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Transforming students into 21st century thinkers through an ASL curriculum


This writing explores some of the challenges educators of deaf children are facing in classrooms across America. The 21st century has brought unprecedented levels of diversity to classrooms and deaf students are not immune to this phenomenon. Social learning is at a premium as students face challenges in their overall development. The identification of these challenges is followed by a discussion of innovative instructional methods such as : scaffolding, cooperative learning, and inquiry-based instruction. The use of these methods is explored in a bilingual classroom environment with both American Sign Language (ASL) and English. The reader will gain some insight on how these methods can help build a classroom environment rich with social learning opportunities that leads to higher academic success. The findings of this study will reveal that deaf students value their language exposure. At the same time, the implementation of a social curriculum is a task that requires an extensive investment of time. Regardless of socioeconomic and ethnic status, students from all walks of life need time to reflect on what they have learned while developing critical thinking skills. These critical thinking skills will help position them to succeed academically

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