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1994 Conference Presentation Summaries



Alternative Strategies in Presenting Council on Education of the Deaf Standards in Teacher Training Programs

Robert Gonzales, Robert Hoffmeister, Harold Johnson, & Barbara Luetke-Stahlman

Teacher preparation programs for deaf and hard of hearing students have made many philosophical and content subject changes through the years. We have come a long way from the Fitzgerald Key and Mildren Groht's Natural Language Approach used in the 1940s and 1950s. We have struggled through the controversies that have surrounded oral/manual debate, oral/Auralism, the Rochester Method, total communication, Cued Speech, the Rhode Island language curriculum, to mention a few. Presently, we are dealing with issues such as the pros and cons of inclusion, cochlear implants, the consequences of unilateral hearing losses with our public school students, better early intervention programs, early detection programs for newborns, and the strengths and weaknesses of Bi-Bi programs.

The major question is: are university training programs and personnel able to provide updated information and practicum experiences to prepare preservice teachers to be able to meet the ever changing field? On the whole the answer is yes, although many of our teacher training personnel were trained for the most part on residential campuses because public day school program emphasis didn't exist. Senior professors have definitely had to make philosophical and subject content changes in order to survive. It is the personal observation of at least one of the authors that the younger professors entering into our training programs are more sophisticated in research methods, technology, and content material direction related to these changes. Needless to say, in a more positive light, these young professionals are products from our programs.

In the meantime, the Council on Education of the Deaf seems to have fallen victim to these changes. Hiring personnel in the public school programs are ignoring C.E.D. certification in obvious favor of state certification requirements. Many universities are also favoring an either/ or approach with N.C.A.T.E. or C.E.C as alternatives to evaluations by CED. Some universities have already chosen not to participate in CED evaluations.

The panel included professors from two universities who have developed their own alternative strategies in favor of CED standards and the Director of the CED Program Review committee.

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The Role of Teacher Education Programs in Preparing Teachers to Work with Students with Cochlear Implants

Mary Ellen Nevins

Despite the controversy that surrounds the issue of cochlear implantation for profoundly deaf children, the likelihood that teachers of the deaf children will find a child with an implant in their classrooms has increased dramatically. Children with cochlear implants who return to school settings present teachers with a unique set of needs. In addition to care and management of the device, teachers are often uncertain as to the habilitation program that is required by implant recipients to maximize auditory skill development. While teachers already in the field are acquired this information through workshops and in-service programs, preservice personnel could have access to this information in their teacher preparation programs. It is possible that a teaching module on cochlear implants could enable future teachers to more adequately address the needs of the child with an implant in their classroom. However, the content of such a module and its placement within an existing curricular framework become the challenges to teacher preparation programs. The purpose of this presentation was to encourage discussion that would consider the role that teacher preparation programs might play in educating future teachers about important issues surrounding the device, especially recognizing the social perspective of the Deaf Community in response to the device.

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Family Environment and Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Student with Mild Additional Disabilities

Ann R. Powers & Raymond Elliott

Approximately 30% of deaf and hard-of-hearing students have one or more additional disabilities according to a survey presented in the 1993 reference issue of the American Anals of the Deaf. The majority of deaf and hard-of-hearing students who have one or more additional disabilities have mild learning disabilities, mild mental retardation, and mild social/emotional disturbances, according to previous research by the authors. Based on the need to prepare teachers of deaf and hard-of-hearing students with mild additional disabilities, a masters degree program was developed and implemented at The University of Alabama. The program is currently in its second year. Through working with teachers of deaf and hard-of-hearing student with mild additional disabilities, it has become apparent that many of these students may be from "dysfunctional families" and that this may be a significant factor in the classroom problems exhibited by this group. However, no research exists to support these informal observations of teachers. Because of this need, a survey form was developed during the Spring of 1993 to determine the status of "dysfunctional family background" among deaf and hard-of-hearing students with mild additional disabilities.

The objectives of the research project include surveying teachers and administrators to determine:
  1. the characteristics of "dysfunctional families" among deaf and hard-of-hearing students with mild additional disabilities.
  2. the incidence of "dysfunctional families" among deaf and hard-of-hearing students who have mild additional disabilities
  3. methods and techniques used to work with families perceived or known to be "dysfunctional" and who have a child who is deaf or hard-of-hearing and has a mild additional disability.
  4. specific needs with regard to teacher preparation pertaining to working with students and their families.

The survey forms were initially sent to a random sample of schools and programs for deaf and hard-of-hearing students throughout the U.S. in April of 1993. The survey forms are still being returned and data analysis has begun. The presentation focused on the results of the survey, implications for teacher preparation programs, and discussion of the issues involved in working collaboratively with professionals and families of deaf and hard-of-hearing.

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Teacher Preparation Meets Practice

Mary V. Compton & Martha Downing

Since 1976, the number of deaf and heard of hearing students who are educated in public school settings has increased to over 80% of the total school-age deaf and hard of hearing population, according to a 1992 study by Davila. The majority of these students are served in regular classrooms or resource settings. Consequently, the changing role of a teacher of deaf and hard of hearing students requires that teacher preparation programs revise learning experiences for prospective teachers to reflect current practices in inclusion and educational reform such as cooperative teaching, collaboration/consultation, learning outcomes, site based management, etc.

The purpose of the presentation was to illustrate how one teacher preparation program has collaborated with the state consultant in hearing impairment in responding to the varied functions expected of a teacher in public school settings. Following a discussion of the abilities needed by a teacher of mainstreamed students, the presenters shared their perceptions of how university faculty can productively interact with state personnel to create a teacher preparation program that acknowledges current schooling practices.

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Mentoring: A Source of New Ideals and Ideas

Karen Dilka & J. Laurence Hayes

Mentoring is not a new concept to teacher training. Long before we had college and university training programs, many aspiring teachers were guided by individuals (hearing and deaf) who were designated as master teachers. Each of us can think of individuals who have helped us grow personally and professionally. We may not have called these individuals "mentors," however their role and impact on our careers is aligned with the working definition of a mentor.

Mentorships have a role within the preparation of new teachers and can readily be blended with student teaching. Student teaching mentorships can provide students with insight into American Sign language the deaf community, and the role of being a "special" educator in our schools. Mentors can help guide students through the personal and academic role of becoming a teacher and significantly lessen the "shock" of entering the live classroom setting.

Given limited time, resources, and number of faculty available in our college and university training programs, mentors help bridge the gap between classroom theory and real life teaching. It is unlikely that any training program can provide the intense one-on-one instruction and supervision that a mentorship can provide. Mentorships can also be tailored through a contractual agreement to meet specific needs and interests of students by matching them with deaf and hearing individuals from local communities or potentially from other programs across the country.

Another level of mentorship focuses on the professional teacher who is mentored by another professional. This type encompasses a specific aspect or area of teaching and may not be formalized or contractual in nature. The term peer to peer is often used to describe this form of mentoring. It describes mentoring as an "equal" relationship rather than the traditional teacher-student relationship.

The field of teacher preparation is faced with declining resources and an ever expanding work load. For the student in training, or for the practicing teacher, mentoring is an avenue that needs to become a formalized part of training techniques and resources. School administrators also need to address the potential for mentoring within the schools as a unique tool for facilitating growth among practicing teachers.

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How Adequately Deaf Preschoolers Can Be Served Under the Provisions of P.L. 99-457

Azar Hadadian & Joan Studnicky

Deaf Education has had a long rich history of early childhood education. With the rise of services for preschool handicapped children under P.L. 99-457, one needs to evaluate the impact of the recent law on the education of young Deaf children.

The purpose of this presentation was to share the statewide survey (N=130) of early childhood special education (ECSE) teachers. A questionnaire consisting of 30 questions was developed and mailed to all early childhood education programs in the State of Indiana. Preliminary analysis of the data indicates that the majority of ECSE teachers do not have the competencies needed to work with young Deaf children, however they are aware of the needed competencies.

The present situation creates a dilemma in the placement of Deaf children in ECSE classes with teachers who, in most cases, do not have adequate training in the area of Deaf Education. Therefore, it is critical to look at the various alternatives in serving young Deaf children under P.L. 99-457.

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Perspectives of Giftedness Among Teachers of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students

Mary Ann Bibby

Findings were presented from a qualitative, exploratory study which describes and interprets the perspectives of giftedness of 12 teachers who work with Deaf and hard of hearing students in a variety of educational settings across Canada. The supporting literature came from four major areas: (a) the construct of giftedness and intelligence; (b) giftedness among the disabled population; giftedness and intelligence; (d) theory related to teachers' knowledge and perspectives. Analysis of the data (in-depth interviews recorded as 25 hours or audio tapes) resulted in presentation of the findings from two perspectives: teachers' understandings of the meanings of giftedness and the process through which these teachers appeared to have gained their understandings.

The teachers' knowledge of giftedness was revealed in both practical and theoretical orientations towards the concept. Teachers' practical knowledge was portrayed in detailed stories of 43 hard of hearing or Deaf students whom they believed to be gifted, and in the way they described the students' achieving, learning, and behaving in classroom interactions. The teachers' theoretically oriented knowledge was described as they reflected upon the meanings they associated with giftedness. The teachers' knowledge of giftedness was compared to that found in the gifted literature at both the practical and theoretical levels.

Through interpretations derived from daily ongoing interactions with students, and drawing on knowledge gained from personal experience, these teachers constructed perspectives of giftedness. The process that emerged illustrated the teachers' use of comparison groups as ways of gaining insight about the students. The data also illustrated teachers' ideas about the use of labeling. Findings illustrate the importance of understanding teachers' personal practical ways of knowing.

The teachers' perspectives suggest that Deaf and hard of hearing students are gifted in ways similar but not identical to hearing students and that their giftedness can be recognized at a very early age. The abilities of these students appear to be very different from others in the handicapped-gifted literature and their needs are unique. The teachers' more conceptually oriented ideas also appeared to be similar but not identical to theoretical definitions of giftedness.

The findings suggest that researchers and teachers might work collaboratively to further explore ways in which teachers come to recognize and understand the gifted students in their classes. In addition, further research must explore the special educational needs of students who are dealing with the effects of having a hearing loss and being gifted.

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Preparing Teachers-in-Training to Teach in Inclusive Classrooms: How to Meet the Special Education Needs of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students

Kate Reynolds, Andrea Harris, & Sherri Zehner

For many years, students preparing to teach deaf and hard of hearing children were trained to provide instruction in traditional academic areas such as reading, language, math, and speech development with little regard to the setting in which the teachers-in-training might find themselves. Long after mainstreaming was a well-established placement strategy for deaf and hard of hearing youngsters, college and university teacher training programs were still focusing instruction toward self-contained children who had limited interaction with hearing peers. As teacher trainers, our efforts to prepare our students for the reality of mainstreaming fell far behind what the future jobs of those same students necessitated. Today, courses geared to the special demands of education mainstreamed deaf and hard of hearing children are more commonplace in our curricula. We now face, however, a new placement option, inclusive classrooms, and teacher educators need to lead in this movement by adequately preparing our preservice teachers.

This presentation involved discussion of the unique training needs of the teacher of children who are deaf and hard of hearing and who are placed, day in and day out, in classrooms for hearing students. Inclusion was viewed from a practical perspective, by presenting the inclusion experiences of two teachers of deaf and hard of hearing children (one early elementary level and one junior high school level). Each of these two teachers shared a classroom and the associated classroom duties with a teacher of hearing children. Both are convinced of the superiority of this instructional setting to the self-contained and resource rooms in which they previously taught. Their view of the inclusion model of educating students was compared and contrasted with that presented in the literature of inclusive classrooms for students with a variety of disabilities.

Finally, the implications of these two educators' experiences on our preservice teacher training practices were explored with an eye on specific changes that must be made to better prepare the teacher exiting our programs if they are to be successful in inclusive classrooms. Ideas for structuring university and college level instruction on inclusion, including collaborative lesson planning, team building, reflective practice, and preventative problem solving were presented. The session ended with an activity that encouraged the audience to explore the shape instruction on inclusion may take in training programs for teachers of deaf and hard of hearing children.

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CED-CEC Standards and Revision: A Collaboration

Kathee M. Christensen & Susan Easterbrooks

Kathee Christensen, representing CED, and Susan Easterbrooks, representing CEC, are serving as co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Standards Revision. The committee met for the first time in June of 1993 in Atlanta. At that meeting, an initial working draft of Knowledge and Skills for Beginning Teachers was developed. The committee refined the draft at two subsequent meetings in Baltimore in conjunction with the CAID-CEASD national conference.

The draft of the joint document has been made available to a wide variety of professionals. Feedback has been solicited at the national level. The committee met again in December of 1993 to consider the suggestions submitted by members of the national deafness organizations, including AGBAD, ACE-DHH, CAID, CEASD, CEC-DCCD, NAD, ASCD, SHHH, Cued Speech Society. The combined input of all of the readers will be reflected in the Knowledge and Skills document which will be submitted to CEC and will serve as the basis for the development of the CED Evaluation manuals.

This presentation provided a forum to discuss the basic standards revision process and share the results with university and college faculty. Further, it provided an opportunity to identify persons who may be willing to serve in the next phase of the process -- the development of the revised CED Evaluation manuals.

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Recommendation for "Best Practices"

Barbara Luetke-Stahlman

This presentation detailed approximately 30 recommendations for those working with children who are deaf and hard-of-hearing and enrolled in public school placements. The recommendations covered the following issues:

Specific adaptations for those working in rural areas was provided as well as discussion regarding current confusion of "least restrictive environment." This presentation is a working draft of a document. Handouts were provided which should be beneficial to those engaged in teacher training who wish to advocate that future teachers need to assist in recommendations and monitoring of "best practices" for deaf students.

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Recruitment, Placement, and Support of Prospective Teachers for the Deaf from Developing Nations

Alan M. Marvelli

In October of 1993, a questionnaire from the ACE-DHH Committee on International Teacher Preparation was distributed to ACE-DHH members at colleges and universities throughout North America. The purpose of the survey was to determine the current level of foreign student participation in preparation programs, the countries from which they came, the current and anticipated levels of financial support available to them, and the willingness of member institutions to become (further) involved in such practices.

The results of this survey were presented for discussion. Preliminary analysis had indicated that relatively few member schools routinely enroll foreign students but nearly all would be interested in doing so if a recruitment process and financial support could be arranged. The desirability and feasibility of developing a more formal recruiting network and funding base was considered. ACE-DHH members were asked for suggestions concerning future directions (if any) for this project.

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Cooperative Learning and the Emerging Teacher

Mary V. Compton

The culture of higher education traditionally endorses individual accomplishments in research, teaching, and service. Although some university systems proclaim public policy statements of their concern for teaching, faculty in research-focused universities remain acutely aware that the development of a community of teacher-scholars is not a highly valued endeavor. In contrast, Parker J. Palmer (1987) argues that higher education should model cooperative forms of interaction that emphasize relatedness not only between students and faculty but among faculty as well. Cooperative learning, as described by Johnson, Johnson, and Smith (1991) and by Meyers and Jones (1993), offers a framework from which to explore Palmer's perspective.

The purpose of this presentation was to create a forum in which participants could develop an understanding of the conceptual basis of cooperative learning and acquire models of the application of principles of cooperative learning in higher education classrooms. Following a discussion of the rationale for the basic elements of cooperative learning, participants shared how they can incorporate cooperative learning into their teaching repertoires. Participants received a handout of ideas for using cooperative learning in college classrooms.

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Meeting the Needs of Students Who are Deaf and Blind: Illinois State University's Deaf/Blind Teacher Training Project

Maribeth Lartz

A major obstacle to the education of students who are deaf and blind is the critical shortage of appropriately trained personnel. Currently, there is a national teacher shortage in the area of dual sensory impairments (Piercy & Bowen, 1993). Many people serving students with these disabilities lack certification and/or the necessary skills. Students with deaf-blindness have a right to appropriately trained teachers with specific competencies. To meet the current training needs, the Deaf/Blind Teacher Training Project was implemented.

The objective of the presentation was to provide a model for training personnel in deaf-blindness from a multi-state region (the Midwest). The presentation included demographic information regarding students with deaf-blindness in Illinois and four other Midwestern states. Additional demographic data illustrated the critical personnel shortage in the Midwest. Furthermore, the presentation included specific competencies related to communication, assessment, orientation / mobility, consulation / teaming, and other areas related to the education of students who are deaf and blind. Coursework and method of course delivery were also shared.

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Why Curriculum Change is Important: Gallaudet's Teacher Education Program

Marilyn Sass-Lehrer, Thomas W. Jones, & Barbara Bodner-Johnson

Since 1989, the Department of Education at Gallaudet University has been actively involved in a process of program and curriculum review and revision aimed at the preservice master's program in deaf education. The Department sought input from faculty members from other universities and from other departments at Gallaudet, as well as graduates, parents, Deaf adults, and other experts in the field. The results of this work culminated in major teacher education program revisions which were implemented in the Fall of 1993. The presentation focused on the program review process; a description of revisions and the newly implemented program; and the plans for future revisions in the teacher education program at Gallaudet. In addition, participants were asked to share recent or planned revisions in their respective deaf education programs.

Over the past few years, new knowledge and ideas have developed, and better-defined "best practices" are emerging. For example, teachers need expanded knowledge and skill in areas such as language and communication, culture and community perspectives, interdisciplinary training, reflective teaching, and multiple disabilities. The revisions in the master's degree program reflect the Department of Education's newly developed philosophy which reinforces the importance of a strong foundation in the liberal arts, knowledge of content, and pedagogy for all teachers. The revised program also reflects the unique context Gallaudet University offers to graduate students for developing excellent visual communication, and linguistic and cultural knowledge and skills.

Revisions include: (1) prerequisite skills in basic sign language and exposure to cultural and community aspects of deaf individuals; (2) expanded coursework in language to include American Sign Language acquisition, first and secondary language acquisition, and the role of culture and cognition in language learning; (3) restructuring of practicum experiences to emphasize teaching reflectively; and (4) knowledge if interdisciplinary teaching, collaboration with parents, community members and community agencies, and deaf leadership and partnerships in education.

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Preparing Teachers: Uses and Misuses of Multicultural Children's Literature

Daphne S. Fox & Sally Holt

"Through literature, children can learn to appreciate differences in our growing multicultural society and can share the joy of our diversity" (Hunter, 1993, p. 49). As teacher educators, we share the responsibility of preparing teachers to use multicultural literature with children. However, as Carol Otis Hurst reports, many of these multicultural books are not very good (1993). Even more serious criticism concerns the prevalence of stereotypes, distortions of history and lifestyles, use of generic design, ethnocentric bias, and unqualified authors and illustrators. Use of extended activities for Whole Language approaches must also be critically evaluated. Common suggestions such as creating Indian names based on animal names or making masks to use in make-believe ceremonies are abhorrent to most Native Americans. Yet these activities are common in most classrooms. Children's literature from other countries is used to teach about the geography and lifestyles of these places and people. For example, books written by Australian authors have increasingly become available and are used by numerous teachers. However, Mem Fox, a noted Australian writer of children's books, has recently questioned the absence of minorities in 90% of recent children's literature from that country (1993).

How then do we as teacher educators prepare our teachers of deaf and hard of hearing children to evaluate and use multicultural literature based on the diversity of our country and to use literature from other countries? Examples of appropriate as well as inappropriate books were examined, criteria for selection were discussed, and classroom use were evaluated in the presentation. The emphasis was on Native American and Australian children's literature.

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Collaboration Through Technology: A National Information Network in Deaf Education

Harold A. Johnson

Each year the task of preparing teachers of the Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing (D/HH) becomes more difficult. University budget cuts, certification standards, national educational reforms, state inclusion models, competing instructional protocols, etc. require that more and more be done with less and less. The press to teach more classes, to publish more work, to get more grants, and to do more service all combine to make the deaf education faculty position even more demanding. In spite of all these problems, there is a tremendous sense of collegiality and cooperation among deaf education teacher preparation faculty. Attendance at ACE-DHH conferences has steadily grown. Over the last several years, in depth and diversity of conference presentations has dramatically increased. Unfortunately, the sense of "togetherness" that frequently emerges from the conference is quickly lost when attendees return to their "home" colleges/universities. While this has been true in the past, it does not have to be true in the future.

Computers, while once rare, are a common element with most colleges and universities. Faculty who want at computer usually have one. Faculty who don't, know that they must soon either "take the plunge" and learn how to use those "darn things" or be left further behind their more computer literate colleagues. Most of these computers are "stand alone" machines that are used to carry out word processing, graphing, and perhaps statistical tasks. A few of the computers are "connected" to "main frame" systems. This connection turns the system into distant communication and learning tools. The essential network that enables this metamorphosis is "Internet." Internet has been defined as a "network of networks." In essence, it is a system of telecommunication links that enables individuals throughout the world to communicate with one another, to share information, and to tap huge data bases of information. This network is both free and readily available to any faculty member. The network is also the "key" to our long term success within the field of deafness.

This presentation used multimedia material to establish the concept of telecommunications and then explored the interactive and informational opportunities that can be found on Internet. Those opportunities, in turn, served as the basis for the proposal of a national, telecommunication based, information network in deaf education. Presentation attendees were provided with detailed information concerning how they can both "plug into" and contribute to that network.

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Changing Names in Changing Times: On-going Curriculum Revision in Teacher Preparation

Jess Freeman King & Jan Kelley-King

Until two years ago, the Utah State University teacher training model for preparing teachers of the deaf was basically a medical/defect model both in name and in substance. The name of the program was the USU Teacher Preparation Program for Teachers of the Hearing Impaired and was housed in the Department of Communicative Disorders. The coursework was focused on course of a speech pathology/audiology nature with practicum being provided only in oral/aural and total communication setting located in self-contained and mainstreamed programs.

With the addition of two professionals involved in teacher training who possessed a different philosophical perspective and the willingness of those already in the program to facilitate change, the name of the program has been changed to the USU Teacher Preparation Program for Teachers of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and even the departmental name itself is in the process of being changed from the Department of communicative Disorders to a title that will not be disparaging to deaf children or to the Deaf community. The titles of courses and the courework content is also in the process of change form the medical/defect model to the socio-cultural model. The term "hearing impaired" has been totally eliminated from course titles and course descriptions; the program itself is being streamlined so as to eliminate courses of a speech pathology/audiology nature that are not pertinent to preparing teachers of deaf children; and the practicum sites have been expanded to include a full quarter of residential school experience.

The presentation involved a discussion of the evolution from a teacher training program of a medical/defect model to a socio-cultural model. Tips and suggestions as to how this might be accomplished at other university teacher training programs were presented and discussed.

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