Academic journal article American Annals of the Deaf

Are We Hammering Square Pegs into Round Holes? an Investigation of the Meta-Analyses of Reading Research with Students Who Are D/deaf or Hard of Hearing and Students Who Are Hearing

Academic journal article American Annals of the Deaf

Are We Hammering Square Pegs into Round Holes? an Investigation of the Meta-Analyses of Reading Research with Students Who Are D/deaf or Hard of Hearing and Students Who Are Hearing

Article excerpt

Children who are d/Deaf or hard of hearing (d/Dhh)1 are not hearing children who cannot hear. But who are they? How do they think? Particularly, for the interests of the present study, how do they learn to read? Is reading the same for them as for hearing children? Are they taught the same way as hearing children? If so, are teachers of d/Dhh children hammering square pegs into round holes?

The answers are not straightforward, or at least not as simple as they look. First, children who are d/Dhh form a heterogeneous group. Individual differences among them are greater than they are among hearing children (Marschark & Hauser, 2012). Second, the existing research evidence is typically insufficient to suggest sound evidence- based practices, let alone a conclusive answer on the best way to teach reading to children who are d/Dhh. Third, practice in the field of deaf education is often driven by ideological beliefs rather than scientific evidence; that is, people's minds are not easily changed even when there is research-based evidence calling for particular practices.

We join the conversation with a full understanding of these challenges. Our intent is to identify what is currently known about the reading process and reading development of d/Dhh children and of hearing children, including not only monolingual, typically developing students, but also students receiving special education and/or who are English Language Learners (ELLs). As a qualitative metaanalysis itself, the purpose of the present study was to systematically review the qualitative and quantitative metaanalyses on reading research with PK-12 students who are d/Dhh and those who are hearing published after the issuance of the Report of the National Reading Panel: Teaching Children to Read (NRR 2000). Quantitative meta-analyses use quantitative procedures to statistically combine the results of studies (Cooper & Hedges, 2009). Other systematic research syntheses are considered qualitative metaanalyses. The present meta-analysis provides an exhaustive summary of the common themes evident in the research on effective reading instruction or strategies (primarily from the qualitative meta-analyses) and predictors of reading proficiency (primarily from quantitative meta-analyses) for both groups of learners. This review also explores the overlaps or fundamental attributes across both groups, as well as the variances between them. The goal of this meta-analysis is to establish empirical evidence that will increase our understandings of the qualitative similarity hypothesis (Paul, 2010,2012; Paul & Lee, 2010; Paul & Wang, 2012; Paul, Wang, & Williams, 2013).

The National Reading Panel Report

The purpose behind the 2000 NRP report was to conduct a meta-analysis of the experimental, quasi-experimental, and multiple-baseline research on PK-12 reading instruction to identify the skills that are considered essential to reading development and the instructional approaches and methods that are most effective for teaching reading. A number of instructional areas were investigated, including phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and text comprehension, as well as the use of computer technology in reading instruction.

The results of the NRP's analysis demonstrated that phonemic awareness interventions produced large effects for phonemic awareness and moderate effects for reading and spelling, suggesting that teaching children to manipulate phonemes in words can support early literacy learning. Systematic phonics instruction was found to be significantly more effective than nonphonics approaches in supporting reading development. The results also indicated that explicit vocabulary instruction, repetition of and multiple exposures to target words, active engagement and learning in rich contexts, and the use of computer technology to support instruction were effective in supporting vocabulary development. The NRP determined that there was insufficient evidence to draw conclusions about the effectiveness of independent silent reading in promoting reading fluency. …

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