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they combine or react under specified conditions. Chemistry can be divided into branches according to either the substances studied or the types of study conducted. The primary division of the first type is between inorganic and organic chemistry. Divisions of the second type are physical chemistry and analytical chemistry. The original distinction between organic and inorganic chemistry arose as chemists gradually realized that compounds of biological origin were quite different in their general properties from those of mineral origin; organic chemistry was defined as the study of substances produced by living organisms. However, when it was discovered in the 19th cent, that organic molecules could be produced artificially in the laboratory, this definition had to be abandoned. Organic chemistry is simply defined as the study of the compounds of carbon. Physical chemistry is concerned with the physical properties of materials, such as their electrical and magnetic behaviour and their interaction with electromagnetic fields. Subcategories within physical chemistry are thermochemistry, electrochemistry and chemical kinetics. Thermochemistry is the investigation of the changes in energy that occur during chemical reactions and phase transformations. Electrochemistry concerns the effects of electricity on chemical changes and interconversions of electric and chemical energy such as that in a voltaic cell. Chemical kinetics is concerned with the details of chemical reactions and of how equilibrium is reached between the products and reactants. Analytical chemistry is a collection of techniques that allows exact laboratory determination of the composition of a given sample of material. In qualitative analysis, all the atoms and molecules present are identified, with particular attention to trace elements. In quantitative analysis, the exact weight of each constituent is obtained as well.

Electrochemical theories of chemical combinations were developed by Humphry Davy and J. J. Berzelius. Davy discovered the alkali metals by passing an electric current through their molten oxides. Michael Faraday discovered that a definite quantity of charge must flow in order to deposit a given weight of material in solution. Amadeo Avogadro introduced the hypothesis that equal volumes of gases at the same pressure and temperature contain the same number of molecules. William Prout suggested that all elements are composed of hydrogen atoms.

The periodic table of the elements is the culmination of a long effort to find regular, systematic properties among the elements. Periodic laws were put forward almost simultaneously and independently by J. L. Meyer in Germany and D. I. Mendeleyev in Russia (1869). An early triumph of the new theory was the discovery of new elements that fit the empty spaces in the table. At the end of the 19th century, the discovery of the electron by J. J. Thomson and of radioactivity by A. E. Becquerel revealed close connection between chemistry and physics.

Gases. Expansion of gases.

The behaviour of a gas is easily enough understood if we remember what it is. A gas is a very scattered assembly of molecules moving as fast as bullets but not getting very far before they collide with each other. Each molecule has a good big free space round it: in fact, a molecule of a gas has about a thousand times as much elbow-room as a molecule of a liquid or a solid. Well, anyone can see that if this is a true picture of a gas, it must be very light, because it is made up of very few molecules. Picture a swarm of midges in which each midge was about two inches from the next and you will have a fair notion of the amount of elbow-room in a gas. It follows from this that a gas will flow very easily, for the molecules will not get in each other's way, nor will they greatly attract or repel each other. For the latter reason, it should be easy to compress a gas: a solid or liquid is almost incompressible because the repulsions of the electrical charges of which its atoms are made up are far stronger than any forces we can apply. In the case of a gas, the molecules are much too far from each other to repel each other. Of course, the idea of a gas as a swarm of busy molecules is not much more than a hundred years old. Gases are so unlike any other kind of matter.

One of the reasons why people before the eighteenth century knew hardly anything about gases was that they are difficult to handle. You can put a solid in a basket or a basin, you can pour a liquid into a jug, but a gas has to be handled in a special way. Suppose you have a bottle full of it. As soon as you uncork it, the gas molecules begin to spread into the air and the air molecules into the gas.

Just as we can cool a gas by making it do work, so we can heat it by doing work upon it. Suppose, instead of letting the gas push the piston we apply power to the piston and make it push the gas. This speeds up its molecules and makes it hot. It follows, then, that if we compress a gas it becomes hotter. The best example of this is seen in a bicycle pump, which becomes very warm when a tyre is inflated. You might think this was due to the friction of the pistol, but if you try working the pump without a tyre, you will find it does not heat up noticeably.

The expansion of a compressed gas is used in driving steam engines, petrol-engines, hot-air-engines, etc.

The Ways of Storing Gases

On the industrial scale, there are three favourite ways of storing gases. First, they are stored in gasometers over water, or under a sliding piston or diaphragm.

Secondly, gases are stored in cylinders under pressures. This squeezes a lot of gas into a little space.

Thirdly, some gases can be made into liquids by compressing them, and these are sold in strong glass syphons or iron cylinders. When the valve at the top of the syphon is opened, the liquid evaporates and the gas rushes out. One gas, acetylene, explodes when it is strongly compressed, so it is dissolved under moderate pressure in a liquid called acetone, just as carbon dioxide is dissolved under pressure in water to make soda-water. When the cylinder of acetylene dissolved in acetone is opened, the acetylene comes bubbling out like the carbon dioxide from soda-water. To prevent the acetone from being spilt, it is soaked up in porous material.

The selling of gas is now a big industry, and at least eighteen different kinds can be bought.

The great chemical works usually make their gases and use them on the spot. Oxygen is sold to engineers for welding with the oxyacetylene blowpipe, and to doctors for sustaining pneumonia patients. Nitrogen, which does not burn, is sold for filling electric lamps and some other purposes. Hydrogen is sold for filling balloons and for various chemical purposes. Chlorine the green poison-gas is sold for bleaching and for making various chemicals. Carbon dioxide is sold in cylinders for making fizzy drinks and soda-water, which are simply still drinks or water into which this gas has been forced under pressure. Ethylene and ethyl chloride are used as anaesthetics. Acetylene is used for lighting. Liquefied ammonia (not the solution in water you buy at the chemist's) is used for refrigerators. Argon obtained from air is sold for filling electric light bulbs, and neon, a gas of which the air contains only one part in 55,000, is extracted from it and is used to fill those brilliant neon tubes which make the modern street so gay at night. So there are at least thirteen familiar gases you can buy, packed in cylinders or 'syphons'. One more gas is familiar to us all, the coal-gas, which is supplied to houses. This is a mixture of half-a-dozen gases. It is mostly hydrogen and methane the gas which causes explosions in coal mines but it also contains the poisonous carbon monoxide and small amounts of several other gases.


Water is a chemical compound of oxygen and hydrogen, the latter gas forming two thirds of its volume. It is the most abundant of all chemical compounds, five seventh of the earth's surface being covered with water. As we know, water does not burn, on the contrary; it is generally used for putting out the fire. Therefore, it seems remarkable that the two gases which it is composed of act in the opposite way: one of them hydrogen burns, the second oxygen makes things burn much faster than does air. Hydrogen is the lightest gas known, oxygen being slightly heavier than air. Now, although these two gases, when taken separately, can be compressed into a much smaller space by pressure, water is one of the most incompressible substances known, the properties of a compound being unlike the properties of the elements of which it is made. By means of hydraulic accumulators, water can be subjected to a tremendous pressure without appreciably reducing its volume. However, in spite of its resistance to compression, it has been calculated that at ocean depths water is compressed to such an extent that the average sea level is 35.6 meters lower than it would be if water were absolutely incompressible.

Water covers 70.9% of the Earth's surface, and is vital for all known forms of life. On Earth, it is found mostly in oceans and other large water bodies, with 1.6% of water below ground in aquifers and 0.001% in the air as vapor, clouds (formed of solid and liquid water particles suspended in air), and precipitation. Oceans hold 97% of surface water, glaciers and polar ice caps 2.4%, and other land surface water such as rivers, lakes and ponds 0.6%. A very small amount of the Earth's water is contained within biological bodies and manufactured products. Water on Earth moves continually through a cycle of evaporation or transpiration (evapotranspiration), precipitation, and runoff, usually reaching the sea. Over land, evaporation and transpiration contribute to the precipitation over land.

Water like air is never found quite pure in nature but contains various salts and minerals in solution. Salt water being heavier, some things will float in it which would sink in fresh water; hence it is easier to swim in salt water. When sea water freezes the salt separates from it, ice being quite pure.

The almost endless applications of water are such that without it all life would cease. Water is necessary for the existence of man, animals and plants, every living thing containing large amounts of water. Being a solvent of most substances, it is indispensable in chemistry and medicine. When used in engineering its great resistance to compression enables it to transmit enormous power. When we drink water, it is almost immediately coursing through our system, the body being purified of poison, which is carried off in solution. When heated, water changes into an invisible gas; freezing it we get a solid block of crystals. When evaporated it forms clouds from where it falls on the earth as rain or snow, the soil absorbs the water, which appears on the surface again in the form of streams to begin a new cycle of evaporation. In its various changes, it is indestructible disappearing only to appear again in another form. It goes round and round, the total amount of water on the earth never changing.

Chemistry and Chemical Industry in Modern Life

Everybody knows that chemistry with its today's possibilities is a young science. However, its history began several thousand years ago. A great number of facts, which are still useful in modern chemistry, were discovered in ancient Greece, Rome and especially Egypt. But that knowledge was purely practical. They could not explain many things which they were observing in the material world. They prepared medicines from plants but could not tell what elements they consisted of.

Today, chemistry is revolutionizing the material conditions of life of contemporary society. Its impact on the development of production is accounted for by the fact that many new technological methods are based on the chemical transformation of matter, the use of synthetic materials and other achievements of chemistry and chemical industry. Those methods promote the growth of output and improve its quality, allow a more intensive use of equipment and cut costs on material and labour.

Everybody knows that chemistry is an extremely useful thing. We are aware of the fact that none of the key industries can develop without chemistry. This applies to machine-building, rocketry, agriculture, light and building industry, medicine, national defence, etc. There are other sciences (biochemistry, molecular biology, geochemistry, astrochemistry, etc.) which have been considerably affected by the progress of chemistry.

We all realize that the successes of contemporary chemistry have been amazingly great. Take, for instance, the chemistry of polymers. Scientists, who are working jointly with the chemical branches of industry, have created excellent polymers as far as durability and thermal stability are concerned. In our everyday life we are using beautiful fabrics and other materials which can now be made "to order" out of polymers obtained from natural gas, coal, shale, wood or oil. They are much more durable, cheaper, and of considerably better quality. Polymer substances are used in making bolts, screws, bodies for motor cars and motor boats, skis, tanks, belts, springs, bearings, blood vessels and joints, and a lot of other things. We also know that almost all detergents, fertilizers, lubricants, fuels, antifreezes, pesticides, cosmetics, energy-converters (magnets, lasers) and thousands of other products are constructed wholly or in part of synthetics.

Today we are witnessing the development of a new scientific and technical branch biochemical technology. The chemists-researchers have already succeeded in determining the place and the role of each atom in a complex bioorganic compound. The combination of biological or microbiological processes with those of direct chemical synthesis helps obtain new substances or microorganisms. This also will provide humanity with unlimited sources of food, medicines, fodder, many types of highly valuable raw materials, etc.

We are sure that there will be many new discoveries in chemistry. They will create new opportunities in the future of humanity.


Blue whale

Blue whales are the largest animals ever known to have lived on Earth. These magnificent marine mammals rule the oceans at up to 100 feet long and upwards of 200 tons. Their tongues alone can weigh as much as an elephant. Their hearts, as much as an automobile.

Blue whales reach these mind-boggling dimensions on a diet composed nearly exclusively of tiny shrimplike animals called krill. During certain times of the year, a single adult blue whale consumes about 4 tons of krill a day.

Blue whales are baleen whales, which means they have fringed plates of fingernail-like material, called baleen, attached to their upper jaws. The giant animals feed by first gulping an enormous mouthful of water, expanding the pleated skin on their throat and belly to take it in. Then the whale's massive tongue forces the water out through the thin, overlapping baleen plates. Thousands of krill are left behindand then swallowed.

Blue whales look true blue underwater, but on the surface their colouring is more a mottled blue-gray. Their underbellies take on a yellowish hue from the millions of microorganisms that take up residence in their skin. The blue whale has a broad, flat head and a long, tapered body that ends in wide, triangular flukes.

Blue whales live in all the world's oceans occasionally swimming in small groups but usually alone or in pairs. They often spend summers feeding in polar waters and undertake lengthy migrations towards the Equator as winter arrives.

These graceful swimmers cruise the ocean at more than five miles an hour, but accelerate to more than 20 miles an hour when they are agitated. Blue whales are among the loudest animals on the planet. They emit a series of pulses, groans, and moans, and its thought that, in good conditions, blue whales can hear each other up to 1,000 miles away. Scientists think they use these vocalizations not only to communicate, but, along with their excellent hearing, to sonar-navigate the lightless ocean depths.

Blue whale calves enter the world already ranking among the planet's largest creatures. After about a year inside its mother's womb, a baby blue whale emerges weighing up to 3 tons and stretching to 25 feet. It gorges on nothing but mother's milk and gains about 200 pounds (91 kilograms) every day for its first year.

Blue whales are among Earth's longest-lived animals. Scientists have discovered that by counting the layers of a deceased whale's waxlike earplugs, they can get a close estimate of the animal's age. The oldest blue whale found using this method was determined to be around 110 years old. Average lifespan is estimated at around 80 to 90 years.

Between 10,000 and 25,000 blue whales are believed to still swim the world's oceans. Aggressive hunting in the 1900s by whalers seeking whale oil drove them to the brink of extinction. Between 1900 and the mid-1960s, some 360,000 blue whales were slaughtered. They finally came under protection with the 1966 International Whaling Commission, but they've managed only a minor recovery since then.


A flood occurs when water overflows or inundates land that's normally dry. This can happen in a multitude of ways. Most common is when rivers or streams overflow their banks. Excessive rain, a ruptured dam or levee, rapid ice melting in the mountains, or even an unfortunately placed beaver dam can overwhelm a river and send it spreading over the adjacent land, called a floodplain. Coastal flooding occurs when a large storm or tsunami causes the sea to surge inland.

Most floods take hours or even days to develop, giving residents ample time to prepare or evacuate. Others generate quickly and with little warning. These flash floods can be extremely dangerous, instantly turning a babbling brook into a thundering wall of water and sweeping everything in its path downstream.

Disaster experts classify floods according to their likelihood of occurring in a given time period. A hundred-year flood, for example, is an extremely large, destructive event that would theoretically be expected to happen only once every century. But this is a theoretical number. In reality, this classification means there is a one-percent chance that such a flood could happen in any given year. Over recent decades, possibly due to global climate change, hundred-year floods have been occurring worldwide with frightening regularity.

Moving water has awesome destructive power. When a river overflows its banks or the sea drives inland, structures poorly equipped to withstand the water's strength are no match. Bridges, houses, trees, and cars can be picked up and carried off. The erosive force of moving water can drag dirt from under a building's foundation, causing it to crack and tumble.

When floodwaters recede, affected areas are often blanketed in silt and mud. The water and landscape can be contaminated with hazardous materials, such as sharp debris, pesticides, fuel, and untreated sewage. Potentially dangerous mold blooms can quickly overwhelm water-soaked structures. Residents of flooded areas can be left without power and clean drinking water, leading to outbreaks of deadly waterborne diseases like typhoid, hepatitis A, and cholera.

But flooding, particularly in river floodplains, is as natural as rain and has been occurring for millions of years. Famously fertile floodplains like the Mississippi Valley in the American Midwest, the Nile River valley in Egypt, and the Tigris-Euphrates in the Middle East have supported agriculture for millennia because annual flooding has left millions of tons of nutrient-rich silt deposits behind.

Most flood destruction is attributable to humans' desire to live near picturesque coastlines and in river valleys. Aggravating the problem is a tendency for developers to backfill and build on wetlands that would otherwise act as natural flood buffers.

Many governments mandate that residents of flood-prone areas purchase flood insurance and build flood-resistant structures. Massive efforts to mitigate and redirect inevitable floods have resulted in some of the most ambitious engineering efforts ever seen, including New Orleans's extensive levee system and massive dikes and dams in the Netherlands. And highly advanced computer modelling now lets disaster authorities predict with amazing accuracy where floods will occur and how severe they're likely to be.


Tornadoes are vertical funnels of rapidly spinning air. Their winds may top 250 miles (400 kilometers) an hour and can clear-cut a pathway a mile (1.6 kilometers) wide and 50 miles (80 kilometers) long.

Twisters are born in thunderstorms and are often accompanied by hail. Giant, persistent thunderstorms called supercells spawn the most destructive tornadoes.

These violent storms occur around the world, but the United States is a major hotspot with about a thousand tornadoes every year. "Tornado Alley," a region that includes eastern South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, northern Texas, and eastern Colorado, is home to the most powerful and destructive of these storms. U.S. tornadoes cause 80 deaths and more than 1,500 injuries per year.

A tornado forms when changes in wind speed and direction create a horizontal spinning effect within a storm cell. This effect is then tipped vertical by rising air moving up through the thunderclouds.

The meteorological factors that drive tornadoes make them more likely at some times than at others. They occur more often in late afternoon, when thunderstorms are common, and are more prevalent in spring and summer. However, tornadoes can and do form at any time of the day and year.

Tornadoes' distinctive funnel clouds are actually transparent. They become visible when water droplets pulled from a storm's moist air condense or when dust and debris are taken up. Funnels typically grow about 660 feet (200 meters) wide.

Tornadoes move at speeds of about 10 to 20 miles (16 to 32 kilometers) per hour, although they've been clocked in bursts up to 70 miles (113 kilometers) per hour. Most don't get very far though. They rarely travel more than about six miles (ten kilometers) in their short lifetimes.

Tornadoes are classified as weak, strong, or violent storms. Violent tornadoes comprise only about two percent of all tornadoes, but they cause 70 percent of all tornado deaths and may last an hour or more.

People, cars, and even buildings may be hurled aloft by tornado-force windsor simply blown away. Most injuries and deaths are caused by flying debris.

Tornado forecasters can't provide the same kind of warning that hurricane watchers can, but they can do enough to save lives. Today the average warning time for a tornado alert is 13 minutes. Tornadoes can also be identified by warning signs that include a dark, greenish sky, large hail, and a powerful train-like roar.

What Causes Global Warming?

Scientists have spent decades figuring out what is causing global warming. They've looked at the natural cycles and events that are known to influence climate. But the amount and pattern of warming that's been measured can't be explained by these factors alone. The only way to explain the pattern is to include the effect of greenhouse gases (GHGs) emitted by humans.

To bring all this information together, the United Nations formed a group of scientists called the International Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC. The IPCC meets every few years to review the latest scientific findings and write a report summarizing all that is known about global warming. Each report represents a consensus, or agreement, among hundreds of leading scientists.

One of the first things scientists learned is that there are several greenhouse gases responsible for warming, and humans emit them in a variety of ways. Most come from the combustion of fossil fuels in cars, factories and electricity production. The gas responsible for the most warming is carbon dioxide, also called CO2. Other contributors include methane released from landfills and agriculture (especially from the digestive systems of grazing animals), nitrous oxide from fertilizers, gases used for refrigeration and industrial processes, and the loss of forests that would otherwise store CO2.

Different greenhouse gases have very different heat-trapping abilities. Some of them can even trap more heat than CO2. A molecule of methane produces more than 20 times the warming of a molecule of CO2. Nitrous oxide is 300 times more powerful than CO2. Other gases, such as chlorofluorocarbons (which have been banned in much of the world because they also degrade the ozone layer), have heat-trapping potential thousands of times greater than CO2. But because their concentrations are much lower than CO2, none of these gases adds as much warmth to the atmosphere as CO2 does.

The planet is warming, from North Pole to South Pole, and everywhere in between. Globally, the mercury is already up more than 1 degree Fahrenheit (0.8 degree Celsius), and even more in sensitive polar regions. And the effects of rising temperatures arent waiting for some far-flung future. Theyre happening right now. Signs are appearing all over, and some of them are surprising. The heat is not only melting glaciers and sea ice, its also shifting precipitation patterns and setting animals on the move.

Some impacts from increasing temperatures are already happening.

Ice is melting worldwide, especially at the Earths poles. This includes mountain glaciers, ice sheets covering West Antarctica and Greenland, and Arctic sea ice.

Researcher Bill Fraser has tracked the decline of the Adélie penguins on Antarctica, where their numbers have fallen from 32,000 breeding pairs to 11,000 in 30 years.

Sea level rise became faster over the last century.

Some butterflies, foxes, and alpine plants have moved farther north or to higher, cooler areas.

Precipitation (rain and snowfall) has increased across the globe, on average.

Spruce bark beetles have boomed in Alaska thanks to 20 years of warm summers. The insects have chewed up 4 million acres of spruce trees.


Uncontrolled blazes fueled by weather, wind, and dry underbrush, wildfires can burn acres of landand consume everything in their pathsin mere minutes.

On average, more than 100,000 wildfires, also called wildland fires or forest fires, clear 4 million to 5 million acres (1.6 million to 2 million hectares) of land in the U.S. every year. In recent years, wildfires have burned up to 9 million acres (3.6 million hectares) of land. A wildfire moves at speeds of up to 14 miles an hour (23 kilometers an hour), consuming everythingtrees, brush, homes, even humansin its path.

There are three conditions that need to be present in order for a wildfire to burn, which firefighters refer to as the fire triangle: fuel, oxygen, and a heat source. Fuel is any flammable material surrounding a fire, including trees, grasses, brush, even homes. The greater an area's fuel load, the more intense the fire. Air supplies the oxygen a fire needs to burn. Heat sources help spark the wildfire and bring fuel to temperatures hot enough to ignite. Lightning, burning campfires or cigarettes, hot winds, and even the sun can all provide sufficient heat to spark a wildfire.

Although four out of five wildfires are started by people, nature is usually more than happy to help fan the flames. Dry weather and drought convert green vegetation into bone-dry, flammable fuel; strong winds spread fire quickly over land; and warm temperatures encourage combustion. When these factors come together all that's needed is a sparkin the form of lightning, arson, a downed power line, or a burning campfire or cigaretteto ignite a blaze that could last for weeks and consume tens of thousands of acres.

These violent infernos occur around the world and in most of the 50 states, but they are most common in the U.S. West, where heat, drought, and frequent thunderstorms create perfect wildfire conditions. Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Washington, Colorado, Oregon, and California experience some of the worst conflagrations in the U.S. In California wildfires are often made worse by the hot, dry Santa Ana winds, which can carry a spark for miles.

Firefighters fight wildfires by depriving them of one or more of the fire triangle fundamentals. Traditional methods include water dousing and spraying fire retardants to extinguish existing fires. Clearing vegetation to create firebreaks starves a fire of fuel and can help slow or contain it. Firefighters also fight wildfires by deliberately starting fires in a process called controlled burning. These prescribed fires remove undergrowth, brush, and ground litter from a forest, depriving a wildfire of fuel.

Although often harmful and destructive to humans, naturally occurring wildfires play an integral role in nature. They return nutrients to the soil by burning dead or decaying matter. They also act as a disinfectant, removing disease-ridden plants and harmful insects from a forest ecosystem. And by burning through thick canopies and brushy undergrowth, wildfires allow sunlight to reach the forest floor, enabling a new generation of seedlings to grow.


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Departments of Defectology

Departments of Defectology are part of the Academy of Pedagogical Sciences and established to train teachers and conduct research on various problems concerned with the education of the blind, the mentally retarded, the deaf and the speech defective, as well as on various features of physical characteristics of normal children. There are doctors, physiologists, educators and methodologists attached to the department.

Departments of Defectology have the responsibility of establishing special schools for the Ministry of Education and for planning their curricula. They prepare special material and texts for handicapped and for their parents. Each department of the deaf has the following divisions: theory of teaching the deaf; theory of teaching the partially deaf; phonetic and acoustic laboratory; psychology of the deaf and experimental teaching laboratory.

Various departments receive problems from the Ministry of Education and work out solution in cooperation with teachers at schools. In addition, teachers are expected to participate in some of 'scientific research'. When the Department recommends a specific solution to a problem to the Ministry of Education, it is generally adopted by the Ministry for all schools and becomes a required method. A high degree of cooperation exists among the Ministry, the Department and the schools.

Children with disabilities are generally discovered at an early age. During the child's first year, a special course in methods of bringing up a handicapped child is given to the parents. Later special seminar meetings are held regularly at the special schools for parents. For children aged from one to three, there are special nurseries for the deaf; for those of ages three to seven there are special kindergartens.

At about age seven the future course of the child's education is decided by a committee of doctors, neuropsychologists, pediatricians, teachers and speech pathologists. Depending on the child's speech and mental development, he is sent to one of the special elementary schools. Only those children considered ready for the demands of normal education are allowed to enter the first grade at age seven; otherwise, until the child is considered ready, he may be retarded in the special kindergarten for a year or more in a special class at the elementary school. The special elementary school may be a day or boarding school. It may have an incomplete seven-year or a complete ten-year program of studies to be completed in twelve years.

A combination of different methods is widely used to overcome the handicap of deafness. They are speech, lip-reading, finger-spelling, 'natural' signs, the use of residual hearing.


Diagnostic Teaching the Teacher's New Role

There are special schools for the following categories, such as: deaf mute; mentally retarded deaf mute; congenital hard of hearing who can speak clearly; hard of hearing who have speech difficulties and children who have become deaf or hard hearing. While these categories of deafness are recognized for practical purposes in setting up the special program for the deaf, three or four general classifications are used:

1. Children who are born deaf or acquire deafness before age three and have no usual speech are placed in special schools for the deaf where they complete the normal seven-year curriculum in twelve years.

2. Children who have become deaf after age three and have defective speech are also placed in special schools where they complete the prescribed seven-year curriculum in ten years.

3. Children who are very hard of hearing and have defective speech are placed in special schools where they complete the first four years of the normal curriculum in seven years.

4. Children who are hard of hearing but have good speech are placed in special schools where they complete the normal ten-year curriculum in twelve years. Graduates of the ten-year curriculum have the right to complete institutions of higher education.

As deaf children grew from infancy to adulthood, teachers must absorb the best ideas of current educational thinking and know each deaf far better than ever before.

As a professionally trained specialist, a teacher has more opportunity than a doctor, therapist or technician to really know the child. He observes and lives with him for hours each school day; he works and plays; he watches and helps him.

Master teachers of the deaf have never been satisfied merely with academic grades and text-book knowledge. The deaf child as a pupil has been a child first and a pupil second. The competent teacher of deaf children knows his pupils in trouble and pain as well as in success. Children reveal themselves by what they do and the way they do things. Young deaf children particularly express what is going on inside by their physical and emotional actions and reactions. The observation of behaviour is an important element of classroom activity and every teacher needs to be at least one part scientist. Records become the tools by which a teacher can examine a deaf child at leisure. The collected records and observations can provide material for helping a deaf child.

Good teachers are artful planners. The setting of objectives and the choosing of methods means to fit the needs of each individual in a class group of deaf pupils. It depends upon training and experience. Children are thinking, feeling, living, social and spiritual beings. Intellectual work makes pupils more knowing. But the way in which this intellectual work is accomplished can make deaf children happier and better people.


The Concept of Mental Retardation

Mentally retarded are divided into three groups idiot, imbecile and debile. The division lines are at the same point as the Americans use. The general term for mental retardation, in common use is oligophrenia.

Our philosophy defines mental retardation of all grades as due to central nervous system damage, as abnormal higher nervous activity arising during early childhood. In other words, mental retardation is a physiological condition and must be diagnosed.

In the USA these instruments intelligence tests are the major diagnostic tools used for identifying the retarded or psychological-educational research and services.

In our country, such tests have been banned since 1936. Diagnosis is based on neurophysiologic evidence.

The Ministry of Education assumes responsibility for the education of the 'debile' or educable mentally retarded group. There is a Department of Defectology (or special education) within the Ministry of Education. This department determines the curriculum and inspects the schools for the mentally retarded and all other areas of exceptionality.

Our educators do not believe in the special day-class approach for debiles, which is so popular in North America.

When children encounter difficulty in learning, many educators begin to examine the methods used or look into motivational factors. If one teacher is unsuccessful in teaching a very slow child, another may be asked to work with him. A highly skilled teacher is assigned to each class of eight children. She (or he) is assisted by a speech correctionist and the school pediatrician.

All internats in our country follow the one syllabus, which is published by the Ministry of Education. The classroom curriculum for the children to the age 12 includes instruction in language arts, speech training, arithmetic, handwork, dramatics, drawing and special rhythmics and physical education for the purpose of developing motor coordination.

For 17-year-olds the program which stresses vocational training, includes sewing, weaving and knitting, bookbinding, carpentry, mental work and construction.

Some Englishmen visited an internat on the outskirts of Petersburg. It had an enrolment of approximately 200 children, ages 4 to 16. Program for children was organized around the groups of 20 children. The program for the children can be illustrated by their time schedule:

7.30 a.m. Children are awakened. From this time until breakfast, they make their beds, wash, and dress and have compulsory physical exercises.

9.00 a.m. Breakfast.

9. 30 a.m. They prepare for studies and remain in class for three and one-half hours until one o'clock.

1.00 p.m. They exercise and work.

2.00 p.m. Dinner, consisting of three courses and dessert.

3.00 p.m. The smaller children rest in bed, while the older children participate in recreational activities.

4.00 p.m. Workshop activities, making a special box for a factory in Petersburg.

5.00 p.m. Tea, milk and rolls and activities, TV or walking.

7.30 p.m. Supper and quiet activities, games, TV, etc.

9.00 p.m. Bed time.

The personnel of this institution for 200 children consisted of 20 teachers, 2 physicians, 4 nurses, 40 hospital aids and other personnel, such as bookkeeper, assistant director and so on.

Special educators have responsibility for debile and imbecile children but not for the idiot group. The latter groups are the responsibility of the Ministry of Health.


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