What are the expectations of these children?
For many d/Deaf African American children the expectations of achievement are low.(MacNeil, 1990) It is unfortunate that this belief tends to also occur among hearing African American children. Too often African American students, particularly the males are perceived as being on drugs when misbehavior occurs.(Grace, 1993) These low expectations by professionals and school personnel may be partly responsible for the low achievement in schools.(MacNeil, 1990)
As in the Statewide Center (SWC) in Honolulu, Hawaii, high expectations of achievement must be placed on all students, including those that are ethnically diverse.(Fernandes, 1997) In this center, they have a school motto: "l ulu no ka lala I ke kumu," which means "The branches grow because of the trunk."(Fernandes, 1997) Students achieve because educators and people in authority expect them to achieve.
Insight and Application: It saddens me that low expectations are placed on both d/Deaf and hearing African American students. Many of these students are capability of learning and producing high achieving academics.
High expectations need to placed on these students. It is important to get to know these students on an individual basis. Find out what their talents are, their likes and dislikes, and build on that. I believe that if students think that you have high expectations of them, they will at least attempt to do their very best. It is not necessary to make expectations so high, that students are unable to have success, but high enough that they are challenged.
Fernandes, J. (1997). Current trends: SWC as a microcosm. http:www.gallaudet.edu/~pcnmpmrk/occasional/deafed/index.html
Grace, C. (1993). A model program for home-school communication and staff development. In Christensen, K., & Delagado, G. (Eds.). Multicultural issues in deafness. White Plains, NY: Longman Publishing Group.
MacNeil, B. (1990). Educational needs for multicultural hearing-impaired students in the public school system. American Annals of the Deaf, 135, 75-82.