Priority Grants Research Fund

Abstracts of Priority Research Project Funded for FY 1999

Bauman, Kimmel, Johnson & Waters
English, Undergraduate Studies
The Linked Courses Assessment Project
Bordman & Womeldorf
Gallaudet Writer's Handbook Development and Evaluation Project
Pediatric Cochlear Implants: Implications for Gallaudet University and Deaf and Hard of Hearing People
The African American Deaf Male Experience at Gallaudet: A Qualitative Analysis
Erting, Bahan & Bienvenu
Education; Deaf Studies; ASL, Linguistics & Interpreting
Language, Literacy and Cultural Develpment in Bilingual Homes and Classrooms
Kluwin, Andersen & Corbett
Educational Foundations & Research; Undergraduate Studies; Psychology
Longitudinal Study of the Retention of Undergraduates: Year 4
Signed Language Assessment: Current Trends in the Education of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students
The Impact of Cognitive-Strategy Instruction in Deaf Learners: A Collaborative International Comparative Study
Nelson & Bauman
Exploring the Poetics of Vision, Performance and the Body: Critical Approaches to ASL Literature
Self-Esteem & Peer Relations Among Deaf Children Educated in Mainstream School Environments

The Linked Courses Assessment Project
Dirksen Bauman, Karen Kimmel, Tonya Johnson, Maria Waters

During the Fall of 1998, three sections of First Year Seminar (SUS 101) and English 060 have been "linked"; that is, the same cohort of students who take FYS class are also enrolled in the same English class. The FYS and English teachers meet regularly to discuss student progress and to integrate curriculum. This linked approach offers students the opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge developed in English to FYS and vice-versa.

In studies conducted throughout the country, "linked courses" have shown to be an effective means of increasing student motivation, productivity, and retention. Nonetheless, Gallaudet has just begun to offer linked courses at the "developmental" and "honors" levels. It is, therefore, crucial to assess the success of the Linked Courses Project.

The project will be assessed both quantitatively and qualitatively. While the quantitative assessment does not require considerable effort, the qualitative component is a full semester of "data" collection. The artifact collection consists of videotape interviews of a random sample of participants and their written documents. The purpose of undertaking the qualitative assessment will enable us to view the full picture of the participant's experiences that will offer a thorough representation of the effects that linked courses have on students' academic development.

Gallaudet Writer's Handbook Development and Evaluation Project
Marcia Bordman, Anne Womeldorf

The Gallaudet Writer's Handbook (August 1998) is in its third draft and is now being used in 21 English classes. The Handbook is envisioned as a usage and rhetoric guide for Gallaudet writers across the campus, providing them with an outline of English grammar, charts, tables, and dictionaries. The Handbook provides Gallaudet professors and students with a common grammar vocabulary and system of error identification and correction, enabling students to become increasingly independent writers.

The purpose of the Gallaudet Writer's Handbook Development and Evaluation project is to evaluate the Gallaudet Writer's Handbook and to complete it. The final version of the Handbook will be expanded to include an index, a teacher's guide, and concept exercises and will be ready for classes next fall. Completion will be influenced by evaluation responses from students, tutors, and professors.

Evaluation and research components also include collecting data on how to increase the Handbook's use and acceptance campus wide. Finally, evaluation and research include a portfolio study of student writing to begin to evaluate the Handbook's impact on student writing as well as its impact on increasing student responsibility and independence in writing.

Pediatric Cochlear Implants: Implications for Gallaudet University and Deaf and Hard of Hearing People
John Christiansen

Cochlear implants, particularly in young children, have become an increasingly controversial issue during the 1990's. Many people in the deaf community strongly oppose such implants, while many otologists, audiologists and other health professionals strongly support pediatric cochlear implants. Given the strong feelings on both sides of the issue, there is an urgent need for a more balanced and objective evaluation of the advantages and disadvantages of pediatric cochlear implants.

There are several goals for this research: One goal is to comprehensively review the literature to see where things stand as of 1998. The primary goal of this research project, however, is to focus on how parents and families that include children with cochlear implants deal with a variety of implant-related issues. A non-random sample of approximately 25 parents of children with cochlear implants will be interviewed at length. The following questions are among those that will be addressed: How do parents come to decide on an implant for their child? Looking back, if parents knew at the time the decision to have an implant was made what they know now, would they have done the same thing?

Because pediatric implants are likely to continue to be available and will probably continue to improve technologically, it is apparent that Gallaudet University will need to come to grips with the question of how to respond to an increasingly diverse deaf and hard of hearing population.

The African American Deaf Male Experience at Gallaudet: A Qualitative Analysis
Carolyn Corbett

The experiences of African American Deaf men have been largely overlooked in the literature on both deafness and education. The goal of the current research project is to conduct an exploratory study of African American male students at Gallaudet University. Recent statistics suggest that African American male students are not making the same rate of progress toward their degrees when compared to other students at the University (Office of Institutional Research, 1998). In order to assess the needs of the African American men at Gallaudet University, a qualitative interview study will be conducted. Through a small focus group format, led by an African American Deaf male professional, African American male students will be asked questions about their experiences at the University at the policy/institutional level including: recruitment experiences, academic and career advising, residence life, financial aid, and relationships with their academic departments. In addition, in-depth individual interviews will be conducted with a sample of African American male students in order to obtain more specific information about personal experiences at the University. A qualitative analysis of interview transcripts will help identify emerging themes and provide information to the University that will help in improving services to this unique group of minority students.

Language, Literacy and Cultural Development in Bilingual Homes and Classrooms
Carol Erting, Benjamin Bahan, Charles Reilly

This interdisciplinary, longitudinal study examines cultural, linguistic, and cognitive development in 50 diverse deaf and hard-of-hearing children from birth to five years of age. The goals are to (1) describe the language, literacy and cultural development of deaf and hard-of-hearing children in bilingual deaf homes and in classrooms where ASL and English are the languages of instruction and (2) to describe the pedagogy, including the philosophy and teaching strategies of the teachers as well as the parenting strategies and beliefs of the deaf parents. The central focus is on how ASL and cultural knowledge are acquired at home and at school, how the parents', teachers', and children's use of ASL is linked to and supports emerging English literacy, and how this linguistic and cultural knowledge contributes to academic achievement during interaction with adults and peers. This is the second year of a three-year analytic plan.

Longitudinal Study of the Retention of Undergraduates: Year 4
Thomas Kluwin, Catherine Andersen, Carolyn Corbett

This is a fourth year of a multiple year study of the retention of undergraduate students at Gallaudet University. Using a "participation/identification" model, the Fall, 1995 entering students are being tracked for five years or until they graduate or drop out. Emphasis in the data collection is on the formation of the student's identification with the institution and how the failure to develop an institutional identification results in student attrition. This year the first cohort of the longitudinal study might be seniors. Students from the first cohort will be studied as representatives of the one of three groups: currently enrolled, drop-outs, or special students who are currently enrolled. Students' level of satisfaction with the institution and reasons for staying or leaving will be the focus of this year's data collection.

Signed Language Assessment: Current Trends in the Education of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students
Sanremi LaRue-Atuonah

The purpose of this study is to examine whether or not elementary and secondary schools in the United States are doing signed language assessments of deaf and hard of hearing children and to find out how assessments are being conducted. The following research question will be explored: which schools and who administers signed language assessments of deaf and hard of hearing children and to what extent are assessments being utilized. This study can be of benefit to deaf and hard of hearing children and the field of deaf education in promoting changes in policy, procedures and making signed language assessment a part of overall assessments(speech, audiology, and English language) conducted by most schools/programs for deaf and hard of hearing children.

The Impact of Cognitive-Strategy Instruction in Deaf Learners: A Collaborative International Comparative Study
David S. Martin

Deaf learners' potential for higher-order reasoning has been demonstrated by several previous studies, most of which have been in the United States; the investigator has authored several of these studies. This research project will be a comparison study that will replicate prior research done in the USA on the effects of cognitive-strategy instruction on deaf school-age learners and their teachers, in four different countries (the USA, England, Scotland, and the People's Republic of China). Special in-service training in methodologies of cognitive-strategy instruction will be carried out by the investigator with cadres of teachers in each of the four countries, following which those teachers will implement those cognitive strategies with their deaf students for a specified time period of at least 6 months. A combination of quantitative and qualitative measures will be employed, including analysis of regularly-scheduled school examination results, systemic observation of student behaviors, analysis of results on a test of reasoning skills, analysis of student narratives in response to hypothetical problem-solving situations, observations of teaching techniques by classroom observers, and analysis of teacher's reflective journal entries in regard to the teachings of higher-order thinking strategies. Conclusions will be drawn within the framework of each country's school curriculum requirements, teacher-education requirements, and cultural milieu, while comparing these results with those previously obtained in the USA.

Exploring the Poetics of Vision, Performance and the Body: Critical Approaches to ASL Literature
Jennifer Nelson, Dirksen Bauman

This project will develop the first collection of critical essays that examines original literature created in American Sign Language (ASL). Despite a growing awareness of ASL literature, no text currently exists which brings together various theoretical reflections on ASL literature and explores its significance to English and ASL literacy.

The purposed volume will be introduced in two separate formats, in CD-ROM as well as a book/videotape set. The CD-ROM will allow the written English essays to appear simultaneously alongside a video presentation of the ASL poem or narrative being analyzed. Further, the essays will be summarized and annotated in ASL to produce one of the first truly bilingual texts of its kind. In addition to the CD-ROM format, a conventional book version will be produced, accompanied by a videotape containing the ASL literature under discussion as well as ASL synopses of the critical essays; theses options will be valuable pedagogical tools for scholars and teachers alike.

This bicultural collaboration between deaf, hard-of-hearing, and hearing scholars will provide new insights into the history, culture, and creative achievements of the Deaf community, while enhancing and expanding the scope of the humanities in the areas of literacy, literature, criticism, and the visual and performing arts.

Self-Esteem & Peer Relations Among Deaf Children Educated in Mainstream School Environments
Michelle Yetman

The purpose of this project is to investigate the profile of self-esteem, as well as the social acceptance, of deaf and hard of hearing children within a mainstream school environment. Of particular interest is how (a) the amount of time spent with hearing peers and (b) access to a critical mass of deaf and hard of hearing peers, affect self-esteem and social acceptance by hearing peers. Using multi-dimensional models (Shavelson, 1978; Harter, 1985), self-esteem specific to particular domains will be evaluated, in addition to an overall self-evaluation. Deaf and hard of hearing students ages 8 to 13 years who are participating in mainstream school programs in southern Maryland and northern Virginia will be asked to participate in the project. These students' hearing peers will be asked to participate in the sociometric portion of the study only. Of interest is whether the profile of self-esteem and peer acceptance differs for deaf and hard of hearing children in comparison to their hearing peers. Results from the proposed study will provide educators and parents valuable information regarding the social and emotional experience of deaf and hard of hearing children who are currently being mainstreamed.

[Last modified: 2011.12.05 16:50:38. by Kevin Cole]

DISCLAIMER: This website contains documents with terms that may be considered by today's reader as outdated and even offensive. For example, the term "hearing impairment" is sometimes used as a category for levels of hearing loss, such as hard of hearing and deaf. Some people now see cultural identification and communication preference as defining characteristics behind terms such as hard of hearing and deaf, and they do not favor terms conveying medical distinctions and loss. Yet we recognize that removing and changing terms may alter the precise meaning of the scientific author. A solution may be found by expanding the scope of future research to include non-medical perspectives.
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