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Cognition, Education, and Deafness

Directions for Research and Instruction

David S. Martin, Editor

Publication Year: 1988

This groundbreaking book integrates the work of 54 contributors to the 1984 symposium on cognition, education, and deafness. It focuses on cognition and deaf students’ growth and development, problem-solving strategies, thinking processes, language development, reading methodology, measurement of potential, and intervention programs. The synthesis of these discoveries establishes directions for new research and outlines implications for all professionals working with hearing-impaired learners.

Published by: Gallaudet University Press

Title Page

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pp. iii


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pp. iv


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pp. v-x

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pp. xi

Our country has a well-deserved reputation for a broad range of achievements, including the resolution of many economic and social ills. In recent decades programs for the handicapped have been the fortunate target of some of this Yankee ingenuity. Compared with other health, social, and educational problems, however, hearing impairment has not received an equitable level of attention. ...

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pp. xiii

An enterprise such as this analysis and synthesis of papers from the 1984 International Symposium on Cognition, Education, and Deafness can never become a reality without the significant involvement of many dedicated people. Inevitably, some of these people work almost invisibly; regrettably, they may not receive the proper acknowledgment. ...


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pp. xiv-xvi

1 Introduction

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pp. 2

One definition of a symposium in Webster's New World Dictionary (1970, p. 1443) is a "free interchange of ideas." The essential nature of the International Symposium on Cognition, Education, and Deafness (Gallaudet College, June 1984) was indeed an opportunity for the exchange of important ideas on this subject. ...

2 Cognition, Education, and Deafness: The Challenge

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Cognition, Education, and Deafness: The Challenge

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pp. 16-20

We, in the field of deafness, have a great need to start a process by which new knowledge can be created. This process must begin by providing educators and researchers in deafness with the opportunity to probe at increasingly deeper levels into the areas of cognition, education, and deafness. We must go beyond our present efforts and extend research opportunities to more people, thus ensuring contributions from a much broader base. ...

3 Issues in the Growth and Development of Hearing- Impaired Learners

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Theories and Models of Human Development:Their Implications for the Education of Deaf Adolescents

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pp. 22-26

Psychological theorists are by no means agreed on basic assumptions about human nature. Some of the most divisive issues focus upon whether the human organism is inherently reactive or proactive, whether perceptual and cognitive processes are essentially synthetic or analytic, and even upon the nature of the reality we perceive and know. ...

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Play Behaviors of Deaf and Hearing Children

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pp. 27-29

Piaget (1962a) maintained that the basic structure of cognitive development belies the necessity of oral language. Interaction and experiences with the environment enable a child to advance to higher levels of cognitive functioning. Although oral language, when it emerges, may enhance cognitive functioning, it is neither necessary nor sufficient for cognitive development to proceed (Furth, 1966). ...

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The Development of Communication Functions in Deaf Infants of Hearing Parents

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pp. 30-33

The development of effective communication skills is one of the primary goals of educational intervention programs for deaf children. One very important aspect of communication competence involves learning to use language for a variety of functions, including requesting actions, asking information-seeking questions, describing events, promising, and making jokes. ...

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pp. 34-40

The three papers in part 3 are concerned with both cognitive and linguistic development of deaf children in three different age groups: 1-3-year-olds (Pien), 3-6-year-olds (Mann), and adolescents (Athey). Profound and difficult issues are raised about (a) the relationship of language to thought, and cognitive to linguistic development and (b) the effect of environmental differences in deaf children's development of language and cognitive skills. ...

Related Educational and Research Issues

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pp. 41

4 Cognitive Styles and Problem-Solving Strategies

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The Development of Perceptual Processes and Problem-Solving Activities in Normal, Hearing-Impaired,and Language-Disturbed Children

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pp. 44-46

Developmental skills appear and improve in a regular sequence in normal children. Severely hearing-impaired children develop similarly to normal children (Furth, 1966); performances that do not require auditory information-processing show the same sequence of stages. Gaps can be accounted for by the auditory impairment and are predictable. Current theories of development account for such observations. ...

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Hearing-Impaired Students' Performance on the Piagetian Liquid Horizontality Test

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pp. 47-49

Numerous studies have been conducted to assess patterns of cognitive development in; children. One skill considered important by Piaget and Inhelder (1956) in the developmental sequence is the child's ability to understand the principle of liquid horizontality-the idea that still water remains invariantly level regardless of the angle of the container. ...

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Field Dependence of Deaf Students:Implications for Education

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pp. 50-54

The perceptual component of the larger cognitive dimension of differentiation is termed field dependence. Psychological differentiation, as proposed by Witkin, Dyk, Faterson, Goodenough, and Karp (1962), serves as a construct for conceptualizing one's degree of articulation of experience of the world and of the self. ...

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Cognitive Style as a Mediator in Reading Comprehension Test Performance for Deaf Students

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pp. 55-58

The valid assessment of deaf students' educational achievements and cognitive processes remains a challenge for practitioners and researchers. This challenge is particularly apparent in the case of reading comprehension. As has been frequently noted, decisions concerning optimal measurement in reading comprehension should be based upon careful consideration of interactions between reader characteristics and testing-task characteristics...

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pp. 59-63

The papers presented in part 4 all relate to the general area of the development of information processing in deaf children. They have interesting theoretical implications as well as practical applications, and in a sense they are all paeans to individual differences. Three of the papers deal specifically with the topic of field independence-dependence while the fourth investigates some of the possible perceptual precursors of language in children. ...

Related Educational and Research Issues

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pp. 64

5 Cognitive Strategies and Processes

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The Development and Use of Memory Strategies by Deaf Children and Adults

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pp. 66-69

The cognitive and occupational achievements of deaf individuals often compare unfavorably with the accomplishments of their hearing peers (Liben, 1978). An important goal of research is to understand why these deficits arise and how they may be prevented or remediated. One important cognitive skill focused on here is the ability to memorize. ...

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Classification Skills in Normally Hearing and Oral Deaf Preschoolers: A Study in Language and Conceptual Thought

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pp. 70-72

The issue of the role of language in thought has been of theoretical interest to philosophers and psychologists for many years. A variety of methodologies have been used for the empirical study of this issue, including the use of atypical populations as control groups (Furth, 1966; Oleron, 1977). ...

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The Role of Inference in Effective Communication

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pp. 73-75

Theoretical models of effective communication have emphasized the cooperative nature of a speaker-listener interaction. Various attempts have been made to delineate the rules governing this cooperation, mainly in terms of sociocultural conventions for language use. However, some rules may have evolved out of cognitive processing considerations. ...

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Developing Symbolic Thinking in Hearing-Impaired Children

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pp. 76-78

The tight conjunction of thinking and language seems to be evident. In the majority of studies on deafness, difficulties in the development of symbolic and abstract operations are treated as resulting from the lack of oral/aural language. Normally hearing children acquire language through direct interaction with the speaking environment, which enables them to benefit from social experience. ...

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pp. 79-81

The traditional literature on deafness is replete with studies that ostensibly demonstrate cognitive deficits among deaf subjects (e.g., Pintner & Paterson, 1917). With few exceptions, however, more recent analyses have found that these deficits are generally attributable to such factors as certain linguistic competencies and secondary handicaps. ...

Related Educational and Research Issues

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pp. 82

6 Issues in Cognition and Language Development

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Application of Ausubel's Theory of Meaningful Verbal Learning to Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning of Deaf Students

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pp. 84-87

Currently, if teachers advocate presentational methods of instruction (i.e., lectures and reading), they are often challenged by educational theorists who claim that discovery methods, open education, and experience-based learning are far superior in enhancing student learning and retention. But many teachers cannot dismiss mastery of an academic discipline as an educational goal for deaf students, especially at the college level. ...

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A Contextualist Perspective of Language Processing by Prelingually Deaf Students

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pp. 88-90

The often heated controversy in deaf education concerning language acquisition continues to pervade the literature on cognition, education, and deafness. Two major questions have emerged: Which language system will best prepare deaf individuals to communicate effectively in society? and Which language system will best allow for normal cognitive development within prelingually deaf individuals' unique information-processing system? ...

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Linguistic Encoding and Adult-Child Communication

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pp. 91-93

During interpersonal communication, short-term memory appears to function as a central or on-line processor for information received or expressed by an individual. Of particular interest are the linguistic encoding bases used in short-term memory by deaf subjects; these bases appear to be cherologically or sign-based for signs and printed information. ...

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Cognitive Processing and Language in Deaf Students: A Decade of Research

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pp. 94-99

Despite intensive educational efforts, it is not uncommon for deaf students to lag behind hearing peers in the acquisition of verbal language and academic skills. Available neuropsychological research provides conclusive evidence for the reasons for this phenomenon. ...

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pp. 100-104

If we were to search for the one word that would best sum up the papers in part 6, we would probably settle on the word context. These papers reflect a theoretical trend in teaching language arts to deaf children that is moving away from mechanistic approaches based on the analysis of syntax and morphology, and toward more naturalistic approaches based upon sociolinguistic and psycholinguistic� notions. ...

Related Educational and Research Issues

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pp. 105

7 Issues in Reading and Reading Methodology

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Cognitive Processes in Reading:Where Deaf Readers Succeed and Where They Have Difficulty

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pp. 108-110

The act of reading involves the recognition of individual words and the integration of the meanings of those words for text comprehension. The present paper reports on studies with deaf college students, focusing first on their word recognition processes and then on their short-term memory representation of the words processed. ...

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Deaf Working Memory Processes and English Language Skills

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pp. 111-114

An important function of recoding strategies in working memory (WM, sometimes called short-term memory) during the reading process is to provide temporary storage of text surface structure (Baddeley, Eldridge, & Lewis, 1981; Kleiman, 1975). This short-term storage allows the reader to retain information about individual lexical items and the syntactic structures necessary to determine the correct underlying semantic relationships between the words in a sentence. ...

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Information Processing and Reading Achievement in the Deaf Population: Implications for Learning and Hemispheric Lateralization

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pp. 115-120

At least two important factors have been found to be significantly related to good reading comprehension: (a) processing speed, which includes retrieval from semantic memory, scanning speed of working memory contents, linguistic understanding, and past language experience; and (b) short-term memory, which for hearing individuals seems to involve phonetic encoding...

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The Effectiveness of Cued Text in Teaching Pronoun Reference in Written English to Deaf Students

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pp. 121-123

This study investigated the effectiveness of supplementing a written text with visual cues. The cues acted as prompts to help deaf students identify and comprehend pronoun reference. The system of visual cues is called cued text. It was designed to make explicit the relationship between a pronoun and its referent. The cues were removed when the student demonstrated an ability to comprehend the relationship. ...

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A Child-Computer-Teacher Interactive Method for Teaching Reading to Young Deaf Children

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pp. 124-127

Children who use computers in the classroom are often required to respond to statements and questions, and their responses have been required to fall within a small range of acceptable answers. This research project involved an investigation of the effectiveness of interactive microcomputer instruction for improving reading achievement in young deaf children. ...

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pp. 128-131

The authors of the five papers on reading and reading methodology share three basic, well-documented assumptions about deaf readers. The first is that learning to read is difficult for deaf children; each of the papers addresses this assumption in a different manner, but there is agreement that the process of learning to read for deaf children is not the same as for hearing children. ...

Related Educational and Research Issues

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pp. 132

8 Measurement of Cognitive Potential in Hearing-Impaired Learners

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Experimental Use of Signed Presentations of the Verbal Scale of the WISC-R with Profoundly Deaf Children: A Preliminary Report

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pp. 134-136

One traditional method of assessing the verbal thought processes of hearing children has been through administration of the verbal scale of standardized intelligence tests, such as the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised (WISC-R; Wechsler, 1974). It has been standard psychological testing practice, however, not to administer these verbal intelligence tests to deaf students. ...

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Determining First Language Composition Using Cognitively Demanding/Context-Reduced Tasks

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pp. 137-140

The focus on an assessment of cognitively demanding/context-reduced language activities rather than cognitively undemanding/context-embedded language tasks is a relatively new procedure when making decisions regarding bilingual and/or bimodal hearing-impaired students. Traditionally, for example, a hearing-impaired student's ability to articulate known words (a cognitively undemanding task) in a highly supportive contextual situation...

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Application of Feuerstein's Mediated Learning Construct to Deaf Persons

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pp. 141-147

Cognitive competence refers to the structural ability to adequately adjust and adapt to life situations (Scarr, 1981). In this context, structure refers to the cognitive/intellective and affective schemas that promote adaptations to novel situations. Beyond the biological/physiologicallevel, the construction of these sl;hemas, according to Feuerstein (1979), is affected by two modalities of learning...

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LPAD Applications to Deaf Populations

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pp. 148-150

The Learning Potential Assessment Device (LPAD) (Feuerstein, 1979) advocates a test-teach-test model for assessing intellectual potential. The LPAD differs from traditional psychometric models both in its procedures (which require questioning the subject about responses and providing feedback to the subject about performances) and in the underlying psychological theory used to interpret cognitive behavior. ...

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A Factor-Analytic Study of Intellectual Development in Deaf and Hearing Children

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pp. 151-155

Two major schools of thought have attempted to explain cognitive functioning in the deaf: Myklebust's (1964) organismic shift hypothesis and Furth's (1971) view that no difference exists between deaf and hearing subjects in conceptual performance, at least up to concrete-operational thinking. The results of factor-analytic studies of the differential ability structure for deaf and hearing children...

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pp. 156-164

This analysis of the papers in part 8 considers the fundamental question, What techniques of cognitive assessment are the most useful in assessing the hearing-impaired learner and why? This analysis begins with a. brief overview of some important historical events that helped to shape the measurement of cognitive potential. ...

Related Educational and Research Issues

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pp. 165

9 The Effects of Cognitive Intervention Programs

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Can Thinking Skills Be Incorporated into a Curriculum?

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pp. 168-171

...If we accept the evidence that some cognitive deficiencies do exist for hearing-impaired individuals but that no evidence suggests less than the normal range of intellectual potential among the hearing impaired, it is apparent that a cognitive intervention program used in an educational setting might promise improvement of these skills. ...

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Cognitive Improvement of Hearing-Impaired High School Students Through Instruction in Instrumental Enrichment

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pp. 172-175

If one accepts the fact that certain specific cognitive deficiencies exist for hearing-impaired individuals but that no evidence suggests less than the normal range of intellectual potential among hearing-impaired individuals as a group (Drever & Collins, 1928; Levine, 1976; Vernon, 1968), then it is apparent that a specific program of activity in an educational setting may promise improvement in the deficient areas of cognition. ...

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Enhancing Cognitive Performance in the Hearing-Impaired College Student: A Pilot Study

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pp. 176-179

Instructors who work with hearing-impaired college students frequently express deep concern and frustration about some of their students' serious deficiencies in problem-solving skills in both classroom and written work. The concern often relates to the students' difficulty with manipulating more than one variable, conceptualizing what a textbook or journal author is saying, forming conclusions, dealing with hypothetical data, and spatial reasoning. ...

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Improving Cognitive Skills in Deaf Adolescents Using LOGO and Instrumental Enrichment

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pp. 180-183

Young deaf children generally live in environments where they neither hear nor speak a language common to their parents. To these children, written symbols may have little meaning; in addition, they have few opportunities to discuss and share their experiences with adults. ...

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LOGO Instruction for Low-Achieving Elementary-Age Hearing-Impaired Children

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pp. 184

In a preliminary project involving the LOGO computer language in a tutorial setting, three students from the Kendall Demonstration Elementary School (Washington, D.C.) joined a class of secondary-level students. The purpose was to provide all students with a positive math experience and to uncover possible abilities that had been unused in standard academic classes. ...

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Philosophical Inquiry Among Hearing-Impaired Students

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pp. 185-187

In November 1981, the Regional Day School for the Deaf in Fort Worth, Texas, provided the setting for the first of several philosophical discussions among hearing-impaired students. These discussions, which stretched over a 2-year period, arose initially from the reading and interpretation of a philosophical novel for children...

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Pegasus Project for the Hearing Impaired

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pp. 188-190

During the past 10 years, the trend in schools and programs for the hearing impaired has been toward increased use of manual communication in general and manual English codes in particular. This trend, coupled with the increase in preschool and parent-education programs, has resulted in an increasing number of hearing-impaired students with English skills that are equal to those of hearing children. ...

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The Use of Visual Aids by Interpreters: A Cognitive Model for Mainstreamed Education

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pp. 191-195

Public Law 94-142 has effected change in the public schools by placing more hearing-impaired students than in the past into mainstreamed settings with interpreter services. This increased number of mainstreamed students includes many with limited English-language skills. ...

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pp. 196-199

The study using the Philosophy for Children program (Rembert) targeted the age group of 7- to 12-year-olds, used a philosophical or Socratic approach to teaching, and carried out descriptive analyses of results. The Instrumental Enrichment program used in the Jonas and Martin study at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf targeted the age group of 15 and older, used an activity-based and discussion-based approach, and carried out statistical analyses of data. ...

Related Educational and Research Issues

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pp. 200

10 A Synthesis: Cognition,Education, and Deafness

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A Macroanalysis of the Research on Deafness and Cognition

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pp. 202-208

In analyzing the research on deafness and cognition, certain terms must first be defined. For the purposes of this paper, the most important term to define is cognition. Neisser succinctly defined cognition as "the activity of knowing: the acquisition, organization, and use of knowledge" (1976, p. 1). According to Anderson, "Cognitive psychology is dominated by the information processing approach...

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A Synthesis from Beyond the Field of Deafness

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pp. 209-221

The issues and questions raised by the papers in this volume indicate that a strong and viable research effort is being made to come to terms with the many perplexing and complex questions facing investigators who are studying cognition and cognitive development in deaf learners. This research will serve as a basis for developing educational programs that will meet the needs of these children in the coming decades. ...

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Reactions from the Practitioner's Point of View

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pp. 222-223

The jigsaw puzzle of the components of cognition, developmental process, and educational practices is indeed an inherent problem in our field. Sigel and Brinker have suggested that researchers and practitioners need to establish an ongoing dialogue. However, before dialogue can be meaningful, some common information must be shared. ...

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Reactions from the Researcher's Point of View

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pp. 224-228

The perspective I would like to give is not that of a basic researcher or a researcher who is interested in deafness from an experimental viewpoint. Rather, it is the perspective of an educator of the deaf who happens to be doing research. I came into the field of education of the deaf as a trained behavioristic psychologist. ...


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pp. 229-232

E-ISBN-13: 9781563681684
E-ISBN-10: 1563681684
Print-ISBN-13: 9781563681493
Print-ISBN-10: 1563681498

Page Count: 248
Publication Year: 1988