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History of School for the Deaf-Monique Mota

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Running head: HISTORY OF SCHOOLS FOR THE DEAF
History of School for the Deaf
Monique Mota
Texas Tech University
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HISTORY OF SCHOOLS FOR THE DEAF
Abstract
This paper describes some of the documented histories of school for the Deaf. Some of the
earliest records date back thousands of years ago. European pioneers opened up new
opportunities for educating the Deaf. These ideologies reformed over time and continue to
change today throughout the world. Some of these ideas are known as American Sign Language
(ASL), Bilingual-Bicultural (Bi-Bi), and Signing Exact English (SEE) to name a few.
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HISTORY OF SCHOOLS FOR THE DEAF
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History of Schools for the Deaf
There have been many difficulties faced in the history of Deaf education. Some of these
problems include what should be taught, how should it be taught, and even where should it be
taught for deaf children. The quality of education has been a concern for many. So, what is the
best method of education for the Deaf?
There is obviously little documentation for deaf education in the early times. Although,
some early writings imply ways of communication through signs and gestures. Depending on the
attitudes toward the disability, there are several people who contributed towards educating deaf
children. There is a first recorded account of the education of a deaf child, Quintus Pedius
(Marschark & Spencer, 2011).
The Renaissance period is recognized as an era of many changes. This included the
teaching varieties for the deaf. A Dutch humanist Rudolphus Agricola and the Italian
mathematician and a physician Girolamo Cardano described their ability to teach a deaf person
to read and write. They included the use of signs and other visuals. With their teaching methods,
they justified that a deaf person can also communicate and express themselves and understand
anyone using written characters (Marschark & Spencer, 2011).
During the early 1600s, methods of educating the deaf in Europe had evolved through the
writings of people like Juan Pablo Bonet. Bonet stressed the significance of including activity
when teaching the deaf and used fingerspelling as part of his teaching methods. Others also used
what they called natural language and gestures to further enhance communication for the deaf.
People like John Wallis acknowledged that deaf children are perfectly capable of communicating
visually as well as aurally.
HISTORY OF SCHOOLS FOR THE DEAF
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In American, during the Colonial Era, colonists were still struggling with educational
methods for deaf children. Because of religious views, some of the teachings were seen as a form
of sorcery and were not accepted. However, in the Massachusetts town of Scituate, there was a
higher population of deaf people and were more acceptable to signs as a form of communication.
So, not everyone was fortunate enough to send their deaf children to Europe to receive an
education (Marschark & Spencer, 2011).
By the turn of the 19th century, the education of deaf children became a priority. Special
schools were being considered but without much success. Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet began his
teaching with his neighbor’s deaf child. He saw the need to improve deaf education and went to
Europe to learn from the best practices available at the time. He came back and persuaded a
teacher assistant, Laurent Clerc, to establish a school for the Deaf. This revolutionized and
empowered the educational opportunities for the deaf. This also led to the creation of more
establishments for the deaf with deaf people taking on leading roles.
In conclusion, there have been many educational ideologies dating back to the early times
for deaf education. As of yet, we have not found how to correctly and successfully educate our
deaf community.
HISTORY OF SCHOOLS FOR THE DEAF
Reference
Marschark, M., & Spencer, P. E. (2011). The Oxford handbook of deaf studies, language, and
education. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Scheetz, N. A. (2012). Deaf education in the 21st century: Topics and trends. Boston: Pearson.
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HISTORY OF SCHOOLS FOR THE DEAF
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