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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Fostering Positive Deaf Identity Development in a K-2 Deaf Classroom /

  • Author(s): Hipskind, Courtney
  • et al.

All Deaf children deserve to have opportunities to openly explore, examine, and affirm their own Deaf identities at school, yet there is a shortage of curricula and resources dedicated to this basic need. The aim of this thesis is to provide Deaf children with such opportunities. The curriculum within- Fostering Deaf Identity Development in a K-2 Deaf Classroom- consists of two units that address positive Deaf identity formation. The first unit focuses on the characterization and affirmation of a Deaf identity among students through the creation of books about themselves. The second unit facilitates experiences in which students investigate and discuss the implications of being Deaf in a generally non-Deaf society. Survey questionnaire responses, field notes, student artifacts, and assessments of student work, were collected to measure the effectiveness of the curriculum. Essentially, students reaped multiple benefits : they 1) created books about themselves and their families; 2) recognized that although they are different from each other in many ways, the shared use of ASL- both an aspect of Deaf identity and the language of the Deaf community- is something that they have in common; 3) discussed various communication methods that they use to interact with their family, friends, and non-signers; 4) debunked myths about Deaf people; and 5) enhanced their language use for both ASL and English

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