Graduate project

Learning centers in an elementary classroom for hearing impaired children

THE NEED FOR LEARNING CENTERS. When Charles Silberman's book, Crisis in the Classroom, dramatically burst upon the American scene in August, 1971, American educators began to take a serious look at their schools, their teachers, their curricula and their total educational programs. In the forward to his book, Silberman lamented: The crisis in the classroom--the public school classroom, the college classroom, the national 'classroom' created by the mass media and by the operation of the American political system--is both a reflection of and a contributer to the larger crisis of American society. It cannot be solved unless all who have a stake in the remaking of American education-- teachers and students, school board members and taxpayers, public officials and civic leaders, newspaper and magazine editors and readers, television directors and viewers, parents and children--are alerted to what is wrong and what needs to be done. Silberman cited numerous problems extending from general classroom management to pupil-teacher relationships as the premise of the educational crisis. In general, children, parents and teachers viewed the school with suspicion. Other identifiable situations were: 1. That schools were not responsive or adaptive to students' needs. 2. That children�s learning difficulties originated as much from the school as the home. 3. That schools had a preoccupation with order, control, and rigid classroom scheduling, and were obsessed with silence and lack of movement both in the classroom and the school in general. 4. That tyranny of lesson plans caused routine for routine's sake.