The Public Interest

The search for “brainpower”

George C. Keller

Summer 1966

In the unpromising year of 1930, President Herbert Hoover called a “White House Conference on Child Health and Protection,” the purpose of which was to discuss “for the first time in history” what it called “special education”– classes, schools, and teachers for those who were not ordinary children. Its list of special groups included the blind, the crippled, the deaf, those with speech problems, the mentally retarded, those with health problems (heart trouble, malnutrition, tuberculosis, epilepsy), those with behavior problems (emotionally disturbed and chronic delinquents), and– last on the agenda– gifted children.

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