Professor Marc Marschark spoke on ‘Educating deaf children: what we know and what we don’t’ to a full house at the Victorian Deaf Education Institute on Thursday 18 July 2013.
“Absolutely fantastic,” said Ms. Kerry Chinnock, Teacher of the Deaf and Visiting Teacher in South-Eastern Victoria Region. “I have been around a long time and loved all the new things I learnt.”
Deaf education and research have had a long but uneasy relationship. Without pointing fingers, it is evident that whatever progress has been made, deaf children continue to face significant challenges in language, in education, and in social-emotional growth. If we are to make more progress, we need to better understand how various factors affect learning and development, leaving behind a priori beliefs about what is or is not important and what should or should not work. Weaving together findings concerning language and learning among deaf children reveals that we actually know more (and less) than we think we do. It is time to abandon myths, clear up misunderstandings, and re-examine some of our assumptions about raising and educating deaf children. We can then create a partnership of parents, professionals, and researchers that allows us to better support the children and their families, basing decisions on evidence while recognising that we are dealing with lives, emotions, rights and responsibilities.
Marc Marschark is a Professor at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, a college of Rochester Institute of Technology, where he directs the Center for Education Research Partnerships. He also has appointments at the Moray House School of Education at the University of Edinburgh and the School of Psychology at the University of Aberdeen. His primary interest is in relations among language, learning and development. His current research focuses on such relations by deaf children and adults in formal and informal educational settings. He founded and edits the Journal of Deaf Studies