Source: Teacher Education and Special Education, 33(3), 234-247. (August, 2010).
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
In this article, the authors examine the content of reflective journals as written by Deaf pre-service teachers during their semester of student-teaching practicum in a general education classroom with hearing students.
In doing so, the authors analyze and compare the journal entries to the established literature on student teaching.
The authors selected the journals of six candidates attending at Gallaudet University, in Washington, D.C. This university is the world's only liberal arts university in which all programs and services are designed for full access by deaf and hard-of-hearing students.
The authors found that these student teachers focused on many of the same issues mentioned in the literature on reflective teaching with hearing student teachers-pedagogy, teaching strategies, and relationships with students-and these student teachers often did so by incorporating key elements of Deaf culture into these categories.
Unlike most student teachers, this cohort placed a primary emphasis on pedagogy-but with a special visual consideration-and a secondary emphasis on classroom management.
These student teachers were not concerned with controlling their students but rather with meeting their needs.
These student teachers were outsiders in the culture of the hearing school. Yet, the student teachers the student teachers focused on their ability to think independently from their cooperating teachers. They were often willing to make decisions about what they thought was pedagogically sound, based on their inherent cultural knowledge and their emergent knowledge and beliefs about how children best learn-what we call THINK-SELF (using the English gloss for American Sign Language).
The authors propose that the culturally based perspectives that these Deaf student teachers brought to teaching and learning and applied to their learned constructivist principles have the potential to positively affect the diverse learners present in all classroo