|QUESTION 3:|| How do deaf children learn as compared to hearing children in the area of cognition?|
Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development: (1951)
Cognition of Deaf Children: Marschark (1993)
- Sensorimotor stage is where children 0-2 yrs. cognition is limited to motor
- Preoperational stage is where children 2-6 yrs. learn to master representational
skills through the use of language, mental imagery and drawing.
- Concrete operational children ( ages 6-12 yrs.) demonstrate the ability to
problem solve using concrete examples and physical situations.
- Formal operation stage (ages 12-15 yrs.) demonstrates the ability to use abstract
thinking in order to problem solve.
Short Term Memory (STM): Marschark, (1993)
- Preoperational stage: Deaf children are more delayed in their overall
experiences with the environment if primary bond is not strong. Due to the
lack of ability to hear, deaf children struggle with changes in perceived
- Concrete operational stage: Due to deaf children’s lack of verbal language
skills, they are limited to opportunities for developmental interactions. The
verbal instruction in using concrete examples limits deaf children’s
performance Furth (1966).
- Formal operational stage: Deaf children are assumed to be enable of reaching
level of cognitive functioning. Futher testing needs to be completed in order
to assess if nonverbal communication can develop abstract thinking.
Long Term Memory (LTM): Marschark, (1993)
- The pairing of cognition and linguistic functioning may have a direct effect on
deaf children’s ability to retain basic immediate information.
- Oral ability is related to STM performance.
- Increase in verbal rehearsal increases STM.
- Deaf children have a greater reliance on visual-spatial memory.
- Deaf children have shorter spans of STM.
- In order to learn material it is important to label what you are learning.
- Language fluency, either verbal or sign, increases LTM.
- Deaf children do organize their LTM differently than hearing children.
- Deaf children may be limited to memory strategies and in their knowledge
about what, when, and how of an effective strategy.
Furth, H. G. (1966). Thinking without language. New York: Free Press.
Piaget, J. (1951). Play, dreams, and imitation in childhood. New York: W. W.
Marschark, M. (1993). Psychological development of deaf children. New York:
Oxford University Press.
- Teachers are able to adjust teaching strategies to accommodate for problems with
short term memory.
- Parents will be better able to relate more effectively with deaf child
when understanding of how the child processes information is comprehended.
- Parents can accommodate parenting strategies to help better work with children in home.
- Teach can adapt discipline styles to work with students.
- Educators and support professionals can assist parents and children to create stronger
bonds by helping family to relate to each other more effectively.
- Educators can begin to recreate curriculum in order to enhance deficits and work on
strengths with children.
Bornstein, M.H., & Sigman, M.D. (1986), Continuity in mental development from infancy. Child Development, 57, 251-274.
McCall, R.B. (1989). Commentary. Human Development, 32, 172-176.
Flavell, J.H. (1982). On cognitive development. Child Development, 53, 1-10.