Educational Hanicaps of Slum Children
Hope for solving the massive social problems associated with urban poverty appears to center increasingly on improvement in the methods of educating the culturally deprived children of the slums. Educators have long recognized that such children enter school under handicaps not imposed on children of the middle class, that slum children often seem immune to standard instructional programs, and that a relatively large proportion of them quit school early and become misfits and unemployables. Some inevitably drift into delinquency.
Early efforts to increase the less fortunate child's capacity to learn took the form chiefly of remedial classes, of shifting the child from academic to shop or manual training work, and of providing extra services ranging anywhere from free meals to field trips. It is generally realized, however, that the slum child's maladjustment to school is often too deep and too complex to be affected by routine or piecemeal palliatives.
After considerable research and experimentation during the past decade, educators have now come to the conclusion that major changes in policies and programming are necessary to make the public school a place of learning for the slum child. Blueprints for radical overhaul of city schools have been drawn up, and some of the proposed changes have already been put into practice.