Educating Deaf Students: From Research to Practice


The field known as deaf education has undergone considerable change over the past 30 years. In part, this situation reflects the evolution of understandin concerning deaf people and American Sign Language. The magnitude of this change, however, owes much to progress in pedagogy, developmental psychology, psycholinguistics (including language acquisition), and other related fields. Together with dramatic chnages in technology, scientific progress has provided new options and new perspectives for deaf students, their parents, students, and teachers. In the context of reviewing these changes Educating Deaf Students: From Research to Practice considers what we know, what we do not know, and what we should know about the education of deaf students. Using a research-based but readable approach, the authors set aside the politics, rhetoric, and confusion that often accompany such discussions. Rather, the educational and research literatures are evaluated with an eye toward systematic inquiry and generality of findings. The results is a summary of the current state-of-the-art in deaf education and related implications for parents, teachers, and other gatekeepers. Educating Deaf Students describes the common assumptions that have driven deaf education for many years, revealing some of them to be based on questionable methods, conclusions, or interpretations, while others have been lost in the cacophony of alternative educational philosophies. As a result, many deaf students have been assumed to be "deficient" or "intellectually inferior" simply because investigators or teachers did not know how to communicate with them in the way that elicited optimal performance. Historical consideration of how we arrived at such a point is accompanied by evaluation of the legal and social conditions that surround deaf education today. Language, literacy, testing, and other academic issues are considered in both educational and developmental contexts. One assumption that is woven throughout the book is that the appropriate education of deaf children demands that we fully understand their development in language, social, and cognitive domains and match our teaching methods appropriately. Perhaps most centrally, the successful education of deaf students depends on our understanding of the roles of communication and language in development and education. Communications is the tie that binds children to parents and to society and that provides for social and academic education. The book thus argues that there is no aspect of educating deaf learners - from infancy to adulthood - that does not depend on or benefit from clear and accessible communications. The perspectives of the authors (deaf and hearing, from diverse backgrounds) reflect their roles as educators and researchers involved in the education of deaf students. They clearly articulate the need to consider both formal and informal education in the context of the world in which both are embedded. In reminding readers - and themselves - that there is wisdom in diverse perspectives, the authors present complex information in a way that will be useful to teachers, parents, and future professionals, as well as researchers.

Additional information

Includes content by:
  • Marc Marschark
  • Harry G. Lang
  • John A. Albertini
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • New York
Publication year:
  • 2002


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