A Learning Revolution for Children Leahea Grammatico's Innovative Work with the Hearing-Impaired
by Sophia D. Miller
The 1960s was a high period of experiment and innovation across the vast spectrum of human culture. In science and medicine, technology, the arts (painting and sculpture, musical composition, choreography, fashion design, literature, film), inventive people were effecting new and exciting means of changing the world. Most importantly, in education, too, there were insightful pioneers searching for and offering fresh ways to view, contemplate, understand and articulate our everyday lives.
Leahea Grammatico (1927-1997) – “Mrs. G,” as everyone called her – was one of the great innovators, setting her notions of education to work for hearing impaired children as young as infants. She wanted everyone involved with a child’s growth – parent, teacher, audiologist, otolaryngologist, even the hearing aid manufacturer and dealer – to concentrate primarily on the complexities of deafness rather than on the philosophy of communication.
This book exemplifies the strategies Mrs. G used to develop her objectives of presechool curriculum: Language, Speech, Listening, and Cognition. Each of those sections presents specific language and practical methods for teachers and parents, interspersed with theoretical discussions based on Mrs. G’s studies of the works of Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, Hilda Taba, and Jerome Bruner.
Sophia D. Miller was one of the first two teachers to work with Leahea Grammatico at her first laboratory school in Palo Alto, Calfornia, the genesis of Peninsula Oral School for the Deaf. Before retiring in 2008, Miller taught hearing impaired children for 35 years, most of them in the Pomona Unified School District. She currently lives in Claremont with her husband Clive.