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Field Experience Report - Observation in the classroom at the school for the Deaf
In the US, residential institutions of learning have had a long relationship with the deaf community. They are the centers where linguistic and cultural transmission takes place. The residential, educational institutions for deaf people serve learners at K-12 levels. They avail dormitories for learners who hail from far geographical distances. Usually, each state has built, at least, one residential program of education for the deaf (Romano, 2013). It has also been noted that large communities of the deaf usually settle near a residential school. A good number of states offer education programs that provide language services and training for the deaf, including a rich cultural environment where American Deaf learners are taught American Sign Language and English Bilingual instruction. Such settings are also referred to as deafcentric. Learners are enabled to interact with teachers, heads, classmates, and other staff around the school, in their native language. The schools have also been made to offer extracurricular activities with mentors who are also deaf. The latter is yet another important way of nurturing and transmitting the culture of the deaf.
Research questions for this study are:
• What kinds of accommodations are seen in the classroom?
• What is your view regarding the lesson that gives a chance to the learners to access the curriculum?
• What similarities and differences do you see, relative to your other pair of observations?
The research questions are designed to find out the factors that influence the ability of the school to offer a deafcentric environment that succeeds in promoting the wellbeing of the deaf.
Studies indicate that the deaf has improved in the learning engagement in the residential schools for the deaf. Such a development is attributed to the improved communication context within these institutions, which is an aspect of providing a deafcentric environment. According to Staten (2011), the following should be made possible in the learning environments of the deaf: free communication and securing a comfortable sign language environment, a heightened social and personal interaction between the deaf people, and a cultural identity model development, a perceived readiness for life, following graduation (p. 3). Another study reveals that deaf learners who attend school with a peer who hears properly have a reduced level of social wellbeing and self-esteem compared to those who attend special schools (van Gent et al., 2012).
The success of schools has been gauged with the use of a range of criteria. The criteria are developed for residential schools for the deaf. Some of the measures relating to socialization and linguistic settings will have to be reviewed and changed if they are applied to the non-deaf learners and deaf instructional programs. The current research available suggests that three critical areas should be examined: 1: the outcomes of education; 2: the programs of education; 3: socialization and linguistic experiences. The only entity mandated institution by the federal authorities to measure student progress is the NAEP. They measure academic progress in a range of areas, including mathematics, reading, geography, writing, history, and the arts (Hombo, 2003’ Malik et al., 2018).
The social development with the education of the deaf happens through extra-curricular tasks, in dormitories, and through the athletic programs. The socialization and linguistic environment is a critical aspect of deaf education. Thus, residential schools for the deaf should provide these environments, using both the dormitory and the classroom. They are critical environments for the transmission of culture and language use. These then offer culturally and linguistically useful interactions.
The school is situated in an old structure that even if it is in a good state, it appears run-down because it is not maintained. The illumination of the classroom is not appropriate. The furniture is also not comfortable to use. The air conditioning is noisy while the windows remain closed. It is designed in the shape of a semicircle. There are times when there is obstruction, and a student may not see when another one is consulting the teacher because of poor lighting. One can’t read and see the screen easily. The lighting is, simply, wrong. There is no way to call all students to attend. When the teacher in session is a deaf one and explains by use of sign language, the class covers more, compared to when there is an interpreter. The learners have a challenge in calling the teacher when he is in discourse with another learner or looking towards the screen.
The study made use of a descriptive qualitative research approach that included interviews, document review, and observations, to analyze the residential school for the deaf indicators. The goal is to unearth…
…school (Guardino & Antia, 2012), art forms created by the deaf, and, or even images of role models who are deaf. The built environment should also be refurbished, not only for the learning goals but for safety reasons too.
The interpreter positioning is another area that influences our recommendation. This is the point where the deaf learner comes into contact with the teacher. The interpreter should be in view line by the learners and the teachers. Renard (1999), states that the deaf learner should see the teacher and the other learners during the lesson. Therefore, they should be placed at the center of the second row to allow them to see how the colleagues react seated at the front. When the deaf learner is placed at the front, they may feel discriminated. The circle arrangement or the U setup allows for learner teacher exchange with the teacher being nearly at an equal distance from every student in the class. It also allows for more interaction compared to the traditional layout. However, such a provision may not suffice when the number of students is higher than can sit in two rows in the U or the C. In such a scenario then; it is better to arrange the seats in varying levels.
The teacher also plays a central role in the deafcentric residential school for deaf learners. The role of the teacher overlaps the two mentioned earlier. Research has not mentioned it before. Therefore it will be of use to mention it here. It is critical to only hire teachers with the attitude of the average population of employees of a school that serves to enhance the cultural transmission for a given language community, i.e., the deaf in this case. Teachers are pivotal in the implementation of the ASL program.
The essence of the residential schools for deaf people lies in their ability to have an impact on the ability of the school to offer a deafcentric environment. Such an environment supports linguistic, emotional, and social growth. In the current study of one school of residential type, the use of visual techniques for instruction, the crafting of a visual environment for learning, the consistent use of ASL and adherence to it; out and inside the classroom setup, and the positive attitude is shown by teachers, including the school administration were observed to be critical in the creation…
Guardino, C., & Antia, S. D. (2012). Modifying the classroom environment to increase engagement and decrease disruption with students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 17(4), 518-533.
Hombo, C. M. (2003). NAEP and No Child Left Behind: Technical challenges and practical solutions. Theory into Practice, 42(1), 59-65.
Jeffries Jr., R. L. (2010). A Case Study of a Teacher Implementing Guided Reading in a Deaf Classroom. ProQuest LLC.
Malik, A. M., Rashid, M., Awan, M. Y., & Alvi, I. B. (2018). The Role of Architecture in the Identification of Obstacles and Spatial Solutions to Inclusive Education. UMT Education Review (UER), 1(2), 39-58.
Renard, M. (1999). Les sourds dans la ville: surdités et accessibilité. ARDDS (Association pour la réadaptation et la défense des devenus-sourds).
Romano, A.M. (2013). Observing a Residential School for the Deaf: Identifying Factors in Creating a Deafcentric Environment. (The Honors Program, Gallaudet University).
Staten, F. D. (2011). Examining the influence of the residential school for the deaf experience on deaf identity. (Doctor of Philosophy thesis, University of Iowa).
Van Gent, T., Goedhart, A. W., Knoors, H. E., Westenberg, P. M., & Treffers, P. D. (2012). Self-concept and ego development in deaf adolescents: a comparative study. Journal of deaf studies and deaf education, 17(3), 333-351.
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