The department’s conceptual framework reflects an overall theme of excellence and appreciation of diversity; emphasizes the right of deaf individuals to maximum participation and leadership in all aspects of life as well as the right to access language, communication, and education which will enhance the development of the necessary knowledge, skills, and dispositions for decision-making and assuming responsibilities in all aspects of society.

Connection is at the heart of Gallaudet’s education programs. At Gallaudet we emphasize that all of our professional work in deaf education is embedded in multiple contexts, and we promote connections to and among these contexts. These contexts include: Cultures, Communities, Families, Schools, Universities, and Professions.  Graduates of our programs are able to communicate with, respond to and build on lives in and out of schools to assure that all students learn to their highest potentials.

The Department of Education’s model of professional preparation and development values American Sign Language and English as equally important for facilitating curriculum content and cultural literacy; the model supports the development of reflective professionals who review the teaching-learning process and engage in critical appraisal and problem-solving. The Department of Education prepares professionals to interact and communicate fluently with deaf and hard of hearing people and with children and youth with diverse family backgrounds and learning characteristics. The department’s programs prepare graduates for advocacy and leadership roles, and to establish partnerships with deaf adults, parents, colleagues from multiple disciplines, and community and professional organizations.

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