The Oral Failure By John Walker

A topic of concern in the late 1970s: what to do with the 'oral failures'?

Mentions of the term, 'oral failure'.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'The Oral Failure' page

After 30 post war years of using the pure oral methods of education, it was evident that not all children fared well under the educational regime. The children were still using signs to express themselves regardless of the rules and the punishments distilled when they were broken. Not all children bought into the ideas of oralism.

The term, 'oral failure', expressed a concern that a philosophical and somewhat utopian ideal was actually causing harm; some children did not leave school with the education they needed in order to function as an adult in either the Deaf or hearing worlds. There were attempts to blame the children or the parents for these failures, but schools and teachers simply could not avoid one particular issue: it was harmful to teach children under one educational regime and it was the educational institution's responsibility to explore other options for a particular child. Especially, when deaf children's intelligence were no different from hearing children.

This page was added on 26/09/2012.

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