The child Ihave chosen for my school based independent study has ‘Profound BilateralSensori Neural Deafness’ and has a ‘Bilateral Cochlear Implant’, which aims tostimulate the auditory nerve directly to give a sensation of hearing (Gregoryet al, 1999). Without these implants, pupil X cannot hear any sound.
In mystudy, I will be evaluating what provisions are currently in place at theschool for the child and then investigating how this correlates with currentopinion and research. I will be looking at whether or not there are anyprovisions and practices that may benefit the child at school in the future. My school ishome to a Resource Base of the Deaf for Wakefield Council, I thought that itwould be a fantastic opportunity to learn more in depth; about how a childlearns when they have difficulty with their hearing and understand whatbarriers they may face in an ‘inclusive’ lesson. The ‘Consortium for researchin Deaf Education’ estimated that there are 45,631 deaf children in the UnitedKingdom in 2017, with around ten percent living in the Yorkshire and Humberarea (Cride, 2017). The child(pupil X) I have chosen for my research is in Year nine (aged fourteen) and isin a class that I teach, therefore, it made logistical and practical sense tochoose him for my independent study. Pupil X receives additional support fromthe Resource Base to access to national curriculum. Pupil X has speech andlanguage delay as a result of his deafness, he is an oral communicator and isworking hard to develop his British Sign Language (BSL) skills.
Pupil X has areading age of eleven years, two months and a vocabulary age of eleven years,nine months, he has difficulties with working memory, retention and can sufferfrom sensory fatigue. Socially, pupil X is confident to communicate withhearing children and has both hearing and deaf peers, he has a positive deafidentity. In lessons pupil X struggles with verbal tasks, although showsstrength in the visual domain. I believe thatthis study will contribute to my own professional development.
I will be ableto understand a lot more about how children with hearing difficulties learn atschool. Subsequently, this will allow me to differentiate my teachingappropriately and effectively whilst I am training and in my future career as ateacher. As it is estimated that there are 45,631 deaf children (Cride, 2017)it is almost certain that I will come across this again in my school career.Consequently, this will be beneficial to the school where I am based andmyself, if I know and understand the best provisions and practise for thechildren in the future. LiteraturereviewFour hundred yearsago, people thought that the deaf could not learn. The first mention ofeducation for the deaf was in John Balwar’s book (1644) where he recognisedgestures (using hands) for communication. Thomas Braidwood was the first personto educate the deaf however, it was only the elite that could learn as it was availableat an expensive private school in Edinburgh (Boudreault & Gertz, 2016).
Braidwood did not know any sign language, but learnt over time from thechildren by using gestures. Proof of his success was when a student of his,Lord Seaford, entered the houses of parliament as a member of parliament. 1792– 1860 was the golden age of sign language in deaf education, Braidwoods’teaching methods continued for another one hundred years; it was only after hepassed away people realised he was using a combining method (what is thecombining method) for forerunner to total communication (McgLoughlin, 1980). In 1880 aninternational conference was set up in Milan, ‘oralism’ was strongly supportedas it was thought that it would give deaf children the same opportunities ashearing (Berkowitz & Jonas, 2014). Delegates decided that deaf childrenspoke well, however, at this time (1880s) there was no audiological informationas to whether children were profoundly deaf or only slight. New audiologicaltechnology was introduced post war between the 1950s and 1960s; this led tomeasured degrees of deafness from profound, severe to partial. Schools’ had adheredto the ‘oralist’ approach and sign language was banned. It is believed that inthe 1960s deaf children, socially were coping very well, however theireducation was being massively stunted (Erting et al, 1996).
By the 1970s deafchildren were leaving school with an average reading age of nine years and ninemonths (Hornby, 2017), way below national average for hearing children. These werethe results based on standardized tests and similar was seen in the United Statesof America (Traxler, 1997) and the Netherlands(Tellings et al, 2006). //The cochlearimplant is an electronic device that provides immediate stimulation to thecochlear through electrodes.
The internal piece includes; electrodes and a receiver,which are placed there surgically and the external pieces are; the microphone,speech processor and transmitter (Gregory et al, 1999). This device produces asensation of sound and the receiver needs time to understand what thesesensations mean. There is an assumption that as soon as someone is fitted withthe device they can immediately hear; however this is not the case, time andtraining is needed to get accustomed to the different sensations.
// In 1978, deafchildren were learning the national curriculum in mainstream schools for thefirst time following advice of the Warnock Report (H. Warnock, 1978), SpecialEducational Needs (SEN) was introduced as a legal term by the Education Act1981 (Cline & Frederickson, 2009). In 1998 a study showed that deafchildren could thrive in mainstream education (reference). Socially,mainstreaming was difficult (1978 onwards) however, today there seems to be noproblem with over 90% of deaf children in mainstream schools today (reference).When deaf children left school and met up they could not understand oneanother, this led the British Deaf Association (BDA) to campaign for free useof communication – including sign language in 1987. In the UnitedKingdom today, there is a huge variation in availability of support from localauthorities. Some areas will have forty-seven deaf pupils to one teacherwhereas others can have up to one hundred for one member of staff (Cride,2017). Three main areas of concern are; training teachers of the deaf, numbersof teachers of the deaf and the variability of numbers of teachers in differentareas.
There is a desperate shortage of deaf teachers (Cride, 2017). Themajority of children in mainstream schools are taught by mainstream teacherswith support staff. Some argue that to teach a deaf child the teacher must holda master’s degree to understand how a deaf child learns to get it right. Recent studiesby the National Deaf Children’s Society (NCDS) show that the standard ofeducation for deaf children is still way behind that of hearing pupils.
65% ofdeaf children are not getting five GCSEs A-C compared to 34% of hearing peers. There seems tobe a lack of training and understanding when teaching deaf children. The DESFconducted a survey in 2010 where 230 teachers (with CSW + INTERPRETORS) wereinterviewed and only 25 had the relevant qualification. CSW needs a high levelof deaf awareness and so does a mainstream teacher. When there is a lot goingon in a classroom (for example, low level disruption), the child will struggleto understand.
Some schools will miss part of the national curriculum; however,it needs to be the same with high expectations of schools and high levels ofliteracy. Thecontroversial matter, considering the ways in which deaf children learn (oralistetc) has often overshadowed finding out how deaf children learn, which shouldbe the main priority (Marschark & Knoors, 2014). If communication barriershave been over come, for example, the use of cochlear implants, sign languageand other new technologies then children should learn the same curriculum atthe same rate, however, this is not the case (Hauser & Marschark, 2008).
‘Inclusion’ inschools in the past thirty years has ‘resulted in a wider diversity of studentsin the public school’ (Martin & Moors, 2006). This means that the schoolsand teachers alike have to make extra provisions when catering for a deafchild. Mainstream schools are particularly noisy places and background noisecan severely affect speech perception in the classroom and thus is ‘detrimentalto academic learning in children’ (Crandell & Smaldino 2000; Dockrell , 2006).
The Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) suggeststhat classrooms are carpeted for improved acoustics, however, realises this isnot always logistical due to the accessibility of wheelchairs. The majority ofclassrooms do not adhere to the basic requirements necessary for deaf children,this is of increasing concern according to Marschark and Knoors (2014). In order for a deaf child to learn there arequestions such as, ‘would they benefit from sitting in a particular position?’For example; towards the front of the room, close to the board and in directview of a support worker. Theoretically it would make logistical sense; however,the consideration of the child’s feelings is important, they may feelself-conscious about sitting with their supporter (RNID, 2007) and thus maywant a more discreet arrangement.
Marschark andKnoors (2014) explain that for a mainstream classroom teacher, teachinglanguage is a complicated task due to the diversity of needs required byindividual deaf children. Additionally, the development of language proficiencyis much harder to predict compared to that of hearing children. The best way toassess language proficiency with deaf learners should be done on an individualbasis along with the type ofassessment and the goals to be reached (Jamieson & Simmons, 2011). Despite there being no significant evidenceto support adaptations of lessons (Cawthon, 2011; Qi & Mitchell, 2012), teachersoften modify tests assuming that it is too difficult for deaf students.
This ideamay seem to have good intent however deaf students’ skills cannot be validatedwith accuracy during assessment. References Berkowitz, M., Jonas, J. and Sheridan, M.(n.d.).
Deaf and hearing siblings in conversation. Crandell,C. and Smaldino, J. (2001). Classroom Acoustics: Understanding Barriersto Learning. Publication Sales Department. Dockrell,J. and Shield, B.
(2006). Acoustical barriers in classrooms: the impact ofnoise on performance in the classroom. British Educational Research Journal, 32(3), pp.
509-525. Erting, C. (1996). The deaf way: Perspectivesfrom the International Conference on Deaf Culture.Washington (D.C.). Frederickson, N.
and Cline, T.(n.d.).
Special educational needs, inclusion and diversity. Gertz, G. and Boudreault, P. (2016). TheSAGE deaf studies encyclopedia. Los Angeles: SAGE. Holt, J.
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Jamieson,J. (2016). Working Together—with Families. The Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 22(2), pp.253-253. Marschark, M., & Hauser,P. C.
(2012). How deaf childrenlearn: what parents and teachers need to know. New York, Oxford UniversityPress.
Marschark, M. (2014). Bilingualismand bilingual deaf education. New York: Oxford University Press.
Marschark, M. and Hauser, P. (2008). Deafcognition. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Marschark, M. and Spencer, P.
(2010). TheOxford handbook of deaf studies, language, and education. Oxford: OxfordUniversity Press. Marschark, M.
and Knoors, H. (2003). Teaching Deaf Learners: Psychological andDevelopmental Foundations. USA: OUP.Moores, D.and Martin, D.
(2015). Deaf Learners. Washington: GallaudetUniversity Press.
NDCS.org.uk.(2018). CRIDE survey of educational provision for deaf children. onlineAvailable at: http://www.ndcs.org.
uk/professional_support/national_data/cride.html#contentblock1Accessed 1 Jan. 2018. Spencer, P and Marschark, M.(2010). Evidence-based practice ineducating deaf and hard-of-hearing students. New York, NY: OxfordUniversity Press.
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