Education Structures for Deaf Students
The paper focuses on six different studies that focus on two different viewpoints on the higher education learning structures for deaf students. The paper first highlights the viewpoints of the students towards their learning structure and then highlights the perceptions of the teachers on the teaching structures and how they highlight the teaching characteristics and structures that prove to be most effective for the deaf or hard of hearing students.
Deaf Student Perceptions of Higher Education
Deaf students generally have trouble in learning the English language across all academic levels despite their linguistic expertise or knowledge. In an earlier study conducted by Berent and colleagues (2000), the researchers highlighted that the deaf individuals or even those who are hard of hearing usually experience learning disabilities (LD) when learning the English language. The combined impact of deafness and LD for English language is difficult to analyze, the researchers assert, because there is no specified pattern of recognizing them in a structure format even though both concepts are old and have been duly recognized as integral aspects in the education industry. In spite of this confinement, however, there have been prior studies that have suggested that many students felt that it was the typicality of the English teachers that increased LD amongst the deaf students. Berent and colleagues (2000) conducted a survey as well and focused on 30 specific English language learning. They included in the sample a variety of teachers who taught English to deaf students — both with LD and without it — and focused on what they highlighted the problems. In their conclusion, Berent and colleagues highlighted that some of common spheres that required further study from the student’s perspectives included spelling knowledge, lexical, syntactic, and morphological phenomena of the English language for the deaf students (Berent et al., 2000).
In another recent research, the practitioners focused on examining the various influences that literacy portfolios can have as mechanisms of learning in the college developmental English class. The class chosen was primarily for the deaf and hard of hearing students who regularly evaluated their reading and understand along with the writing procedures and tools. The researchers also tested these aspects of specific students and gave them different reading and writing assignments that focused on the development of reflective thinking and the completion of real-life responsibilities and activities. The sample provided the researchers will immediate feedback and the study was structured to multidimensional, longitudinal, and ongoing. There were numerous field research methods and strategies used across the years to ensure that the impact of portfolios on the deaf students’ ability to read, write, and reflect were measured accurately. The findings of the research supported the notion that the literacy portfolios do in fact constructively impact the deaf students in the evaluations of their reading and writing skills (Nickerson, 2003).
Richardson and Woodley (2001) in their research highlighted that there was a deficiency in the extent of research available on the perceptions of deaf students for the higher education. In this study, the researchers compared and contrasted the general views of the academic library quality and they focused on a total number of 265 students who were either deaf or hard of hearing. These 265 students were distant learners. There were a total of 178 distance learning students in the selected institution as well who were not impaired in any way. Upon examination, the former group of students i.e. The deaf or hard of hearing ones did not recorded significantly different rates in handling their workload as opposed to the former group of students even though the overall relevance of the workload recorded far low rates for the former group as opposed to the latter group of students. For the other factors, the deaf students remained in close ratings and quite similar in results to the students who did not have any impairment with regards to the views that they, as students had for the quality, relevance and services of the academic libraries. This study is one of the very few that’s shows such similar results for the deaf students and those students who do not have any disability (Richardson and Woodley, 2001).
Faculty Perceptions of Deaf Students
In a much earlier study, Lang and his colleagues in the year 1993 structured and monitored a rating and ranking tool that they used to study the views of the teaching traits and methods that were shared by the various administrators and academic/board of education chairpersons that were in charge of the teaching assessments, teaching faculties as well as the deaf college students. The variations of the views that the researchers found exited between both and amongst the supervisors and teachers on the necessary teaching characteristics that proved to be effective for deaf students. Some of the suggested teaching characteristics that were indicated to be effective by both the supervisors and the teachers included the continuation of constant dialogue, hi addition amongst other. The study also highlighted that there was a major difference between the views of the teachers and the students on the effective teaching characteristics which resulted in the requirement for thorough investigation into the reason behind the characteristics and what made them effective across different standards for the teachers and deaf students (Lang et al., 1993).
The most recent study chosen for this paper focused on the approach and behavior of the teachers when dealing with the deaf students and their requirements. The overall perception of the teachers was directly related to the teacher-oriented structure of instruction and it was primarily founded on the transfer of relevant knowledge to the deaf students. The perception of the students, in the same case, however, was based on a student-oriented foundation of instruction which was focused on the needs to push forward the behavioral and conceptual changes needed for them to adapt in the real world. The teachers in this study were instructors in the modern and mainstream classroom structures and thus these classes were closer towards staying close to the teacher-oriented approach i.e. transfer of information as opposed to the student-oriented approach i.e. The conceptual change approach. But, the researchers asserted that there was more awareness and willingness amongst teachers to adopt the student-oriented approach and design classes and curriculums to promote conceptual change for the deaf students. The findings of this study supported the previous results attained by numerous similar studies that focused on the needs and perceptions of the deaf students and their learning structures. This study also promotes the differences of learning for the deaf students within the modern or mainstream classrooms against the separate classrooms as well asserting that the results for the separated classrooms are more beneficial for the deaf students (Marschark et al., 2010).
In the final study chosen for this paper, the researcher focused on selecting a random sample of directors who were in charge of education programs within the region of North America for the deaf students. The researchers analyzed the perceptions that these directors had on the required skill sets of the teachers to prove to be effective instructors for deaf students as well as those students who are hard of hearing. The paper also highlighted the view of the directors on what the teaching programs for the deaf must incorporate In order to aptly tackle their disability without hampering their learning opportunities. The researchers asked the chosen directors on aspects of literacy applications/techniques/practices, the administration of classroom and teaching tactics as well as the necessary communication structures that could be used in these education programs for the deaf. The main tool of data collection in the study was a questionnaire that the directors were asked to fill out and the questionnaire results asserted that the program directors had a consensus on the increased requirement of resourceful and talented teachers to teach the deaf students. The results also showed that there were certain effective behavioral techniques that proved to be most useful for the deaf students as well as those who were hard of hearing (Teller and Harney, 2005).
Berent, G.P., Samar, V.J. And Parasnis, I. (2000). College Teachers’ Perceptions of English Language Characteristics That Identify English Language Learning Disabled Deaf Students. American Annals of the Deaf, Volume 145, No. 4.
Lang, H.G., McKee, B.G. And Conner, K. (1993). Characteristics of Effective Teachers: A Descriptive Study of the Perceptions of Faculty and Deaf College Students. American Annals of the Deaf, Volume 138, Number 3, pp. 252-259.
Marschark, M. Richardson, J.T.E. Sapere, P. And Sarchet, T. (2010). Approaches to Teaching in Mainstream and Separate Postsecondary Classrooms. American Annals of the Deaf, Volume 155, No. 4.
Nickerson, J.F. (2003). Deaf College Students’ Perspectives on Literacy Portfolios. American Annals of the Deaf, Volume 148, No. 1.
Richardson, J.T.E. And Woodley. A. (2001). Perceptions of Academic Quality Among Students With a Hearing Loss in Distance Education. Journal of Educational Psychology, Vol. 93, No. 3, 563-570.
Teller, H. And Harney, J. (2005). Views from the Field; Program Directors’ Perceptions of Teacher Education and the Education of Students Who Are Deaf or Hard Of Hearing. American Annals of the Deaf, Volume 150, No. 5.
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