Professor Bailyn, Meet Professor Baynton: The ‘New Disability History’ of Education.


Every historian of education eventually encounters Bernard Bailyn’s 1960 book, Education in the Forming of American Society: Needs and Opportunities for Study, and his challenge to the field to define education much more broadly than the generation of house historians previously had. Historians of education, Bailyn writes, should consider “education not only as formal pedagogy but as the entire process by which a culture transmits itself across the generations.”

Footnote1 We wager, however, that few historians of education have come across Douglas Baynton’s similar call in 2001 to consider disability as a bigger part of history.

Footnote2 “Disability is everywhere in history, once you begin looking for it,” Baynton writes, “but conspicuously absent in the histories we write.”

Footnote3 It is time for Professor Bailyn to meet Professor Baynton. In the five essays in this special issue, they do.


Ellis, Jason
Rousmaniere, Kate

Name of conference, organization, journal, or publisher

History of Education Quarterly , Volume 60 , Special Issue 3: Disability and the History of Education , August 2020 , pp. 285 – 294

Date of Publication