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The business of life: educating Catholic deaf children in late nineteenth-century England

Mangion, Carmen M. (2012) The business of life: educating Catholic deaf children in late nineteenth-century England. History of Education 41 (5), ISSN 0046-760X.

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Much of the debates in late nineteenth-century Britain regarding the education of deaf children revolved around communication. For many Victorians, sign language was unacceptable; many proponents of oralism attempted to ‘normalise’the hearing impaired by replacing deaf methods of communication with spoken language and lipreading. While debates on language were raging in late nineteenth-century England, another facet of normalisation, that of occupational training,was being developed at St John’s Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, the only Catholic deaf school in England. This school not only functioned to develop the Catholic faith of the deaf, but also expected to improve the social and economic status of deaf Catholics. Elementary education, and particularly occupational training, was meant to transform the deaf child into a faith-filled, respectable, working-class citizen. This essay aims at moving the normalisation debates away from language skills and towards this alternative mode of integration.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Catholic, deaf, special education, education, gender
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > History, Classics and Archaeology
Depositing User: Carmen Mangion
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2012 11:58
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:23

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