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Leonard S. Blackman

Leonard Blackman, TC Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Education, secured the federal funding that enabled TC to build Thorndike Hall in 1973 and establish the nation's first comprehensive Research and Demonstration Center for the Education of Handicapped Children (today the College's Center for Opportunities & Outcomes for People with Disabilities), of which he was the founding director. The Center was unique in its multidisciplinary approach. 

Blackman began his career as Director of Research of the Edward R. Johnstone Training and Research Center, a New Jersey state institution for  people with mental retardation, where he also served as Principal Investigator of the "Teaching Machine Project" that pioneered the use of computers to teach that population. Throughout his career, his studies focused on how children with mental retardation learn; the role of psychological factors and strategies; vocational issues; and ethical concerns, such as whether the death penalty should be considered for people who have mental retardation. TC launched its annual Blackman Lecture series -- named for and endowed by Blackman and his wife, Frances -- in 2000.

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Learn more about TC's Department of Health and Behavior Studies and its program in Applied Sciences of Learning and Special Education.

Premiered on 11/24/2013

About the Series

In "Mini Moments with Big Thinkers," leading figures in Teachers College's history discuss groundbreaking ideas, research and initiatives born at the College during the past half-century. The Mini Moments are drawn from the College’s Oral History Project, a collection of more than 90 videotaped interviews conducted by Melanie Shorin and Jessica Wiederhorn, the principals of The Narrative Trust, a private firm that conducts and captures the oral histories of institutions, communities and individuals. Produced in conjunction with TC’s Department of Development and External Affairs, the Mini-Moments are airing throughout 2013.

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