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Volume 1, Issue 1 (1972)

Alternatives to Special Class Placement for Educable Mentally Retarded Children

pp. 29—32

Public schools first provided day school special classes for educable mentally retarded (EMR) children in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1896. Originally started as an effort to provide instruction for children who were typically excluded from the public schools, special classes in Europe and the United States were felt to embody a more flexible approach to education than institutional placement, since they enabled slow learners to enjoy normal social intercourse with children in regular classroom programs. Even though early authorities recognized the limitations of such placements, special classes have continued to develop as the primary means of providing special education assistance to retarded children.

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