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Henry Herbert Goddard. By: Erin Cole October 13, 2010. Background. Born August 14, 1866 PhD in psychology from Clark University Director of Research at the Training School for Feeble-minded Girls and Boys Translated the Binet -Simon intelligence scale into English

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henry herbert goddard

Henry Herbert Goddard


Erin Cole

October 13, 2010


Born August 14, 1866

PhD in psychology from Clark University

Director of Research at the Training School for Feeble-minded Girls and Boys

Translated the Binet-Simon intelligence scale into English

Established the first laboratory for the psychological study of mentally retarded persons

Helped draft the first American law mandating special education

Was a proponent of the hereditarian position

begins with
Begins with…


Evolution is defined as a change in living organisms by descent with modification

hereditarian position
Hereditarian Position
  • Eugenics
    • The study or belief in the possibility of improving the qualities of the human species/population by discouraging reproduction of those with genetic defects or genetically undesirable traits or encouraging reproduction of those with genetically desirable traits
educational career
Educational Career
  • Began teaching in his 20’s
  • In 1906 Goddard was offered a position at the Training School for Feeble-Minded Girls and Boys
    • There he became interestedin both the causes of mental deficiency and the teaching methods employed by instructors
  • Goddard helped draft the first state law mandating that schools provide special education
    • Stressed the need for public school reform
    • Suggested that normal children could benefit from the instructional techniques developed for use with retarded students
father of intelligence
Father of Intelligence
  • In 1908 Goddard translated the Binet-Simon Intelligence scale into English
      • Distributed 22,000 copies of the test throughout the US
      • Advocated its use in public schools
      • Began using the test with mentally retarded children living at the Training School
  • Goddard’s view on intelligencewas derived from Mendelian genetics
    • Believed that feeblemindedness was caused by the transmission of a single recessive gene
    • Believed that those who were feebleminded were inferior
definition of intelligence
Definition of Intelligence
  • "…our thesis is that the chief determiner of human conduct is a unitary mental process which we call intelligence: that this process is conditioned by a nervous mechanism which is inborn: that the degree of efficiency to be attained by that nervous mechanism and the consequent grade of intelligence or mental level for each individual is determined by the kind of chromosomes that come together with the union of the germ cells: That it is but little affected by any later influences except such serious accidents as may destroy part of the mechanism" (Goddard, 1912)
the cure
The Cure
  • Goddard focused on preventing the breeding of feebleminded people
    • Believed in compulsory sterilization
    • Suggested that mentally deficient people be kept in institutions
    • “Before considering any other method, the writer would insist that segregation and colonization is not by any means as hopeless a plan as it may seem to those who look only at the immediate increase in the tax rate. If such colonies were provided in sufficient number to take care of all the distinctly feeble-minded cases in the community, they would very largely take the place of our present almshouses and prisons, and they would greatly decrease the number in our insane hospitals. Such colonies would save an annual loss in property and life, due to the action of these irresponsible people, sufficient to nearly, or quite, offset the expense of the new plant. Besides, if these feeble-minded children were early selected and carefully trained, they would become more or less self-supporting in their institutions, so that the expense of their maintenance would be greatly reduced” (Goddard, 1912)
  • Henry Herbert Goddard (2007). Human Intelligence. Retrieved October 11, 2010, from http:// www.indiana.edu/~intell/goddard.shtml