Academic journal article American Annals of the Deaf

Validating the Thinking Styles Inventory-Revised II among Chinese University Students with Hearing Impairment through Test Accommodations

Academic journal article American Annals of the Deaf

Validating the Thinking Styles Inventory-Revised II among Chinese University Students with Hearing Impairment through Test Accommodations

Article excerpt

The university enrollment of students with hearing impairment has been in - creasing dramatically over the past two decades. Hearing impairment is "a generic term indicating a hearing disability that may range in severity from mild to profound" (Wang, Reynolds, & Walberg, 1995, p. 231). For educational purposes, it is divided into two types: being deaf and being hard of hearing (Wang et al., 1995)- However, only a limited number of students with hearing impairment graduate. Researchers have recently advocated facilitating the university success of this population (Lang, 2002; Lukomski, 2007). Attempting to explore and understand the intellectual styles of students with hearing impairment is a worthwhile research endeavor. Intellectual styles, a general term for all style constructs (e.g., cognitive styles and thinking styles), refers to individuals' preferred ways of processing information and dealing with tasks (Zhang & Sternberg, 2005).

Intellectual styles have been demonstrated to matter significantly in learners' academic and socioemotional outcomes (see detailed review in Zhang & Sternberg, 2009). For in- stance, Fan, Zhang, and Watkins (2010) determined that thinking styles significantly predicted academic achievement beyond other important classic variables, such as ability and personality. Riding and colleagues (e.g., Riding & Craig, 1998; Riding & Fairhurst, 2001) have consistently shown that students with the wholist cognitive style, especially students with the wholistverbal style, are likely to display problem behaviors.

To our best knowledge, the earliest research effort concerning the intellectual styles of deaf students can be traced to a study by Blanton and Nunnally (1964). Results of this study indicated that deaf males tended to be more field-independent than deaf females. However, studies on the intellectual styles of students with hearing loss are far from adequate. Specifically, the literature has focused mainly on two of the three style types put forward by Grigorenko and Sternberg (1995): cognition-centered styles (e.g., field dependence/independence and cognitive styles) and activity-centered styles (e.g., approach to learning). A few studies have focused on the third tradition (personality-centered styles). For instance, Adams (2001) administered the Cognitive Styles Analysis (Riding & Cheema, 1991), which includes two style dimensions (wholistanalytic and verbal-imagery) to 68 high-achieving students with hearing impairment. The results indicated that these students had no predominant cognitive style. A series of studies on the approach to studying (an intellectual style construct proposed by Ramsden and Entwistle, 1981) have suggested that deaf students are in - dined to score higher on reproducing orientation than normally hearing students, while performing at least as well as normally hearing students on meaning orientation (e.g., T. J. Richardson, Barnes, & Fleming, 2004; J. T. E. Richardson, MacLeod-Gallinger, McKee, & Long, 2000).

Furthermore, the style models adopted in previous studies are relatively old; they included, for example, the model of field dependence/ independence and that of impulsivity/ reflectivity. Therefore, it is necessary to extend the range of styles applied to the discussion of students with hearing impairment by adopting a more comprehensive and more recent style model: Sternberg's theory of mental self-government (1988), a theory on thinking styles. This model is considered comprehensive because it incorporates all of the three traditions in the study of styles. The styles in the theory of mental self-government are cognitive in their way of looking at things (e.g., judicial style, global style) and correspond to preferences in the use of abilities. But because these styles are typical-performance rather than maximal-performance, they fall into the personality-centered tradition. Finally, the styles are part of the activity/behavior-centered tradition in that they can be measured in the context of activities. …

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