Education: Lesson Details



Study Guide: Activities and Procedures


1
 

Section 1 - READING AND REACTION


Background Essay: Horace Mann And The Creation Of The Common School

After reading the annotated document, answer the following question:

1.) What were the goals of the reform movement led by Horace Mann?


2
 

Section 2 - READING AND REACTION


Annotated & Abridged Document:
On The Natural Language of Signs; And Its Value And Uses In The Instruction Of The Deaf And Dumb, Part 1

After reading the annotated document, answer the following questions:

1.) What does Gallaudet means by “compensation”? How does he view the gestures used by families to communicate with their deaf children?

2.) What would it be like to be deaf prior to the introduction of formal deaf education?


3
 

Section 3 - READING AND REACTION


Annotated & Abridged Document:
Seventh Annual Report Of The Board Of Education; Together With The Seventh Annual Report Of The Secretary Of The Board

After reading the annotated document, answer the following question:

1.) Horace Mann speaks very favorably about American efforts to educate blind children but is critical of American efforts to educate deaf children. Make a list of possible reasons for his views. What might explain his dislike of sign language?


4
 

Section 4 - READING AND REACTION


Annotated & Abridged Document:
Annual Report Of The Trustees Of The New-England Institution For The Education Of The Blind, 1834

After reading the annotated document, answer the following questions:

1.) What values is Samuel Gridley Howe trying to instill in his students at Perkins? How might they reflect the interests of some New Englanders more than others?

2.) According to Howe, what are the goals of the education provided by the Perkins Institution?

3.) What does Howe mean by “the whole moral nature is elevated”?


5
 

Section 5 - READING AND REACTION


Annotated & Abridged Document:
Forty-First Annual Report Of The Trustees Of The Perkins Institution And Massachusetts Asylum For The Blind

After reading the annotated document, answer the following questions:

1.) Samuel Gridley Howe discusses in the importance of physical education for children with disabilities. What does he believe are the impacts of different kinds of disabilities on the physical well-being of children?

2.) Howe is especially worried about spoiling blind children. Why? What kind of daily regimen is he advocating? How would parents react to such a regimen today?


6
 

Section 6 - READING AND REACTION


Annotated & Abridged Document:
Idiots And Institutions For Their Training

After reading the annotated document, answer the following questions:

1.) During the nineteenth century, the word “idiot” was used to classify a person with a significant cognitive disability. What does “hopeless” mean in the first paragraph?

2.) What assumptions shaped the earliest efforts to educate children with cognitive disabilities?

3.) What did Linus Brockett mean by “the development of the moral nature”? How might his work help speed progress?


7
 

Section 7 - READING AND REACTION


Annotated & Abridged Document:
"Instruction Of Idiots"

After reading the annotated document, answer the following questions:

1.) How did the state of Massachusetts come to fund the some form of education for children with cognitive disabilities?

2.) According to the article, how successful have those efforts been? How is success measured?


8
 

Section 8 - READING AND REACTION


Annotated & Abridged Document:
Origin Of The Treatment And Training Of Idiots

After reading the annotated document, answer the following question:

1.) What does Edward Seguin imply is the proper educational response to cognitive disability? How effective would his approach be?


9
 

Section 9 - READING AND REACTION


Annotated & Abridged Document:
New York State Asylum For Idiots, Second Annual Report Of The Trustees

After reading the annotated document, answer the following questions:

1.) In what ways were reformers like Hervey Wilbur optimistic?

2.) What role does religion play in Wilbur’s school?


10
 

Section 10 - READING AND REACTION


Annotated & Abridged Document:
New York Asylum For Idiots, Twelfth Annual Report

After reading the annotated document, answer the following question:

1.) What does “obedience and capability” mean?


11
 

Section 11 - READING AND REACTION


Annotated & Abridged Document:
Report For 1848

After reading the annotated document, answer the following question:

1.) Read this document especially closely. Horace Mann was the most influential educational reformer of his era. What, according to Mann, are the purposes of education?

2.) Does Mann believe in the value of cultural diversity?

3.) What are his views on the relationship between education, religion, and economic life?

4.) Who might object to Mann’s positions?


12
 

Section 12 - CLASS DISCUSSION


As a class make a list of the issues raised in this set of documents. What was different in educating different categories of children? What issues shaped the debate over education reform in the decades before the Civil War? Whose views seem to dominate? What seemed to be the general purposes of education in this period?


13
 

Section 13 - WRITING ASSIGNMENT


You are the parent of a child with a disability in the 1850s. Write a letter to the governor of Massachusetts explaining what you want for your child and why. What educational policies should the governor favor? Be sure to write within the historical context of the 1850s. The letter will be assessed on the basis of how well it incorporates the issues raised in the primary document readings.

Bibliography

Baynton, Douglas C. , Forbidden Signs: American Culture and the Campaign against Sign Language (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1996).

Bernard, Sheila Curran Bernard, and Sarah Mondale, School, The Story of American Public Education (Boston: Beacon Press, 2001).

Edwards, R.A.R. , “‘Speech Has an Extraordinary Humanizing Power’: Horace Mann and the Problem of Nineteenth-Century American Deaf Education,” in Paul K. Longmore and Lauri Umansky, eds., The New Disability History: American Perspectives (New York: New York University Press, 2001), pp.58-82.

Koestler, Frances A., The Unseen Minority: A Social History of Blindness in America (New York: D. McKay Co., 1976).

Van Cleve, John Vickrey, and Barry Crouch, A Place of Their Own: Creating the Deaf Community in America (Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet University Press, 1989).

Trent, James W., Jr, Inventing the Feeble Mind: A History of Mental Retardation in the United States (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994).