The Promises (?) of Deaf Education:

Marc Marschark and Patricia Elizabeth Spencer

in The Oxford Handbook of Deaf Studies, Language, and Education, Vol. 2

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780195390032
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 The Promises (?) of Deaf Education:

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  • Psychology
  • Educational Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology


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This chapter considers the promise of research in areas relevant to deaf children and adults—and a variety of promises that too often have been broken. Its twin goals are (1) an attempt to gauge current relations among research, theory, and educational practice and (2) to make explicit some of what we know, what we don’t know, and what we only think we know about raising and educating deaf children. Four primary domains of investigation are considered: early identification and intervention, language, educational models, and basic research into cognitive processes. Much has been learned in each of these domains, but there has been surprisingly little measurable impact on practice or academic outcomes. In some areas, the research is not as definitive as is generally believed, and in others, results are not as generalizable as they might appear. This situation, in part, derives from methodological limitations in some of the relevant research, but some intuitively appealing claims in the field appear to be totally lacking in empirical support. The chapter suggests that this field is at a threshold, thanks to recent advances in technology, basic research, and educational innovation. Unless we can do a better job of bridging the gap between research and practice, however, opportunities and possibilities will be lost.

Keywords: early identification; intervention; language development; educational placement; evidence-based practice; learning

Article.  11228 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Educational Psychology ; Developmental Psychology

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