Jean Demoor

Demoor, Jean


Born Apr. 25, 1867, in Etterbeek; died 1941 in Brussels. Belgian physician and educator. Organizer of the first special education schools in Belgium (1897).

From 1899 to 1937, Demoor was a professor of physiology at the University of Brussels. He was a fervent advocate of public concern for anomalous children and the establishment of special institutions for them. He worked out a system of activities for schools for mentally retarded children and made valuable recommendations on the methodology for certain school subjects. Rightly condemning the use of impractical, abstract topics in teaching anomalous children, he arrived at the incorrect conclusion that it is necessary to maximally curtail programs for general educational subjects. Demoor wrote several works on rearing and teaching anomalous children, in which the problem of classifying anomalous children is treated in detail. However, he overly broadened the concept of mental retardation, including pedagogically neglected children in this category. This evoked the valid objections of Demoor’s contemporaries. His principal work is Anomalous Children, Bringing Them up at Home and at School (1901; Russian translation, 1909).