Deaf education has not been entirely successful in educating students for full participation in the mainstream U.S. society. However, it is not the students who must change, it is the schools. Curriculum reform aimed at moving from a hearing-centered curriculum to a Deafcentric approach is proposed as a means of enabling deaf students to reach their full potential. The goal is for deaf students to participate fully in their own culture, perceiving, thinking, feeling, and carrying out discourse in the deaf world and to apply the knowledge they gain to their interaction within the world of the hearing majority. Some educators may find this proposal and the underlying critique of the status quo in deaf education unsettling. Others who want to see change and improvement in deaf education will welcome these ideas. The challenge here is for professionals to adopt a new vision and chart a new direction for the future. Furthermore, deaf people should be at the forefront of the planning for this change because deaf and hard of hearing people are the experts on their own lives, as they live them within both the deaf and the hearing worlds. The proposal advanced is that deaf students formally study the culture of deaf people and use the knowledge they gain to study the hearing world in which they live. If deaf education continues to teach students through a hearing-centered approach, the lack of connection between students and the curriculum will continue. A deaf-centered curriculum will enhance students' curiosity and energy and provide them with knowledge they can utilize in facing life's challenges and reaching their human potential.
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