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A Class by Themselves?: The Origins of Special Education in Toronto and Beyond

A Class by Themselves?: The Origins of Special Education in Toronto and Beyond

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Note: This title is available in limited quantities, but more are on their way! Orders will be fulfilled on a first come, first served basis, however we will ensure that all orders for Heritage Toronto titles placed by October 31 will receive their copies. If your order is being shipped, we will send out the package once all the stock is available (no partial shipments).

In A Class by Themselves?, Jason Ellis provides an erudite and balanced history of special needs education, an early twentieth century educational innovation that continues to polarize school communities across Canada, the United States, and beyond.

Ellis situates the evolution of this educational innovation in its proper historical context to explore the rise of intelligence testing, the decline of child labour and rise of vocational guidance, emerging trends in mental hygiene and child psychology, and the implementation of a new progressive curriculum. At the core of this study are the students. This book is the first to draw deeply on rich archival sources, including 1000 pupil records of young people with learning difficulties, who attended public schools between 1918 and 1945. Ellis uses these records to retell individual stories that illuminate how disability filtered down through the school system’s many nooks and crannies to mark disabled students as different from (and often inferior to) other school children.  A Class by Themselves? sheds new light on these and other issues by bringing special education’s curious past to bear on its constantly contested present.