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Alone in the Mainstream

Page history last edited by wboyd1@... 14 years, 8 months ago

Parents make the decision to homeschool for many reasons. For example, some decide to homeschool their children early on and others may choose to homeschool after the kids have miserable experiences with the school system. There are many factors to consider when making educational decisions for their children.

  

Gina Olivia, Ph.D.,a professor at Gallaudet University, published a book in 2004 by Gallaudet University Press, that describes the pros and cons of mainstreamed education from the viewpoint of mainstreamed students years after they graduated. Throughout the book, she intertwines her personal stories of these good and bad experiences along with the scientific findings from the other mainstreamed students whom she evaluated.

Oliva lets the adults tell their stories so readers are able to get a more than just a taste of mainstreamed education from the perspective of affected students. Oliva in no way, shape, or form makes any comparisons between mainstreamed education and the residential schools for the deaf. Instead, she lets her research subjects tell their experiences and she dutifully records the patterns and trends she heard over and over from the subjects. She lets them talk about how their parents influenced the educational process, and she lets the students talk about the social isolation that they all felt. Although, most of the deaf/hard of hearing students she surveyed had attended public schools and admitted they had an excellent education and were thankful for it, yet, many said the higher quality of education came at a cost -- lack of socialization. Oliva further explores the deprivation of socialization to get a clearer understanding of the costs involved.

Mainstreamed programs around the country today continue to flourish. Teachers, audiologists, speech pathologists, and educators in the mainstreamed classrooms are making all kinds of measurable strides in speech and language development, reading comprehension scores, and keeping students on grade-level. Professionals working with mainstreamed programs would benefit by reading this book of collected memories to determine how to keep all the positive consequences of the mainstream experience intact while addressing the isolating experience that so many mainstreamed students speak of and experience.

 

 

References:

McIntosh, Ann (May 3, 2009). Alone in the Mainstream: A Deaf Woman Remembers Public School. Retrieved on July 2, 2009, from http://deafness.about.com/od/historicprogress/fr/alonemainstream.htm

 

Educational Issues of Deaf Students

 

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