Journal Article

Mathematics Word Problem Solving for Deaf Students: A Survey of Practices in Grades 6-12

Ronald R. Kelly, Harry G. Lang and Claudia M. Pagliaro

in The Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education

Volume 8, issue 2, pages 104-119
Published in print April 2003 | ISSN: 1081-4159
Published online April 2003 | e-ISSN: 1465-7325 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/deafed/eng007
Mathematics Word Problem Solving for Deaf Students: A Survey of Practices in Grades 6-12

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One hundred and thirty-three mathematics teachers of deaf students from grades 6-12 responded to a survey on mathematics word problem-solving practices. Half the respondents were teachers from center schools and the other half from mainstream programs. The latter group represented both integrated and self-contained classes. The findings clearly show that regardless of instructional setting, deaf students are not being sufficiently engaged in cognitively challenging word problem situations. Overall, teachers were found to focus more on practice exercises than on true problem-solving situations. They also emphasize problem features, possibly related to concerns about language and reading skills of their students, rather than analytical and thinking strategies. Consistent with these emphases, teachers gave more instructional attention to concrete visualizing strategies than to analytical strategies. Based on the results of this study, it appears that in two of the three types of educational settings, the majority of instructors teaching mathematics and word problem solving to deaf students lack adequate preparation and certification in mathematics to teach these skills. The responses of the certified mathematics teachers support the notion that preparation and certification in mathematics makes a difference in the kinds of word problem-solving challenges provided to deaf students.

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Subjects: Education ; Linguistics ; Teaching of Specific Groups and Special Educational Needs

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