Afwijzing van Gebaren: Pedagogisch (on)gegrond?
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The history of deaf education has seen a lot of discussion about whether or not the use of sign language is appropriate. One of the schools that refused the use of sign language is the Institute for the Deaf in St. Michielsgestel, the Netherlands. This article questions whether the IvD based this choice on educational grounds, in the period of 1983 to 1988. This qualitative research approaches three sub-questions that focus on the linguistic, cognitive and social and emotional development of deaf children. A number of important theories regarding these developmental areas have been used to investigate the validity of refusing sign language. This is done through a literature analysis. This is subsequently used as a measuring tool, one that could be used to do a content analysis of texts found in Van Horen Zeggen, a leading magazine for deaf education at the time the institute made this decision. The content analysis showed that none of the predominant developmental theories studied were used to reject the use of sign language at the IvD.