Deaf School vs. Mainstreaming..Pros and Cons?- Poston

Discussion in 'Sign Language & Deaf Education' started by steefposton, Mar 13, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. steefposton

    steefposton New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Battle Ground, WA
    I'm sure this has been asked before, but has anyone attended BOTH mainstream and Deaf schools? What were the advantages and disadvantages? I'm trying to get my students to realize that it's not a "one's good, the other evil" debate, but rather a measure of pros and cons.

    Thanks
     
  2. Blade Runner

    Blade Runner Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Messages:
    784
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Currently Syracuse, NY
    Mainstreamed schools:

    Pros -
    • Improved socializing between the deaf and the hearing.
    • Better use of English grammar.
    • Better education i.e. better at math, science, etc.
    • More maturity.

    Cons -
    • A disassociation between the deaf student who went to deaf and the mainstreamed schools.
    • Jealousy from the other deaf students who did not go to deaf schools.

    Deaf Schools:

    Pros -
    • No language barrier in a situation that requires communication.
    • More unity
    • Easy to make new friends.
    • More maturity.

    Cons -

    • Less socialization with the hearing
    • Weak English grammar.
    • Less involved in Science, Math, etc.
    • Less maturity.
     
  3. jillio

    jillio New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    60,239
    Likes Received:
    6
    My son attended mainstream schools until the 4th grade, at which time he was transfered to St. Rita School for the Deaf. The problem with the school system I dealt with was consistency in service, and teachers who had never encountered a deaf student prior. He did well academically, as long as his terp was present. However, he began to develop socialization problems as he was only one of 2 deaf students in the school system, and the other one was younger. In addition, the itinerant speech and hearing specialist was very much of the oral philosophy, and my son had been raised thus far in a total communication environment with a great deal of exposure to the Deaf community from a very early age.

    The advantages of his being transfered to a school for the Deaf as a day student were many. For one, he was actually in an environment with his peers--other deaf students. This is in contrast to the Least Restrictive Environment clause interpretation of his peer as hearing students. Communicaton between peers and teachers was very natural, as it no longer was necessary to facilitate through an interpreter. He had as role models Deaf adults who had achieved master's degrees in education, and the hearing faculty and staff were all fluent signers and were well educated regarding the methods most successful for deaf students. He was able to play sports (provided he kept his grades up!) without coaches being unaware of his communication needs and therefore, leaving him on the bench. He was able to particpate in the signing choir, theater productions, and as an older student, mentor some of the younger students at the elementary level.

    Emersion in the culture of the school for the Deaf, however, did not limit his contact with the hearing world. He came home every evening to a hearing mother. He had contact with other hearing members of his extended family. The Deaf school also had a co-op program with a hearing high school. ASL students joined the students at St. Rita for many extra curricular activities, including planning movie nights, dances, bowling trips, and Silent Dinners.

    I personally believe that, had the socialization problems he was experiencing in the mainstream been allowed to continue, his education would have suffered as a result. He would have become disillusioned and disinterested in school, and not been motivated to keep up with his studies beyond just what he had to do to get by. It is unfortunate that many mainstreamed deaf students are permitted to do just that because the educators are unfamiliar with deaf students and therefore have lowered expectations for their capabilites. At St. Rita, many of the teachers were Deaf, and the hearing teachers had years of experience in working with deaf students. They kept their expectations high, and encouraged him to achieve. And he was able to do so, as he was not distracted by the constant effort to fit in in the mainstream.

    My son today is a 21 year old college student. He attends a hearing university, and rooms with one of his friends from high school. He has a terp for classes, is doing well, and is happy and well adjusted. He is comfortable with his deafness, and with his identity as a Deaf individual.
     
  4. BearBeauty

    BearBeauty New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Messages:
    818
    Likes Received:
    0
    For me, growing up in mainstreamed schools.. I can tell you pros and cons of mainstreamed schools.. and I was never a full student in a deaf school so I can't say the pro and con of deaf schools, just my expierences from visiting and taking a class in the deaf schools...


    mainstream schools pro -

    * more variety in the classes I could take... * I took drama classes, shakespeare classes, creative writing classes, and i forgot the others*

    * more challenges to learn to speak up for myself, advocate for myself.

    * Some truly great teachers that I still love to this day who actually understood my deafness.

    Cons of Mainstream schools -

    * I did more studying and work outside of class due to the fact that I had to make sure I understood everything in classrooms aside from what the teacher would discuss.

    * problematic administrators who didn't understand the challenges of deaf students.

    * Due to the above, I couldn't keep an interpreter for more than 2 years.

    * no speech therapy due to the speech therapist being a moron.. (long story)


    From my observations at the deaf school, there seemed to be problems.. I think the school as a whole was having a lot of problems anyway. But I could see a lack of trust amongst some of the students and staff there. Classes were fine as far as I could see. Other than the obvious problem that I thought it was a bit easy.. but that was just me. (these were merely my observations at the deaf school when i was visiting, and do not reflect all deaf schools :))
     
  5. nightcrickets

    nightcrickets New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Messages:
    225
    Likes Received:
    0
    oh yeah, I am the proof of that. Not. If a deaf want very good English grammars, they are better off with cued speech, CI in both ears, or Lots and Lots of speech therapy and parental help. Don't rely on mainstreamed school for good grammars.

    I went to mainstreamed from K-12 and never attended a deaf school

    If you go to a mainstreamed school, be prepare to be harrassed, bullied, made fun of, being called "hey deaf ear", etc.
     
  6. shel90

    shel90 Audist are not welcome Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Messages:
    44,986
    Likes Received:
    243
    Location:
    A place where crabs are popular
    It is not true that speech therapy is the only way deaf people can be proficent in English. If that was the case then deaf people from deaf families whose primary language is ASL wouldn't be proficient in English. I know many of them whose English grammar and usage is more advanced than mine.

    Research has proven that if a child has a strong L1 language whether it is in ASL or through spoken language, that child is more likely to master literacy skills.

    I used to believe the same thing as u until I went to grad school for deaf ed. Boy, what I learned opened my eyes about sign language and oral languages. Oral language does not work for all deaf/hoh children and I have seen proof of that.
     
  7. nightcrickets

    nightcrickets New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Messages:
    225
    Likes Received:
    0

    Like I said, don't rely mainstreamed for good English grammars. If they are naturally good at literature using ASL as their primary language, then it proves that it is not because they went to mainstreamed school. They would be good at it no matter what school they go to. If a deaf is struggling with their English, then they definitely should not depend on mainstreamed school. They have to work at it. But then again, I am really speaking my own experience as a severe HOH who never had a interpreter. I am sure a deaf person can learn alot in mainstreamed school if they had a interpreter.
     
  8. nightcrickets

    nightcrickets New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Messages:
    225
    Likes Received:
    0

    If they are naturally good at literature using ASL as their primary language, then it proves that it is not because they went to mainstreamed school. They would be good at it no matter what school they go to. If a deaf is struggling with their English, then they definitely should not depend on mainstreamed school for better English grammar, hoping it will help. It won't. They have to work at it. But I was really speaking my experience as a severe HOH who never had a interpreter. I didn't think about deaf using a interpreter. I am sure deaf would do well if they had a interpreter in public school. Some their language seem kind backward when they try to write in ASL, though.
     
  9. BearBeauty

    BearBeauty New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Messages:
    818
    Likes Received:
    0

    Your mainstreamed expierence is different from mine, because I never had a problem in mainstreamed school after elementary school. I had problems with socializing in elementary school, but young kids are harsh. And as you go into middle and high school, it gets easier, at least it did for me. I was accepted after elementary school.. and besides.. Speech Therapy and CI's and all that are not going to work 100% of the time. I had speech therapy but in high school the therapist was sporadastic at best. (long story) so I quit going..

    I believe that for the most part, it takes the Student's desire to learn to make anything work. If a student does not have the desire or motivation to work on bettering themselves.. than nobody can help the student but the student themself.
     
  10. jillio

    jillio New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    60,239
    Likes Received:
    6


    I agree that motivation is the key. Motivated students can certainly make even a bad situation work. Question is, should they have to?
     
  11. nightcrickets

    nightcrickets New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Messages:
    225
    Likes Received:
    0
    Actually the kids were harsh in middle and high school. It got worst for me. I liked elementary school alot better than I did in high school. I was SO GLAD to get out of there.

    But anyway, when I was in 7th grade, my english teacher would write down the assignment on the board. Ok, that's fine. I wrote it down. But she didn't tell me the due date. I kept asking her and she mumbled. I just could not understand what the teacher was trying to say. I don't think she wanted me in her class anyhow. I turn in my assignment anyway, and she gives it back to me and tell me it is not due today, but it is due tomorrow. I was so confused. The result, I was failing because I wasn't turning my assignment on time. So they felt I needed to be in LD english class (and I had to stay there until 11th grade) because they didn't want me to fail. I tell them let me fail anyway, and they refused to listen. And the whole time I was in LD class, they taught me nothing. Keep in mind, I had no trouble with any other my regular classes.

    When 11th came, They wanted me to get out of LD english class so I could have a regular diploma. I had no trouble with my 11th and 12th english class, but I do have to admit that my grammars was not as advanced as the other students because of the slow teaching I was getting from my LD english class. It wasn't that I wasn't motivated enough. it was because teachers just did not know how to deal with my hearing so they decided to just scratch me off to LD class. But I graduated in 1996 so I guess things have changed now. The school treated my older sister alot better than they did with me. She have the same hearing loss as I do (and same personality) and she graduated in 1988. She too went mainstreamed public school (same school) from K-12, but they didn't have LD class at the time and she didn't have the same english teacher as I did.
    She made mostly C's and D's in school. but she did well as I did with all my other subjects. BTW, my sister was made fun of too.
     
  12. shel90

    shel90 Audist are not welcome Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Messages:
    44,986
    Likes Received:
    243
    Location:
    A place where crabs are popular
    Only my middle school years were when the kids were so cruel to me. One kid even slammed my locker door while I had my hand in it and nearly broke my finger! All because he hated my deaf voice!

    Anyways, during my high school years, nobody picked on me but I was left out a lot. Kinda like ignored and whenever I would initiate conversations, my peers would be very brief with me as if they had no patience making sure I understood them or repeating themselves. Yes, I had great friends that were hearing and I have nothing against them but whenever a group of us got together, I was so left out. I did try asking them what was being said but being teenagers, most of them didnt really try to make sure I was fully involved in the conversations so I just played along. Whenever everyone laughed, I laughed too even though I had no idea what was funny. Just didnt want to look like a fool even though I was feeling like one inside. It was just too much for me. I preferred one on one conversations with my friends but it wasnt realistic since most high school kids socialized in groups.

    I thought I was happy but looking back, I had a huge emotional void that I tried to fill in with the wrong things.
     
  13. nightcrickets

    nightcrickets New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Messages:
    225
    Likes Received:
    0

    wow, that sounds like me..and my friends. They would give me a quick brief what's going on.

    I did have a great christian friend who came up a journal for us to pass around. (she still have it!!!) She would write and write about everything that goes on in her mind to me. I would write back. Today we email each other, but she is so busy at work that she doesn't write as much as she used to. she doesn't have a computer at home and doesn't want one because something terrible happened to her neice because of the internet.
     
  14. BearBeauty

    BearBeauty New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Messages:
    818
    Likes Received:
    0
    Being left out for me wasn't a problem because i wasn't very social.. and I prefered to be with 1 or 2 other friends.. my friends were like me, we were known as the 3 muskeeters,.. not very social.. so we formed a pretty tight group.. Occasionally we'd have a few more people in the group, but the 3 of us were the main group. They learned sign language from me.. so it was easier for us to talk that way.

    I was popular, yes.. because I was deaf and people were fascinated with my expressive signing.. and they often asked me what I was saying.. and one of my friends, who was hearing, would tell them what I said.. I think it was because I was nice to everyone, even though i had problems with crowds.

    Yeah.. like i've mentioned in other threads, it's a family trait.. my mom is the same way, and so is my sister. it's gone through my mom's family for years.. just the way we are.
     
  15. nightcrickets

    nightcrickets New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Messages:
    225
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was nice and friendly to everyone too.

    But I was never taught ASL. So I didn't use it.
     
  16. Dcbaler75

    Dcbaler75 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey Mr. Poston this is Jake White
    I think the pros would be that one they get a better education at a Mainstreamed school and it would be good for a deaf student to communicate more with hearing students.
    The cons would be that you might feel alone because there is not many deaf students at the school. Some pros for a deaf school it would be a lot easier to make friends, and you’re with more people that are like you. Cons- your not around hearing people as much, and your English might not be as good.
     
  17. shel90

    shel90 Audist are not welcome Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Messages:
    44,986
    Likes Received:
    243
    Location:
    A place where crabs are popular
     
  18. ASLstudent100

    ASLstudent100 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey Mr. Poston, this is Stephen Brown.
    I wouldn't know, but from my understanding, a mainstream school would provide a better learning experience but a deaf school would provide a better social learning experience and be more apart of deaf culture.
     
  19. BearBeauty

    BearBeauty New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Messages:
    818
    Likes Received:
    0
    Everyone's got to remember that mainstreamed schools are not perfect either.. there are some mainstreamed schools that could be worse than deaf schools.. So not all deaf schools are bad.. sometimes they are better than the mainstreamed schools.

    No I don't know of any examples, personally, Just giving a generalization.
     
  20. Ambiebambie

    Ambiebambie New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    I understand now about the difference between a mainstream school and a deaf school and deaf schools because of ritcount and to me it sound either school would be okay. Although i do have question: Do they have more or less clique or about the same?
    Amber N
    Per. 3
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

Looking to buy hearing aids online? Check out Hearex.com