"The World is Wide Enough for Us Both”: The Manitoba School for the Deaf at the Onset of the Oralist Age, 1889-1920

Sandy Barron

Abstract


Historical research on the oralist era in North American deaf education has typically been undertaken through a national lens. This study asserts that a more localized and regional view of the communication methods practiced at deaf schools will aid in the creation of a more complex picture of how oralism spread in Canadian and North American deaf schools. Based on an analysis of the papers of the Manitoba Ministry of Public Works; the archives of Silent Echo, the Manitoba School’s newspaper; and published works by the school’s principals, this paper contends that strict oralism faced fierce resistance in Manitoba from both Deaf citizens and teachers, as well as the school’s hearing principal, before 1920. Principal Duncan McDermid and deaf teacher J.R. Cook published and republished arguments in the Echo against oralism and in favour of moderation in the sign debate. In consideration of all three characteristics of strictly oralist schools in the early twentieth century – a ban on sign language, separation of deaf students from Deaf communities, and the expulsion of deaf teaching staff – the Manitoba School for the Deaf emerges as an exception to the trend of encroaching oralism in Canadian deaf schools during the early twentieth-century. 


Keywords


Deaf education; Deaf history; Deaf education methods debate; Manitoba; Provincial governance; regional vs. national historiography

Full Text:

HTML PDF

References


Ministry of Public Works Correspondence Files, 1888-1899. Provincial Archives of Manitoba,

GS 0123 GR1607.

Silent Echo vols 1 – 10. Deaf Heritage Room, Manitoba School for the Deaf (DHR, MSD),

Winnipeg.

Silent Echo vols 11-17. Legislative Library, Provincial Archives of Manitoba (LL, PAM).

Annual Reports of the MIDD/MSD, 1890-1920. DHR, MSD and LL, PAM.

American Annals for the Deaf 39 no. 1 (January, 1894).

Secondary Sources

Alcorn, Kerry. Border Crossings: U.S. Culture and Education in Saskatchewan, 1905-1937.

Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2013.

Baynton, Douglas. “Disability and the Justification for Inequality in American History.” In The

New Disability History: American Perspectives, edited by Paul K. Longmore and Lauri

Umansky, 33-57. New York: New York University Press, 2001.

Baynton, Douglas. Forbidden Signs: American Culture and the Campaign Against Sign

Language. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.

Buchanan, Robert M. “The Silent Worker Newspaper and the Building of a Deaf Community,

-1929.” In Deaf History Unveiled: Interpretations from the New Scholarship. Edited by John Vickrey Van Cleve, 172-197. Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet University Press, 1993.

Burch, Susan. Signs of Resistance: American Deaf Cultural History, 1900 to World War II. New

York: New York University Press, 2002.

Carbin, Clifton. Deaf Heritage in Canada: A Distinct, Diverse, and Enduring Culture. Toronto:

McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1996.

Cleall, Esme. “’Deaf to the Word’: Gender, Deafness and Protestantism in Nineteenth-Century

Britain and Ireland.” Gender and History 25, no. 3 (November 2013), 590-603.

Edwards, R.A.R. Words Made Flesh: Nineteenth-Century Deaf Education and the Growth of

Deaf Culture. New York: New York University Press, 2012.

Ellis, Jason. “‘All Methods and Wedded to None’: The Deaf Education Methods Debate and

Progressive Educational Reform in Toronto, Canada, 1922-1945.” Paedagogica Historica 50, no. 3 (2014): 371-389.

Hutchison, Iain. “Oralism: A Sign of the Times? The Contest for Deaf Communication in

Education Provision in Late-Nineteenth Century Scotland.” European Review of History 14, no. 2 (2007): 481-501.

Iozzo, Alessandra. “’Silent Citizens’: Citizenship Education, Disability, and d/Deafness at the

Ontario Institution for the Education of the Deaf, 1870-1914.” PhD diss., University of Ottawa, 2015.

Pemberton, Neil. “Deafness and Holiness: Home Missions, Deaf Congregations, and Natural

Language 1860-1890.” Victorian Review 35, no. 2 (Fall 2009): 65-82.

Perrault, Stephane-D. “Intersecting Discourses: Deaf Institutions and Communities in Montreal,

-1920.” PhD diss., McGill University, 2003.

Reis, Michael. “’A Tale of Two Schools: The Indiana Institution and the Evansville Day School,

-1912.” The Deaf History Reader, edited by John Vickrey Van Cleve, 85-115.. Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet University Press, 2009.

Roots, James. “Deaf Education and Advocacy: A Short History of the Canadian Association of

the Deaf.” In Making Equality: History of Advocacy and Persons with Disabilities in Canada. Edited by Deborah Stienstra and Aileen Wight-Felske, 73-86. Concord, ON:

Captus Press, 2003.

Stamp, Robert. “Teaching the ‘Children of Silence’: Samuel Greene and the Hearing-Impaired.”

Historical Studies in Education 17, no. 1 (2005): 165-68.

Winefield, Richard. Never the Twain Shall Meet: The Communications Debate. Washington,

D.C.: Gallaudet University Press, 1987.

Winzer, Margret. “Education, Urbanization, and the Deaf Community: A Case Study of

Toronto, 1870-1900.” In Deaf History Unveiled: Interpretations From the New Scholarship. Edited by John Vickrey Van Cleve, 127-145. Washington, D.C., Gallaudet University Press, 1993.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15353/cjds.v6i1.333

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




 

The Canadian Journal of Disability Studies is Published by the Canadian Disability Studies Association-Association Canadienne des Études sur l'Incapacité, and is hosted and supported by the University of Waterloo.

ISSN 1929-9192 Canadian Journal of Disability Studies (Online)