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A Young Australian’s Experience with Deafness
Born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1974, Paul Jacobs lost his mother when he was three months old. When he was five, he lost most of his hearing. These two defining events formed the core of his being. He spent the first two decades of his life “coming to terms with being neither Deaf nor hearing — a neither/nor, an in-between — and a person with a social identity that had yet to be invented.” His memoir, Neither—Nor: A Young Australian’s Experience with Deafness, recounts this journey. Jacobs excelled in sports and the classroom, but he never lost awareness of how he was seen as different, often in cruel or patronizing ways. His father, a child psychologist, headed a long list of supportive people in his life, including his Uncle Brian, his itinerant teacher of the deaf Mrs. Carey, a gifted art teacher Mrs. Klein, who demanded and received from him first-rate work, a notetaker Rita, and Bella, his first girlfriend. Jacobs eventually attended university, where he graduated with honors. He also entered the Deaf world when he starred on the Deaf Australian World Cup cricket team. However, he never learned sign language, and frequently noted the lack of an adult role model for “neither—nors” such as himself. Still emotionally adrift in 1998, Jacobs toured Europe, then volunteered to tutor deaf residents at Court Grange College in Devon, England. There, he discovered a darker reality for some deaf individuals — hearing loss complicated by schizophrenia, Bonnevie-Ullrich Syndrome, and other conditions. After returning to Australia, Jacobs recognized what he had gleaned from his long journey: “Power comes from within, not without. Sure, deafness makes one prone to be stigmatized. Yet having a disability can act as a stimulus for greater personal growth, richer experiences, and more genuine relationships.”
The Early Years
To correct the paucity of information on deaf or hard of hearing children and their parents’ experiences with early intervention services, researchers explored these relationships as part of the National Parent Project. From this investigation, Parents and Their Deaf Children details the experiences of a group of parents and their deaf children from the first identification of the latter’s hearing loss through their early years in elementary school. Renowned scholars Kathryn Meadow-Orlans, Donna Mertens, and Marilyn Sass-Lehrer reveal here for the first time the goals and expectations of the parents, the children’s achievements and troubles, and the families’ satisfaction and disappointment with health and educational systems. Parents and their Deaf Children stems from a nationwide survey of parents with six-to-seven-year-old deaf or hard of hearing children, followed up by interviews with 80 parents. The authors not only discuss the parents’ communication choices for their children, but also provide how parents’ experiences differ, especially for those whose children are hard of hearing, have additional conditions, or have cochlear implants. Also, one chapter is devoted to families from minority cultures. The final section of this distinctive study offers solid advice for other parents of deaf children and also the professionals who serve them.
Issues and Trends from the 21st International Congress on the Education of the Deaf
The 21st International Congress on the Education of the Deaf (ICED) witnessed revolutionary exchanges on the vital themes in education. Presenters addressed topics encompassing seven major strands: Educational Environments, Language and Literacy, Early Intervention, Unique Challenges in Developing Countries, Educating Learners with Diverse Needs, Technology in Education, and Sign Language and Deaf Culture. These presentations and ensuing dialogues raised many complex questions. Partners in Education: Issues and Trends from the 21st International Congress on the Education of the Deaf features all of the keynote addresses by renowned luminaries in deaf education: Breda Carty, Karen Ewing, Nassozi Kiyaga, John Luckner, Connie Mayer and Beverly Trezek, volume editor Donald F. Moores, Peter V. Paul, Antii Raike, Claudine Storbeck, James Tucker, and Alys Young. Most critically, the contributors to this collection explore the many multifaceted challenges facing the world’s deaf students. Deaf children are being diagnosed with overlays of disabilities; more deaf children are growing up in poverty; and many deaf children represent minority racial/ethnic groups or are immigrants to their country of residence. The situation for deaf individuals in the most impoverished countries of the world is desperate and of crisis proportions. This volume brings these themes to light through its exceptional synthesis of the outstanding discourse that took place at ICED 2010, including abstracts from 30 celebrated conference presentations.
Les préoccupations du milieu scolaire quant aux difficultés d’apprentissage des mathématiques apparaissent grandissantes, comme en témoignent les demandes faites aux chercheurs par les services éducatifs des commissions scolaires et par le ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport. Si plusieurs des recommandations qui circulent sont influencées par des travaux en neuropsychologie et en psychologie cognitive, l’enseignement des mathématiques concerne d’abord le champ de la didactique des mathématiques. Cet ouvrage, réalisé par un groupe de chercheurs francophones majoritairement composé de didacticiens des mathématiques, s’articule autour de trois thèmes : 1) les conceptions et cadres théoriques sur lesquels s’appuient les recherches portant sur l’enseignement des mathématiques aux élèves en difficulté ; 2) la description de pratiques d’enseignement des mathématiques en classe spéciale ou auprès d’élèves en difficulté ainsi que les recommandations qui en découlent ; 3) la description d’expérimentations didactiques au regard des questions qui se posent en enseignement et des propositions didactiques qui sont envisagées pour y répondre. S’adressant aux didacticiens, aux formateurs et à ceux qui œuvrent directement auprès d’élèves en difficulté d’apprentissage des mathématiques au primaire et au secondaire, l’ouvrage met en relief des enjeux d’enseignement et d’apprentissage en présentant les résultats de recherche au regard des situations, des lieux de production d’un ensemble de stratégies et de raisonnements mathématiques.
Issues of Inclusion and Reform
In the late 20th century, a tidal wave of calls for reform and inclusion of special needs students swept over public special education. The current debates over implementing these themes today are authoritatively addressed by 19 distinguished scholars in this thorough volume. Organized into three cohesive sections, it begins with the issues of educational reform and the emerging discourses of disability and integration in the inclusion movement. Respective chapters appraise specific arguments for inclusion and the federal legislation and litigation surrounding and supporting special education. The second part features the thorny issue of assessment, the technological revolution in special education, and the disposition of teacher training. The third section scrutinizes the inclusion of various populations of students with exceptional needs, particularly how teachers can make an easy transition from ideology to educational practice. Special Education in the 21st Century sets the standard for extrapolating future directions by wisely weighing classroom practices for different groups and the technical problems of resources, management, social groupings, instructional design, and the supposition that teachers will automatically change to accommodate an even greater diversity of learners.
A Way to Improve Understanding
Speechreading: A Way to Improve Understanding discusses the nature and process of speechreading, its benefits, and its limitations. This useful book clarifies commonly-held misconceptions about speechreading. The beginning chapters address difficult communication situations and problems related to the speaker, the speechreader, and the environment. It then offers strategies to manage them. Speechreading provides practical exercises illustrating the use of these communication strategies in actual situations. It is an excellent book for late-deafened adults, families and friends, parents of children with hearing loss, and professionals and students.
Pour aider les intervenants actuels et futurs ainsi que les parents dans leur rôle d'éducateur, l'auteure présente une démarche d'enseignement-apprentissage développée pour répondre directement aux besoins des jeunes présentant une déficience intellectuelle ou des difficultés à apprendre. Celle-ci prend en considération les processus cognitifs impliqués dans l'apprentissage ainsi que la dimension émotionnelle qui influencent l'actualisation du potentiel des jeunes.
A new initiative known as the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) strives to improve education today by methodically examining and assessing the vital component of classroom interaction. This collection presents research by five professors who adopted SoTL methodology to study their own classrooms at Gallaudet University, a uniquely diverse bilingual institution that employs both American Sign Language (ASL) and written English. The Gallaudet study, called the GSTLI, intended to create an engaged learning community that investigated, reflected upon, and documented strategies that most effectively enhance learning for linguistically diverse, visually oriented populations. After extensive SoTL training, the GSTLI professors reviewed interaction in their respective classrooms. Through meticulous study of class videos and written assignments in three General Studies Requirements courses for first-year students, the teachers learned how to ensure connecting with students who have a variety of language differences and communication methods. The other professors assessed bottlenecks in classes on the linguistic structure of ASL, and on criminal justice. The linguistics professor identified the bottleneck as the students’ inability to conceptualize the interrelationship between definitions and examples, a fundamental skill to scientific thinking. In the criminal justice class, the professor saw the need to guide students through linguistic bottlenecks by providing materials in both ASL and English. The successes of the GSTLI presented in this unique volume can benefit other teachers by better preparing them to meet the needs of bilingual diverse learners in more effective ways.
Despite the idealism represented by the No Child Left Behind law’s mandate for accountability in education, deaf students historically and on average have performed far below grade level on standardized tests. To resolve this contradiction in deaf education, this collection presents a spectrum of perspectives from a diverse corps of education experts to suggest a constructive synthesis of worthy ideals, hard realities, and pragmatic solutions. Contributors to this study include volume editors Robert C. Johnson and Ross E. Mitchell, Ed Bosso, Michael Bello, Betsy J. Case, Patrick Costello, Stephanie W. Cawthon, Joseph E. Fischgrund, Courtney Foster, Christopher Johnstone, Michael Jones, Jana Lollis, Pat Moore, Barbara Raimondo, Suzanne Recane, Richard C. Steffan, Jr., Sandra J. Thompson, Martha L. Thurlow, and Elizabeth Towles-Reeves. These noted educators and researchers employ experiences from Massachusetts, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, Illinois and California to support their findings about the dilemma facing deaf students and their teachers. They assess the intent and flexibility of federal law; achievement data regarding deaf students; potential accommodations and universal design to make tests more accessible; possible alternatives for deaf students not ready for conventional assessments; accounts of varying degrees of cooperation and conflict between schools and state education departments; and the day-to-day efforts of teachers and school administrators to help deaf students measure up to the new standards. By presenting these wide-ranging insights together, Testing Deaf Students in an Age of Accountability provides a unique opportunity to create genuine means to educate deaf students for the only test that matters, that of life.