Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Education

Major

Educational Administration

Date of Defense

5-4-2016

Graduate Advisor

Kathleen Brown, Ph.D.

Co-Advisor

Basile, Carole

Committee

Basile, Carole

Basile, Carole

Buckley, Gerard

Shuls, James

Abstract

Deaf Education includes many complex components, including: 1) Academics, 2) Cognitive, 3) Hearing, 4) Speech, 5) Language: American Sign Language and English, 6) Social Skills & Emotional Well Being, 7) Deaf Culture, and 8) Instructional Methods. Evidence indicates that children who are deaf achieve academically at the same levels as their peers, “Postsecondary enrollment and degree completion by deaf individuals in colleges, universities, and career and technical education schools have increased dramatically over the past several decades,” (Marc Marschark, 2015, p. 5). However, most of the current research shows that despite numerous interventions and philosophies, children who are deaf continue to lag behind their hearing peers in multiple areas (Christian P. Wilkens, Thomas P. Hehir, 2008, p. 275). Literacy is a concern, “Despite improvements in amplification technology over the past decades, children with hearing loss continue to have poor literacy outcomes,” (Emily Lund, Krystal L. Werfel, C. Melanie Schuele, 2015, p. 86). Research identifies social and emotional concerns such as isolation and difficulty with relationships even when the hearing loss is not the overriding factor (Christian P. Wilkens, Thomas P. Hehir, 2008). New research gives insight into how children who are deaf learn best which includes a bilingual approach with spoken and written English, American Sign Language, and auditory skills. But no one approach is a panacea and changes need to be ongoing in response to new research. Overall, deafness and deaf education are complex issues and “all factors must be examined to find the right interventions for each student and provide help for success,” (Christian P. Wilkens, Thomas P. Hehir, 2008, p. 275). It is time to put the needs of children first, understand all sides of the issue, stop using trial and error, and create policies that allow research to guide the education of children who are deaf.

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