De'VIA: Utilizing the Deaf Experience in the Arts Curriculum
The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) movement has begun to taken off, but schools across our nation have voiced a call of attention to the absence of The Arts in our curricular. The debate is to add “Arts” to the STEM programs to be changed into “STEAM” because our students can benefit from critical thinking, designing skills and creative planning using their artistic right brain as part of the Arts Curriculum.
As a bilingual educator of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing students, I made it my mission to incorporate Deaf Culture – which presently does not exist in the Visual and Performing Arts Content Standards for California Public Schools - into the Arts Curriculum in order to make the Arts Content relevant to a group of Grade 2 Deaf and Hard of Hearing students themselves.
That is why the Deaf Arts Curriculum was created. The ASL and English Bilingual approach to Deaf Education was efficient in making the Arts Curriculum accessible for the students with Deaf View Image Art (De’VIA), an art genre that embodies the experiences of the Deaf Artist.
Data was collected using teacher observation, field notes, rubrics and student projects to evaluate the Deaf Arts Curriculum’s success.
Based on the evidence, students developed art critique and production skills in the context of an ASL/English classroom. Students learned about the elements of art and gained a deeper appreciation of their Deaf and Hard of Hearing cultural identity while making connections to the core subjects.