What we should teach Deaf Children: Deaf Teachers' Folk Models in Britain, the U.S. and Mexico

Rachel L Sutton-Spence, Claire Ramsey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Deaf teachers around the world have folk models and beliefs that reflect their understanding of what deaf children need to learn in order to develop healthy identities as deaf people. In this research we report what teachers from England, the USA and Mexico have told us about using creative signing with deaf children. Themes emerging from our data suggest that some deaf folk beliefs vary across national boundaries but that assumptions about deaf ways to foster learning are remarkably similar in all three countries. This suggests that there is something quintessentially deaf about these assumptions that exist alongside formal training or national heritage. In interviews deaf teachers told us that deaf children learn by being engaged, by participating in the group and by using sign language for themselves — and that signed narratives facilitate all three of these learning strategies. A second emergent theme covers the teachers’ beliefs about specific abilities and knowledge that deaf children need to learn, and that their teachers help them learn. In all three countries, teachers reported using signed stories to help the children learn to communicate and interact, to have fun with signing and to see what is possible for deaf people to achieve.
Translated title of the contributionWhat we should teach Deaf Children: Deaf Teachers' Folk Models in Britain, the U.S. and Mexico
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149 - 176
Number of pages28
JournalDeafness and Education International
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010

Keywords

  • ASL
  • signed narrative
  • Mexican Sign Language (LSM)
  • deaf teachers
  • deaf folk belief
  • BSL

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