Going Green- an Environmental Studies Curriculum for Deaf Learners /
- Author(s): Hicks, Megan McCarthy
- et al.
Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing students require a unique approach when it comes to their education. Research shows that the most effective way in educating Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing children is by using the bilingual approach - utilizing both American Sign Language and English in all aspects of the classroom. Based on this research and on other learning theories, such as Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development (1978), scaffolding (Wood et al 1976), intrinsic motivation (Deci 2001) and comprehensible input (Krashen 1982), I wrote and implemented a curriculum to teach students about "Going Green." This Environmental Education curriculum included several goals encouraging students to think critically about their energy use and therefore make environmentally aware decisions. It also focused on developing student's academic language in both ASL and English. The curriculum included three units focusing on various kinds of pollution and the "Three R's" (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle). It was taught to the advanced proficiency ASL group, students ranging from 1st grade to 5th grade. Based on various forms of evidence collected, the curriculum goals were met and students showed an increase in their use of academic language in ASL and English as well as able to make environmentally aware decisions