" classes for largely truant students. Thus Tropea believed these "efforts provided a better rationale for differentiating among students and their treatment by emphasizing a 'scientific' basis". Scientific mechanisms created "bureaucratic order" in a very disorganized school system rife with conflicts. 71 The addition in the 1920s of vocational programs at the high school level for retarded children also solved many problems. To Tropea the special classes were a product of the quest for "urban school order". Attendance laws had brought into the school a disorganized mob of students which classroom teachers could simply not deal with. Some had to be excluded for pupil management reasons. Thus the "conflict between compliance with the law and satisfaction of teachers' concerns for order was resolved through the special classroom". 72 However, there is no mention of the eugenic and biological arguments being used to support this process. Tropea merely suggests a natural evolution from chaos to order, ideological considerations are never considered. Historian Barry Franklin describes a similar set of circumstances in connection with the establishment of special classes in Atlanta, Georgia. School populations rose steadily in Atlanta from 13,254 pupils in 1898 to 21,190 in 1915 and with that growth "an increasing number of troublesome children". One teacher complained to the School Board in 1914 of a student who "disturbs the class by doing many unusual and unexpected things". Another teacher had a student who threw "epileptic fits" and this was "liable to cause distraction in the exercise of the school". Both children were removed from school as the problem of accommodating such exceptional children was becoming alarming. 73 Eventually in 1917 several special classes were created under the leadership of a new School Board chairman, Robert J. Guinn. Franklin states these special classes "provided a mechanism by which -27-administrators tried to keep the city's schools accessible in the face of a changing school population". 74 As with Tropea, Franklin regarded the special classes as solutions to both teachers' problems and administrative dilemmas. In 1912 a presentation to the Atlanta School Board called for the creation of special classes because their like could be found in the "leading cities of the United States". It was a progressive measure that would bring Atlanta into line with such large urban school systems as New York City and St. Louis. 75 However, in later writings Franklin recognizes that the creation of special classes for subnormal children was done for contradictory purposes. The classes would create cost savings through the segregation of troublesome students but they would also help a group of unfortunate children who required specialized attention. Franklin quotes Milwaukee Superintendent of Schools, C.G. Pearse, who in 1907 stated the special classes would "save these children from themselves" and at the same time "save the state from the harm". 76 The "harm" that Pearse refers to could be something other than financial hardship. Franklin does not appear to connect the growing influence of eugenics, the germ plasm theory, the "menace of the feebleminded" campaign and the creation across North America around the time of the First World War of special class systems in public schools. The mainstream explanations of Tropea and Franklin are essentially true when they account for the special classes as the products of school overcrowding and complaints by teachers of unmanageable children. Yet the comments of Lewis Terman that feeble-minded children in regular classes were in fact the "source of moral contagion" and the fear spread through the menace of the feebleminded campaign that mental disabilities could spread like a disease were also important factors which contributed to the growth of these special classes. Canadian social welfare reformers and teachers left little doubt as to their opinions on the development of special classes for subnormal pupils. Writing in the Public Health Journal of December, -28-1915, social welfare reformer Mrs. M.H. Kerr stated in her article on "Defective Children" that a "serious problem" was confronting the people of Ontario "and we as teachers must be prepared to do our part in the solution of it". Kerr continued that it was a scientific fact that about "two or three in every thousand (children) are defective". Teachers should "instead of saying 'Why doesn't somebody do something?' do something ourselves". Children might be "better classified" and cases could be readily referred to trained physicians as well as psychologists. The ultimate solution for Mrs. Kerr lay in the segregation of feeble-minded children in auxiliary classes where they could work peacefully with their hands and away from normal children. 77 In the same issue of the Public Health Journal, Miss Blackwell, a teacher who helped to organize the summer institute for auxiliary class teachers in 1915 at the University of Toronto, wrote about the future of the "Auxiliary Classes in the Public Schools". Miss Blackwell saw that the "hope of the backward child lies in the teacher". Such a child had "something lacking in his brain substance". Subnormal people are not found in savage societies because like weaker fowl who are pecked to death, the savages eliminate these individuals at birth. The Greeks left deformed children in the wilderness to die, while frequent wars in the Middle Ages acted to rid society of such people. Miss Blackwell believed that modern humanitarians had a duty to care for these individuals but could not extend to them the freedom of action reserved for "responsible beings". 78 Blackwell queried that "since the defective child cannot be cured of his defect" and "it is dangerous to neglect him, what shall be done with him?". The answer she gives is to definitely "have separated the subnormal child from his normal class-mates" and thus only in this manner "the solution of the problem has been found". Quoting a great deal from Henry Herbert Goddard, Blackwell ends by declaring: "We have touched the edge of this wave of reform". 79 The reforms that Blackwell spoke of were not merely a solution to teacher complaints and school overcrowding, -29-but a new eugenic view of children as either fit or unfit genetic material. Children were now regarded as biological material in an educational equation of social utility, or the future economic value of a child to society. Philip M. Ferguson believes it was a matter of "productivity" as opposed to mere "chronicity" or a state of total dependence. The new "emphasis on individual productivity" in early twentieth century American capitalism created a category of social chronicity for those individuals judged by science as not being able to fit into the larger society. The asylum and special classes were, to Ferguson, a form of "official abandonment". 80 As the special class systems grew in the 1920s some educators resented so much attention being lavished on these special children. May Ayres, a prominent educator and member of the social hygiene movement, composed a poem called "The Wail of the Well" which was published in the American School Board Journal of 1913. In one section it states: Marie has epileptic fits, Tom's eyes are on the bum, Sadie stutters when she talks, Mabel has T.B. Morris is a splendid case of imbecility. Billy Brown's a truant, and Harold is a thief; Teddy's parents give him dope. And so he came to grief. Gwendolin's a millionaire, Jerald is a fool; So everyone of these darned kids Goes to a special school. 81 Ayres ended the poem with the line: "I haven't any specialities I'm just a normal child". 82 The extraordinary educational measures taken to control backward or feeble-minded children clearly irritated this teacher of so-called "normal" children. Her poem describes a school system in which pupil categorization and segregation into special classes had clearly reached, in her opinion, absurd proportions. Ayres was not a professional educator but an ordinary teacher, thus her opinion may be indicative of how other classroom teachers regarded the changes occurring -30-around them. vi. Conclusion; The use of eugenics and the biological theory of germ plasm to justify the segregation of school children was at the very heart of the beginnings of special education in North America. Some, like Tropea, have seen this "singling out" process as not ideologically driven but a logistical solution to the diverse school population created by compulsory attendance laws. However, to discount the influence of eugenics and germ plasm theory as an ideological justification for reinforcing pre-existing practices of social division within the newly inclusive school population would be to overlook a significant change. The genetic rhetoric of germ plasm was widely accepted by professionals in such fields as medicine, psychology and education. One of British Columbia's most prominent educational administrators in the 1920s and later in the 1930s, Chief Inspector of Schools, Herbert Baxter King, wrote about the dominance of the germ plasm theory in his Master's thesis of 1923. King will be discussed later in this study; however, his opinions are highly indicative of the intellectual climate of the time. He writes: However, Weismann in his "Continuity of the Germ Plasm" has argued against the transmission of acquired characteristics. His view is the accepted view of biologists today, though I am imperfectly convinced. But if one is to follow biological orthodoxy he must frame his views of the origin under the handicap of Weismann's doctrine. 83 King was merely bowing to the orthodoxy of the germ plasm theory and in effect the eugenic view of an individual's unalterable genetic inheritance. Even he, in reference to the origins of human instinct, saw Weismann's theory as problematic due to its deterministic logic. Singling out the children who populated the special classes for the subnormal as innately inferior was indeed a very real social handicap for those so designated. -31-Notes: 1. Marvin Lazerson, "The Origins of Special Education", in Jay G. Chambers and William T. Hartman, (eds.), Special Education Policies: Their History, Implementation and Finance, (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1983), p. 15 2. See Sol Cohen, "The Mental Hygiene Movement, The Commonwealth Fund, and Public Education, 1921-1933" in Gerald Benjamin (ed.), Private Philanthropy and Public Elementary and Secondary Education, (Rockefeller Archive Center Publication, 1979), pp. 33-46; Sol Cohen, "The Mental Hygiene Movement, The Development of Personality and the School: The Medicalization of American Education", History of Education Quarterly, Vol. 23, No. 2 (Summer 1983), pp. 123-149; Sol Cohen, "The School and Personality Development: Intellectual History" in John Hardin Best (ed.) , Historical Inquiry in Education: A Research Agenda, (Washington, D.C.: American Educational Research Association, 1983), pp. 109-137; Sol Cohen, "The Mental Hygiene Movement and the Development of Personality: Changing Conceptions of the American College and University, 1920-1940", History of Higher Education Annual, Vol. 2 (1982), pp. 65-101 3. Theresa R. Richardson, The Century of the Child: The Mental Hygiene Movement and Social Policy in the United States and Canada, (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1989) 4. Angus McLaren, Our Own Master Race: Eugenics in Canada, 1885-1945, (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart Press, 1990) 5. Donald K. Pickens, Eugenics and the Progressives, (Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 1968) 6. Daniel J. Kevles, In the Name of Eugenics: Genetics and the Uses of Human Heredity, (New York: Alfred A. Knoff Press, 1985) 7. Mark H. Haller, Eugenics: Hereditarian Attitudes in American Thought, (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1963) 8. Hamilton Cravens, The Triumph of Evolution: American Scientists and the Heredity-Environment Controversy, 1900-1941, (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1978) 9. Stephen Jay Gould, The Mismeasure of Man; (New York: W.W. Norton Press, 1981) 10. Diane B. Paul, Controlling Human Heredity, 1865 to the Present, (Atlantic Highlands, N.J.: Humanities International Press, 1995) 11. Mark B. Adams (ed.), The Weil-Born Science: Eugenics in Germany, France, Brazil and Russia, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990); Steven Selden, "Selective Traditions and the Science Curriculum: Eugenics and the Biology Textbook, 1914-1949", Science Education, Vol. 75 (1991), pp. 493-512 12. Mona Gleason, "The History of Psychology and the History of Education: What Can Interdisciplinary Research Offer?", Historical Studies in Education, Vol. 9, No. 1 (Spring 1997), pp. 98-99 13. Margaret A. Winzer, The History of Special Education: From Isolation to Integration, (Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet University Press, 1994); James W. Trent, Jr., Inventing the Feeble Mind: A History of Mental Retardation in the United States, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994); Barry M. Franklin, From Backwardness to At-Risk: Childhood -32-Learning Difficulties and the Contradictions of School Reform, (Albany: State University of New York, 1994); Leila Zenderland, Measuring Minds: Henry Herbert Goddard and the Origins of American Intelligence Testing, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998) 14. Sheila Martineau, "Dangerous Liaison: The Eugenics Movement and the Educational State", in Junita Ross Epp and Ailsa M. Watkinson (eds.), Systemic Violence: How Schools Hurt Children, (London: Falmer Press, 1996), p. 27 15. Angus McLaren (1990), op. cit., p. 14 16. Lyndsay Andrew Farrall, The Origins and Growth of the English Eugenics Movement 1865-1925, (London: Garland Press, 1985), p. 31, Footnote No. 55 17. Angus McLaren (1990), op. cit., p. 15 18. Daniel J. Kevles (1985), op. cit., p. 31. See Karl Pearson, "On the Inheritance of the Mental and Moral Characters in Man, and Its Comparison with the Inheritance of Physical Characters", Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. 33 (1903) 19. Ibid., p. 31 20. Sir Francis Galton, Essays on Eugenics, (London: Eugenics Education Society, 1909), "The Improvement of the Human Breed", (Original lecture 1901), p. 11 21. Ibid., p. 24 22. Angus McLaren (1990), op. cit., p. 16 23. Margaret Winzer (1994), op. cit., p. 264 24. Angus McLaren (1990), op. cit., p. 17 25. August Weismann, The Germ Plasm: A Theory of Heredity, (London: Walter Scott Press, 1893), Translated by Newton Parker, original edition in German, 1892, Preface p. xiii 26. Mark H. Haller (1963), op. cit., pp. 59-60 27. Lawrence A. Cremin, The Transformation of the School: Progressivism in American Education, 1876-1957, (New York: Vintage Books Press, 1961), pp. 101-102; pp. 118-119; Paula S. Fass, Outside In: Minorities and the Transformation of American Education, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989), pp. 67-68 28. August Weismann (1893), op. cit., p. 458. "Ids" refers to the thread-like structures found in the nuclei of all cells. They were known to contain the hereditary material upon which the new organism would be based. 29. Lyndsay Andrew Farrall (1985), op. cit., p. 42 30. Karl Pearson, "The Function of Science in the Modern State", Eugenics Lecture Series XII, (London: Cambridge University Press, 1919), p. 8, p. 12, p. 23, pp. 28-31, pp. 35-36, p. 43. This article was originally an essay for the 1902 tenth edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 32 31. A.F. Tredgold, "Educability and Inheritance" , in Eugenics in Race and -33-State: Second International Congress of Eugenics, 1921, Vol. 2, (New York: Garland Press, 1985), p. 368 32. Edward R. Johnstone, "The Welfare of Feeble-Minded Children", The Pedagogical Seminary, Vol. 16, No. 4 (December 1909), pp. 447-448 33. John Franklin Bobbitt, "Practical Eugenics", The Pedagogical Seminary, Vol. 16, No. 3 (September 1909), p. 385 34. Marvin Lazerson in Chambers and Hartman (1983), op. cit., p. 26 35. Edward L. Thorndike, "Eugenics: With Special Reference to Intellect and Character", The Popular Science Monthly, Vol. 83, (August 1913), p. 126 36. James W. Trent, Jr., Inventing the Feeble Mind: A History of Mental Retardation in the United States, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994), p. 141 37. Ibid., p. 50 38. Philip M. Ferguson, Abandoned to Their Fate: Social Policy and Practice Toward Severely Retarded People in America, 1820-1920, (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1994), p. 56 39. James W. Trent, Jr. (1994), op. cit., p. 145 40. Ibid., p. 142 41. Margaret Winzer (1994), op. cit., p. 281 42. Ibid., pp. 146-147 43. Ibid., p. 162 44. Edward R. Johnstone (1909), op. cit., p. 448 45. John Franklin Bobbitt (1909), op. cit., p. 385, p. 393 46. David J. Smith, Minds Made Feeble: The Myth and Legacy of the Kallikaks, (Rockville, Md.: Aspen Press, 1985), pp. 111-113 47. James W. Trent, Jr. (1994), op. cit., pp. 168-169 48.Ibid., p. 173 49. Ibid., p. 176 50. Margaret Winzer and Anne O'Connor, "Eugenics: The Threat of the Feeble Minded", B.C. Journal of Special Education, Vol. 6, No.3 (Fall 1982), p. 218 51. Angus McLaren (1990), op. cit., pp. 94-95 52. J.B. Bennett, John M. Ewing and W. Gray, "Report of the Committee on Feeble-Mindedness", The B.C. Teacher, Vol. 7, No. 8 (April 1928), pp. 34-35 53. John M. Ewing, "The Moron in Our Midst", The B.C. Teacher, Vol. 6, No. 7 (March 1927), pp. 43-47. Ewing's reference to "Mendel's Law" was in error as Mendel, the founder of modern genetics, formulated the Law of Independent Assortment which held that the paired genetic material of -34-the parents' separates during meiosis and the gamate carries only one genetic unit of the pair. Mendel did not believe in complete genetic replication. 54. Diane B. Paul (1995), op. cit., p. 43, p. 49. Richard Dugdale' s 1874 report on The Jukes was prepared for the Prison Association of New York while Arthur Estabrook received funding from the Eugenic Records Office of Charles Davenport and the Carnegie Institute for his 1915 reworking of The Jukes. 55. E. Anne Bennison, "Creating Categories of Competence: The Education of Exceptional Children in the Milwaukee Public Schools, 1908-1917", Ph.D. diss.. University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1988, p. ii 56. Joseph P. Byers, The Village of Happiness: The Story of the Training School, (Vineland, N.J.: The Training School Press, 1934), p. 47 57. E. Anne Bennison (1988), op. cit., p. 20 58. Marvin Lazerson in Chambers and Hartman (1983), op. cit., pp. 18-19 59. E. Anne Bennison (1988), op. cit., p. 27 60. Marvin Lazerson in Chambers and Hartman (1983), op. cit., pp. 25-26 61. Stephen Jay Gould (1981), op. cit., p. 191 62. Ibid, p. 191; Marvin Lazerson in Chambers and Hartman (1983), op. cit., pp. 25-2 6 63. E. Anne Bennison (1988), op. cit., p. 22 64. Irving G. Hendrick and Donald L. MacMillan, "Selecting Children for Special Education in New York City: William Maxwell, Elizabeth Farrell and the Development of Ungraded Classes, 1900-1920", The Journal of Special Education, Vol. 22 (1989), pp. 400-401 65. Ibid., p. 401 66. Ibid., p. 396 67. Ibid., p. 411 - See Haggerty and Nash, "Mental Capacity of Children and Parental Occupation", Journal of Educational Psychology, (December 1924) 68. Ibid., p. 413 69. Ibid., p. 414 70. E. Anne Bennison (1988), op. cit., p. 100, Footnote No. 101. See Mary Elizabeth Judson, "Work Among the Mentally Deficient Children in Grand Rapids, Michigan", Journal of Psycho-Asthenics, Vol. 16 (1912), p. 197 71. Joseph L. Tropea, "Bureaucratic Order and Special Children: Urban Schools, 1890s-1940s" (Part I), History of Education Quarterly, Vol. 27, No. 1 (Spring 1987), pp. 36-37. See Part II "Bureaucratic Order and Special Children: Urban Schools, 1950s-1960s", also in History of Education Quarterly, Vol. 27, No. 3 (Fall 1987), pp. 339-361 72. Ibid., p. 52 -35-73. Barry M. Franklin, "Progressivism and Curriculum Differentiation: Special Classes in the Atlanta, Georgia, Public Schools, 1898-1923", History of Education Quarterly, Vol. 29, No. 4 (Winter 1989), p. 579 74. Ibid., p. 584 75. Ibid., p. 581 76. Barry M. Franklin, From "Backwardness" to "At-Risk"; Childhood Learning Difficulties and the Contradictions of School Reform, (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1994), p. 7 77. Mrs. M.H. Kerr, "Defective Children", The Public Health Journal (Official Organ of the Canadian Public Health Association), Vol. 6 (December 1915), p. 621 78. Mary E. Blackwell, "Auxiliary Classes in the Public Schools", The Public Health Journal, Vol. 6 (December 1915), p. 623 79. Ibid., p. 624 80. Philip M. Ferguson (1994), op. cit., pp. 162-163 81. James W. Trent, Jr. (1994), op. cit., p. 148 82. Ibid., p. 148 83. Herbert Baxter King, "Modern Theories of Instinct", Master's thesis. University of British Columbia, 1923, p. 32 -i -36-CHAPTER TWO "Sorting the Students"; Differentiating the American School Population During the Early Twentieth Century. i. Introduction: Canada is inextricably linked to the United States of America. Even before Canada gained Dominion status from Great Britain in 1867 several reciprocity treaties concerning the exchange of goods had already established a north/south economic trading pattern. Imperial trade within the British Empire still remained an important source of economic revenue for Canada but the forces of continentalism were particularly strong after the First World War as branch plants of American industry flourished in the border regions. As with economics, the traffic in intellectual ideas gradually evolved along a north/south axis as well. In Canadian classrooms imperial symbols and British educational material remained dominant but by the early 1920s American pedagogical practices were increasingly being adopted in Canada's public schools. This tension between British and American educational methods extends back to Egerton Ryerson's decision in the mid-nineteenth century to create New England-style common schools in Upper Canada while at the same time adopting the British Irish National Readers as the prescribed textbooks. This chapter deals with intelligence testing, curriculum differentiation and educational efficiency in American public schools during the early twentieth century. Such a focus has been adopted because the educational innovations pioneered in the large urban school systems of the United States increasingly caught the attention of Canada's educators. There was still a heavy British influence in Canadian educational content, as well as leadership, but this is rather deceptive. The case of Dr. Peter Sandiford, Canada's leading educational psychologist in the 1920s, is a prime example. Born in England, he was educated at Manchester University but before accepting a post at the University of Toronto in 1913 he took his doctorate at Columbia -37-University's Teachers College in New York City under the famous Edward L. Thomdike. The growing dominance of American educational ideas was spread through individuals like Sandiford and such faddish movements as educational efficiency. Thus Canada's education system was coming under the sway of American pedagogical ideas well before the advent of World War One. In 1924 a University of Chicago educational psychologist, Frank N. Freeman, published a very influential article in The Educational Review entitled "Sorting the Students". It was not so much a piece of academic research as a philosophical treatise on how to manage typical school populations in North America. Testing was the key mechanism of assigning students to different ability tracks based upon supposedly neutral, scientific measurements of natural intelligence. Freeman wrote that the past focus of education upon individual development was a "bugbear" which modern schooling could do without. Classifying by mental ability in no way "limits" the "development of either the bright or the dull child", he asserted. Ability grouping merely implied a variation of the "conditions of training" which would assure each student had "an equality in the right to opportunity". Life was not an equal experience for every individual and in Freeman's mind it "is the business of the school to help the child to acquire such an attitude toward the inequalities of life...with the least possible friction". Each person had different mental powers, Freeman ardently believed, and it was unwise for the school system to "fail to recognize the facts of human nature and of society". 1 Schools had always exercised a social sorting function but the arguments used were based in the maintenance of the social order. Sorting students scientifically according to their natural mental abilities and providing them with an appropriate education to suit those supposed abilities was an educational rationale with eugenic undertones which bestowed upon the school system a clear mandate for social engineering. -38-Clarence Karier (1975) analyzed Freeman's position on the social function of education and stated that he "clearly saw the function of public education as helping the child adjust to the real world of 'inequalities of life'". 2 The entire sorting process was a purely managerial solution to fitting the new diverse and larger pupil population into the industrial economy. It was essentially an arrangement supposedly designed to further economic efficiency but was in fact a matter of educational expediency. The use of intelligence testing to sort students and provide a differential education actually began with the training of subnormal or feeble-minded children in special classes. However, the extension of this logic to all students resulted in a bureaucratic system of public education that assigned pupils to various levels of instruction. Some attended trades classes, some commercial or business classes and others were groomed for social leadership roles in the academic stream. Canadian schools merely emulated their American neighbours. It is impossible to understand the changes made in the Vancouver school system after the First World War unless this background information about the American public school system is clearly understood. ii. Urban America and Its Troubled Public School Systems; When faced with overwhelming problems the solutions devised are often not the most well-crafted but rather those most immediately successful. The public school system in the United States during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was expanding rapidly under difficult circumstances. From 1860 to 1900 the urban schools of America were forced to expand as the cities and industries grew. In 1860 approximately one sixth of America's population lived in towns of 8,000 or more, but by 1900 this had increased to one third. For example, Chicago had 100,000 people in 1860 but by 1900 the city contained more than one million residents. From 1860 to 1900 a total of fourteen million immigrants, many of them with young families, came to the United -39-States to seek a better way of life. 3 School investment grew exponentially from $7 million in 1850 to $147 million in 1890. The funds spent on public schools increased from 47 per cent of all educational expenditures to 79 per cent by 1890. This commitment to public schooling caused a "gradual increase in attendance and decline in illiteracy". However, despite the passage of compulsory attendance laws in many states, the measures were virtually unenforceable. In 1900 the average number of years of school attendance per child was estimated at five by the Commissioner of Education, William T. Harris. 4 About 600,000 boys and girls between ages ten to fourteen were gainfully employed in the United States in 1890; of these over 387,000 were labouring on farms in the rural south. 5 David B. Tyack (1976) stated that: "Public attitudes towards com