Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Anne Sullivan, 1855-1936, best known as the teacher of Helen Keller:

"I am beginning to suspect all elaborate and special systems of education. They seem to me to be built upon the supposition that every child is a kind of idiot who must be taught to think. Whereas, if the child is left to himself, he will think more and better, if less showily. Let him go and come freely, let him touch real things and combine his impressions for himself, instead of sitting indoors at a little round table, while a sweet-voiced teacher suggests that he build a stone wall with his wooden blocks, or make a rainbow out of strips of coloured paper, or plant straw trees in bead flower-pots. Such teaching fills the mind with artificial associations that must be got rid of, before the child can develop independent ideas out of actual experience."

Helen Keller was the first deaf-blind person to graduate from college. Sullivan taught her by using a form of finger spelling in her hands, proving what has been stated by others, that of all the human sensory organs, the hands alone can take the place of other senses in situations of their impairment.

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