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Edward Miner Gallaudet:

Wendy Noah
11/12/01

Edward Miner Gallaudet

The topic that I chose for my research paper is Edward Miner Gallaudet.  I chose him as my topic because he was a dominant force in the education of the Deaf.  Also, I believed that I could learn a lot about the history of the Deaf and sign language through researching his life, contributions, and accomplishments.

Edward Miner Gallaudet was the son of Thomas and Sophia Gallaudet.  He was born in 1837, making him fifty years younger than his father and the eighth born child.  Yet, this large age separation did not hinder the bond that Gallaudet and his father had (Neimark, 1983).  
Gallaudet’s contributions to the field of education began at a very young age.  At the tender age of sixteen, Gallaudet quit his bank job, began part-time teaching at the American School, and also enrolled in Trinity College (Neimark, 1983).  He graduated from Trinity College where he received both his Masters Degree and Ph.D. (Wiegers, 2001).  Gallaudet then began pursuing his father’s goal of higher education for the deaf.  In 1857, Amos Kendall, a Washington philanthropist, offered Gallaudet the position of super-intendent at the Columbian Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf and the Blind in Washington (Lane, 276).  He was only twenty years old.  This Institute opened with only five pupils, and within a year, grew to having eighteen pupils (Lane, 1984).  
In 1864, Edward Miner Gallaudet received a charter for the world’s first college for the deaf.  This ultimately became Gallaudet University (Wiegers, 2001).  This name came about in honor of Edward’s father, Thomas (Neimark, 1983).  Gallaudet University became a very popular and well-known University.  Despite opposition by other educators around the world, Edward supported and used manual language at the institution.  Many of the administrators and educators who came to Gallaudet were trained to teach the deaf by oral methods.  Therefore, a compromise was made, known as the "Simultaneous Method".  This method was speaking and signing at the same time (Neisser, 1983).  This gave them a chance to read the words on the lips of the instructors if they chose, while reading the signs.
Edward Miner Gallaudet is a very important part of the history of the deaf culture.  He accomplished more in a short period of time than many did in there lifetime.  He founded an institution, received a charter for the world’s first college for the deaf, interpreted a short course on Astronomy using interpretation, sustained the use of manualism in the education of the deaf, and opened the doors of his college to women, creating the opportunity for deaf education for both males and females (Wiegers, 2001).  
Gallaudet remained the president of Gallaudet College for a long 46 years.  Through the years as he grew older he received many awards, including ones from Trinity College and Yale.  After a life full of contributions, Edward died at the age of 80 in the year 1917 (Carroll, 1993).

Works Cited
Carroll, Cathryn. (1993).  A Father, A Son, and A University: Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet.  Edward Miner Gallaudet.  Gallaudet University.  Retrieved 10, Nov. 2001:  http://clerccenter.gallaudet.edu/InfoToGo/752.html.

Lane, H.  When the Mind Hears.  New York: Random House. 1984.

Neimark, A.  A Deaf Child Listened.  New York: William Morrow and Company.  1983.

Neisser, A. The Other Side of Silence.  New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.  1983.

Weigers, Andrea (2001, Jan. 1). Augustana College: News and Information.  Introducing the Fabulous and Extraordinary Edward Miner Gallaudet.  Augustana College. Retrieved 9, Nov. 2001: http://inst.augie.edu/~anwieger/andreajinah.html.
 


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