Last night (Monday, September 8, 2014), we at University of Tulsa were lucky enough to have Dr. Kim Wolbers, a professor in Deaf Education from University of Tennessee, join us for a talk on her program – the Strategic Interactive Writing Program (SIWI). Not only did our Deaf Education students join us for this unique opportunity, but local teachers of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing from K-12 schools and the local community college also were able to come by.
Dr. Wolber’s program is a unique one, which focuses on language development in both ASL and English (when it is implemented in signing schools) and encourages students to use resources from their stronger language to help inform their comprehension and expressive abilities in their developing language. During her presentation, she emphasized the importance of not asking leading questions as this risks misunderstanding of students – instead, as they try to describe their experiences, ask neutral questions that will bring out a mutual understanding of what really happened between the teacher and the student. Through this program, students first have the opportunity to share what they know and have experienced through signing (if the child uses sign language), and then with the support of the teacher transfer this understanding into conventional English. Although the program focuses on upper elementary students and older, she has seen it in action with children as young as pre-kindergarten age.
Dr. Wolbers is a world class researcher and professor. All of us at TU are so grateful that she was able to share some of her time with us! We can’t wait to see more of this type of instruction in action!
This post will be the first in a series of installments that we will hope will be helpful to our readers out there who are current or future students who want to learn more about particular aspects of our Deaf Education program here at University of Tulsa. Today we will start with an invaluable experience: Practicum,
All schools of education require students to complete a certain number of practicum hours in order to graduate. We are certainly no exception, although the way the Deaf Ed program does practicum is a little unique.
Starting in their junior year, students will be engaged in three different practicum courses, one per semester. One of those will be in an elementary setting, another will be in a secondary setting, and the third may vary from person to person, depending on their interests. Most (but not all!) of our practicum students are placed in the Tulsa Public School District, in one of the public schools that has a Deaf Ed program. As a practicum student, you will observe and support the teacher doing lessons, but also create your own bulletin board (or other visual display), teach your own lesson, and possibly tutor a student.
But that’s not all! In our program we feel that teachers of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing need to really get to know the Deaf Community – so every practicum experience has Deaf Community experience built in! We hope this will support our students’ understanding of ASL, as well as of Deaf culture before they enter the classroom as teachers.
Many of our students visit Kansas School for the Deaf, an amazing residential school, for a two week intensive practicum after the end of junior year as their third practicum site. But other students take on local practicums with itinerant teachers, early intervention programs, or ASL teachers. It is our goal that all these experiences will give our students all the skills they need to be successful teachers of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in the future!
Hello readers! We hope that you all had a fabulous and relaxing summer and are ready to start a new school year! We at the Deaf Education program at University of Tulsa had a wonderful and productive summer, and are ready to hit the ground running for the new school year. We just wanted to share some updates with all of you!
Dr. Baker spent the summer giving trainings at schools for the deaf on language development and how to use the new tool she developed with colleagues at Gallaudet University and Lamar University. Her travels brought her to Kansas and to Pennsylvania.
Jessica Scott spent most of her time close to home working on various projects in Tulsa, including planning a 5K race to benefit the Total Source for Hearing-loss and Access. She also traveled out of state to collect data for her dissertation!
This year we are looking forward to a number of things:
1. Meeting new Deaf Education students, of course!
2. Learning whether we have received the grant for our reading clinic, and if so, getting that up and running again
Hi readers! It has been a wonderful summer, and here at the Deaf Education program at TU we are gearing up to start a new school year. We just wanted to share some of what our faculty has been up to this summer!
For Dr. Sharon Baker, it has been a great summer for workshops! She has led workshops in Kansas and Pennsylvania for teachers of the Deaf and hard of hearing. The teachers were excited to learn about the latest research in Deaf Education from her, and we know that their students will benefit from what they have learned! Dr. Baker has also been meeting with collaborators from other universities for research and writing – we are very excited to see the end results of these collaborations!
Jessica Scott has been doing work more locally. She has begun to work on a team from across Oklahoma that is developing a web resource for parents, professionals (teachers, employers), and Deaf/hard of hearing students themselves on important transition times in Deaf students’ lives (including transitions from early intervention to more formal school, and transition from secondary school to work, or to college, or to vocational training). Everyone on the team hopes this resource will help answer some questions about how to support Deaf students and what the law entitles them to during the transition process.
We should also be hearing soon about the reading clinic grant – we hope to get it and will let everyone know when we do!
The summer can be a great time to catch up on this type of work that can be difficult to get done during the school year. But, we are excited to get back to campus and back to working with our Deaf Education majors and minors! And, we want to hear from you! What amazing things were you able to accomplish this summer? What are you most looking forward to doing this academic year?