Romantic Agrarianism and Movement Education in the United States: Examining the discursive politics of learning disability science

Educational Philosophy and Theory 43 (6):636-651 (2011)
Abstract
The learning disability construct gained scientific and political legitimacy in the United States in the 1960s as an explanation for some forms of childhood learning difficulties. In 1975, federal law incorporated learning disability into the categorical system of special education. The historical and scientific roots of the disorder involved a neuropsychological discourse that often conflated lower social class identity and learning disability. Lower class, often urban, families were viewed as providing insufficient intellectual stimulation for their young children, thereby causing learning problems. This paper undertakes a historical analysis of a particular form of this class-based political discourse—romantic agrarianism—developed by leading learning disability researchers Newell Kephart and Marianne Frostig in the 1960s
Keywords Marianne Frostig  movement education  social class  learning disability  Newell Kephart
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