From the 1920s through the mid-1940s, the child guidance movement implemented progressive social reforms under the foundational belief that changes in society could be directed and controlled by management of the moral, psychological, and physical development of its children. This view reflected a significant contrast to the conventional wisdom of the time in two areas. First, it elevated the understanding of children and childhood development to be important and worthy of research attention, a departure from common belief that the study of children lacked value or purpose. Second, philanthropic and social service attitudes shifted from the paternalism of providing charity to that of seeking to initiate and direct social change through knowledge and empowerment. This progressive reform movement reflected confidence in and reliance upon scientific ...

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