Deaf, Education of the

Deaf, Education of the


the branch of defectology that deals with the upbringing, education, and instruction of children with impaired hearing—children who were born deaf or hard-of-hearing and children who acquired deafness in childhood.

The first attempts to teach deaf children were made in Spain in the 16th and 17th centuries by P. de Ponce and J. Bonet. In the late 18th century, the first specialized institutions for the education of the deaf were founded in France and Germany, headed by C. M. de l’Epée and S. Heinicke. The first such institution was established in Russia in 1806 in Pavlovsk. The founders of Russian education of the deaf were G. A. Gurtsov, V. I. Fieri, I. A. Vasil’ev, and P. D. En’ko. Soviet education of the deaf was developed by N. M. Lagovskii, F. A. Rau, L. S. Vygotskii, I. I. Daniushevskii, R. M. Boskis, A. I. D’iachkov, and S. A. Zykov.

Soviet education of the deaf is based on the principles of Marxist-Leninist pedagogy and is directed toward the comprehensive development of the mental and physical abilities of children with impaired hearing. It seeks to instill in them the spirit of communist morality and to educate and prepare them for socially useful labor among persons with normal hearing and speech. By studying the development of children with hearing defects, education of the deaf establishes principles for the teaching of the deaf and for the organization of specialized educational institutions for the deaf.

The most important tasks in the education of the deaf are the maximal development and use of existing hearing, of oral and written language skills, of verbalized and logical thought, and of the ability to understand and use language.

Training for the education of the deaf includes the theory and history of instruction of children with impaired hearing, as well as special methods of teaching akupediia (the development and use of audioperception, and training in pronunciation), Russian, mathematics, the natural sciences, and other school subjects. The methodology for the education of the deaf has been improved by the development of technical means of compensating for impaired hearing—a fundamental task of the technology of aural prosthetics.

Education of the deaf uses data from such related fields as oto-rhinolaryngology, acoustics, psychology, physiology, linguistics, logopedics, and communication theory. The Soviet center for the education of the deaf is the Scientific Research Institute of Defectology of the Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of the USSR (Moscow).

The theory and practice of the education of the deaf are also studied at educational centers in other socialist countries and in a number of capitalist countries, including Great Britain, Denmark, the Netherlands, the USA, Sweden, and Japan.


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