Dr Jill Duncan, new Director of the Victorian Deaf Education Institute, presented an engaging seminar entitled ‘Social Capital’ to teachers and school support staff working with students with hearing loss at VDEI on Tuesday 29 April 2014.
Social capital is the benefits received from online and face-to-face relationships. Online social network usage, such as Facebook, is a significant predictor of overall social capital. The social capital training explored the relationship between Internet uses, individual and family social capital, and adolescent wellbeing. Topics included defining social capital; understanding individual social capital; relationship between family social capital and adolescent social capital; influences of online social capital; and the role of the teacher of the deaf in facilitating social capital. All topics were anchored in the context of adolescents with hearing loss.
Dr Jill Duncan studied Speech Pathology, Audiology and Deaf Education with the esteemed Professors Richard and Laura Kretschmer at the University of Cincinnati. She has been a practising auditory-verbal therapist since 1988 when she worked at the Helen Beebe Speech and Hearing Centre where she was privileged to work alongside Helen Beebe in Pennsylvania, USA.
She has held academic positions at Deafness Studies Unit, The University of Melbourne where she worked with the highly regarded Professor Field Rickards and most recently at the RIDBC Renwick Centre, The University of Newcastle. Dr Duncan has been the senior administrator in two well-known programs for children and students with hearing impairment - the Cora Barclay Centre in South Australia and Soundbridge in Connecticut, USA.
In her presentation, Dr Duncan combined research-based evidence alongside relevant information and ideas that teachers could apply in their classrooms.