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From "Silence and Darkness:" Historical Origins of the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind, 1883 to 1917 is an early institutional history of the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind (FSDB) covering the first 34 years of the school's existence. The study examines three areas for discreet spans of time: 1) external forces influencing institutional creation and operation, 2) institutional administrative and academic structure, and 3) institutional student life and instruction. To uncover the history of the school, the study considers Florida educational records, newspaper archives, historical articles from professional journals from organizations of deaf education, materials printed by the school as well as secondary sources among the body of special education literature. This study illuminates areas of the history of education that have been largely ignored and adds to the body of the few institutional histories of deaf and blind institutions that exist. This study reveals that FSDB began under the protective governorship of William Bloxham as Thomas Hines Coleman sought his goal of founding a deaf and blind school, muddling through subsequent gubernatorial administrations, navigating its way through allegations of mismanagement and cruelty, learning to operate effectively in a political environment, and finally beginning to flourish under the leadership of school President Walker. Throughout the unfolding of the history, this work shows differences between the treatment of the races, genders, and disabilities. Some difference may be attributed to direct and intentional actions while others are coincidental.
History Of Education, Deaf And Blind Education, Florida Education, History Of Special Education, FSDB
Date of Defense
April 29, 2004.
A Dissertation Submitted to the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Victoria-Maria MacDonald, Professor Directing Dissertation; Joseph Beckham, Outside Committee Member; Emanuel Shargel, Committee Member; Sande Milton, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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