Date of Award

Summer 1957

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science




West Virginia is a comparatively young state. Special Education in the public schools is younger still. Throughout the history of West Virginia, the state has had financial difficulties and political factions. When West Virginia became a state she had no institutions, no social organs to provide for the general welfare, no common schools, no normal schools, and no university. Within sixty-five years the state had provided twelve institutions tor exceptional children. And today, six years before the state celebrates its first centennial, West Virginia has a well established special education program.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the development of' special. education in West Virginia by (1) studying the underlying concepts that were responsible for the recognition of "exceptional" needs, (2) tracing the first assistance by West Virginia to meet the needs of its exceptional children, (3) finding the factors which expanded this assistance to the free public schools, and (4) noting the possible steps which tho state might attempt to take in the future.

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