Global Educators Cohort Program - Teacher Education

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  • Topic: Consultation in teaching students who are deaf or hard of hearing
  • Title: Can you hear me now? Consultation in teaching students who are deaf or hard of hearing
  • Contact Information: Mary V. Compton, Ed.D., CCC/SLP 334-3771 University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • Type of research: Qualitative
  • Subject pool: Teachers of students who are deaf or hard of hearing in a county school system
  • Setting: In a location designated by the teachers as quiet and comfortable
  • Number: 15
  • Research description:
The proposed study constitutes a series of cases designed to examine teachers’ views concerning consultation and collaboration. The specific purposes of this study are to: a) examine the experiences of school-based and itinerant teachers of students who are DHH who provide consultation service delivery; b) identify the elements of how they engage in the consultative process as expressed by the teachers; and c) identify the elements of collaboration as expressed by the teachers.

Fifteen teachers of students who are DHH in a large county school system in a mid-Atlantic southern state will be interviewed. They will be selected based upon their willingness to share their experiences and perceptions anonymously. It is anticipated that each interview will be an hour to an hour and thirty minutes in length and each interview will be audiotaped. The questions are open-ended to provide the teachers with ample opportunities to express their views without bias from the investigator. The tapes will be transcribed and given to the teachers to review for accuracy. This member check (Yin, 1994) verifies the accuracy of the content and gives the participants an opportunity to revise their comments so that they accurately describe their experiences and perceptions. Any discrepancies will be discussed with the participant to confirm any changes they request.

Typical qualitative analysis procedures will be utilized for each case (interview) individually, following which a comparative analysis across cases will be conducted. Each interview will be analyzed using content analysis procedures (Merriman, 1988; Miles & Huberman, 1994; Yin, 1994) to discern emergent themes and repeating elements of collaboration as defined by Friend and Cook (2007). In addition, cross case analysis (Yin, 1994) will be employed to determine specific themes that evolve over the individual cases and consequently identify specific elements across cases that embody collaboration. Thus, a content analysis with developing themes will be utilized to examine the data and identify common elements. Reliability will be secured by a second reader who will analyze the interviews and note themes and then comparing the results of each reader’s analysis.

The proposed research will contribute to the fields of special education, and education and deafness in that it examines the consultative process that is a common practice in teaching students who are DHH. Although various authors have researched itinerant teaching of students who are DHH, the consultation element in providing both school-based and itinerant services for students who are DHH has not been explored. The experiences and perceptions of the teachers will provide insight into how consultation is practiced, how collaboration may be evident in consultation practices of the teachers, as well as how consultation practices and collaborative styles may vary across settings and practitioners. Such findings will provide an evidence base for consultation in educational settings with students who are DHH. The research will also provide specific information for teachers and teacher educators concerning collaboration and the application of collaboration to consultation.

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