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Sep 27, 2022
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Ph.D. in Critical Studies in the Education of Deaf Learners
Dr. Christina Yuknis, Program Director
Fowler Hall 409B
The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Critical Studies in the Education of the Deaf Learner emphasizes critical pedagogy as the foundation for advocacy in the education of deaf individuals. Graduates are prepared to be agents of change in their roles as practitioners, administrators, teacher educators, and researchers through a critical examination of educational, social, and political issues. Our doctoral program provides a balance between a required core program of study and an individualized study in a concentration area in which the student plans a course of study with the guidance of the faculty advisor. In completing the concentration area requirements, the student engages in independent study courses, seminars, and research internships directly applicable to the area of research pursued. To succeed in the doctoral program in education, students must possess a high degree of initiative, self-direction, and commitment to inquiry.
Upon completion of all program requirements except the dissertation, students in the doctoral program may apply to be awarded an Education Specialist in Education (Ed.S.) degree. The Ed.S. degree is typically awarded after passing the comprehensive examination, and is not a terminal degree. The Ph.D. is a terminal degree and is awarded upon successful completion of the dissertation requirements.
Admissions Procedures and Requirements
Applicants for the Ph.D. in Critical Studies in the Education of Deaf Learners must complete the application procedures and meet the requirements for graduate study at Gallaudet University. Visit the Graduate Admissions website for more information and a checklist of application requirements.
Program Specific Requirements
*The program will identify articles to share with applicants.
Prior Educational Background
MA in Field Related to Professional Goals
Prior Professional Qualifications
Minimum of 3 years experience with deaf children and youth (preferred)
Transfer Credit Hours
A maximum of 12 post-master’s semester credit hours taken before admission to Gallaudet’s Ph.D. program may be transferred to Gallaudet’s Ph.D. program on the condition that:
Summary of Requirements
The focus of this course is research as a strategy of inquiry for improving practice and advancing our professions. The general principles of qualitative, quantitative, and action research designs will be considered, along with related problems of measurement, statement and clarification of research problems, and basic statistical methods for describing data. The goal is to produce professionals who are consumers of research in their fields who can apply research for the improvement of their school or work settings.
Core Competency Area I - Foundations of Critical Studies in Deaf Education (12 credits)
The proseminar introduces first-year doctoral students to scholarly discourse by providing a foundation for critical inquiry about educational theories, issues and research through analytical reading, synthetical writing, and collegial discussion. Students will gain an understanding of divergent perspectives by applying the tenets of critical pedagogy by: 1) critically reflecting upon individual culture and lived experiences, and challenging inherent assumptions; 2) critically sharing, examining and challenging perspectives about the world and society; and 3) considering acts to diminish social injustice and transform society toward equable education for all deaf individuals. The course is the first of two consecutive proseminars.
The second of two consecutive proseminars enhances the development of scholarly discourse in first-year doctoral students by providing a foundation for critical inquiry about educational theories, issues and research through analytical reading, synthetical writing, and collegial discussion. Students will build upon and enhance their understanding of divergent perspectives gained during the first proseminar by extending the tenets of critical pedagogy through: 1) critically reflections upon individual culture and lived experiences, and challenging inherent assumptions; 2) critical sharing, examining and challenging of perspectives about the world and society; and 3) consideration of acts to diminish social injustice and transform society toward equable education for all deaf individuals.
This course focuses on curriculum as an area of inquiry, including historical, philosophical, cultural, and related foundations. Students examine and analyze strengths, limitations, and implications of varying theoretical perspectives on curriculum development, analysis and evaluation in preschool through higher education in general and deaf education.
Core Competency Area II - Design, Research, and Implementation (19 credits)
This introductory course sequence develops the primary statistical concepts and techniques needed to conduct research. This course presumes no previous statistical background other than college-level algebra or its equivalent. The course goal is to develop many of the basic conceptual theories underlying statistical applications, while
also developing a critical perspective toward statistics. Students will develop skills in descriptive statistical analysis, simple correlation procedures, and hypothesis testing. Computer-assisted analysis will complement course work.
This course is designed to develop the ability to locate, review, and critically evaluate research studies. The course focuses on the proper format for research proposals and reports, ethics in research, measurement issues, and sampling. In addition, the student is introduced to quantitative and qualitative approaches to research. The student will develop critical analysis abilities using the criteria of internal and external validity as explicated in experimental design principles.
This course introduces students to qualitative research methods using interactive and applied techniques to teach relevant knowledge and skills. Through the course, students will be expected to conduct their own qualitative pilot study in an ethical manner. Students will develop skills in how to formulate appropriate qualitative research questions, design a qualitative study, determine appropriate methods for establishing trustworthiness, and collect and analyze data using qualitative methods. Students will be exposed to different styles of presenting qualitative research results, and will consider different ways in which qualitative data is used in practice.
The purpose of this second course in statistics is to develop specific concepts and techniques to conduct basic inferential statistical analysis. The course emphasizes application skills, i.e., the ability to fit the appropriate analysis to a particular data set. Students will learn to conduct and interpret the most often used inferential tests for research and evaluation projects. Computer-assisted analysis (such as SPSS) will complement course work.
This course is intended to develop professional competencies in two areas: (a) knowledge and use of the following approaches to research: experimental, quasi-experimental, causal-comparative, qualitative, correlational research, and survey research; and (b) development of formal research proposals. This course completes a four-course sequence designed to develop knowledge of research design options for evaluators and researchers.
Core Competency Area III - Scholarly Development (21 credits minimum)
This seminar introduces first-year doctoral students to scholarly discourse. Students will explore what it means to engage in academic writing and how academic writing is different from other types of writing. Specifically, this course covers how to develop a research question or thesis statement, how to search for sources strategically, how to evaluate sources, and how to craft an argument using sources. APA formatting guidelines for academic papers and ASL guidelines for academic presentations are also covered in detail.
Core Competency Area 4 - Develop Expertise in Concentration Area
Select an area:
The following lists are rough outlines of courses that students in each Concentration area could select from. If students need to take courses at other universities for their Concentration area, they may transfer in up to 15 credits, per graduate school policy. Consortium courses do not count toward this limit.
Early Childhood Education (18 credits)
This course is designed to educate candidates about state and federal education policies, particularly as they pertain to bilingualism. In addition, the course addresses a basic working knowledge of regulations essential to the role and as bilingual early childhood professionals. Candidates will implement policies and regulations using the language planning framework in their work in homes, schools and agencies, and the community. It elaborates and builds upon knowledge and dispositions learned in foundation courses.
This course introduces the candidates theoretical perspectives and current research of bilingualism. It is designed for the candidates to acquire an understanding of the concepts related to the development of bilingual language abilities (signacy, oracy, and literacy) for children 0-5 years of age. This course examines bilingual communities, bilingual deaf and hearing children and their language development and use, the bilingual brain, language maintenance and shift, transference, code switching and language attitudes. The course will also address historical and cultural aspects of bilingualism in early childhood deaf children.
This course describes the early development of ASL and English in young deaf and hard of hearing children and their impact on cognitive development. The course examines how deaf and hard of hearing children go through developmental stages of acquiring and learning American Sign Language, which is similar to how hearing children go through developmental stages of acquiring a spoken language and how this development is tied to cognitive functions that are the precursors for further linguistic and academic growth (sign babbling, sign jargon, first words, ASL grammatical development and vocabulary expansion). In addition, the course will address factors intrinsic to the bilingual child as well as to the environment that promote and/or prevent their linguistic and cognitive development.
This course will address individualized planning for language and emergent literacy development that can be used as a guide for teaching and learning interventions to support a child's linguistic competence in American Sign Language (ASL) and English. Candidates will apply various American Sign Language (ASL) and English assessment tools to explore ways of assessing diverse deaf and hard-of-hearing candidates' language and literacy acquisition and learning at home and at school. Based on the results of these assessments, the Candidates will reflect on and identify the bilingual methodology approaches to meet the ASL and English language and literacy needs of candidates. They will apply these strategies to home plan, lesson and unit planning, and within their settings.
This course is designed to prepare the candidates to apply an ASL/English Bilingual Framework in Early Childhood Education for deaf and hard of hearing children. This framework describes how the acquisition and learning of ASL and English (written and spoken) are being facilitated. This course reflects upon bilingual models and concepts and discusses the language planning process required to establish an environment that demonstrates value for both languages. Also, it focuses on meeting the needs of the deaf and hard of hearing children and families that it serves. Use of bilingual methodologies, assessment, effective strategies, and language teaching including signacy, oracy and literacy and critical pedagogy will be addressed.
ASL and English Bilingualism at home and in school promotes healthy language development and communication, and creates positive self-esteem among deaf/hard of hearing children from diverse backgrounds. This course/seminar is designed for professionals to acquire the knowledge and skills to work collaboratively with diverse families and other professionals to support the bilingual development and education of young deaf and hard of hearing children. Participants will discuss a working model of bilingual language acquisition (American Sign Language and English), approaches to providing support and encouragement to families, ways to promote positive communication with families, and the creation of culturally responsive and inclusive early childhood educational communities for all families. IN addition, participants will apply a basic working knowledge of Part C and Part B of the IDEA regulations as members of an early childhood education team.
This course is the third course in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Infants, Toddlers and Families: Collaboration and Leadership (ITF) Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate Program. The course requires on-line participation. This course examines family systems' perspectives and the interrelationships among the young child who is deaf or hard of hearing, family and communities. Family and community cultures, values and beliefs will be explored. Participants will understand the importance of building relationships and the research underlying the importance of family support systems, acceptance and accommodation. Emphasis will be on collaboration with professionals from different disciplinary backgrounds, leadership and advocacy. The course will address strategies and resources that promote family and professional collaboration, family-to-family support networks, and family involvement.
This course is the fifth course in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Infants, Toddlers and Families: Collaboration and Leadership (ITF) Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate Program. The course requires both on-line and on-campus participation. The course will focus on both content and skill development in the areas of assessment and programming. Collaboration will be emphasized in the assessment and implementation of goals and services for young children and their families. The processes underlying the development of IFSPs and IEP's and transitions from early intervention to preschools will be explored. Strategies and resources will emphasize best practice in interdisciplinary, developmentally and individually appropriate and culturally responsive programming. Candidates for the certificate will present their capstone projects and final portfolios to provide evidence of their knowledge, skills and professional dispositions for working with infants and toddlers who are deaf or hard of hearing, birth-to-three and their families.
Education Leadership (18 credits, at least one from each category)
Curriculum and Instructional Leadership
This core course provides incoming doctoral students with a broad overview of the history of deaf education and current trends and issues in the field as well as an introduction to the essential skills of doctoral study and scholarship. This course serves as the foundation for ensuing doctoral core courses in the areas of: curriculum, language, culture, literacy, assessment and instruction with deaf and hard of hearing children and youth. This course provides significant preparation for the content and skills addressed by the Qualifying Examination. Students will be exposed to the literature related to demographics, contextual issues in Deaf Education, including legal, public policy, and placement issues, and interdisciplinary trends and issues related to home, school, professional organizations, advocacy groups, the Deaf Community, funding sources, research units, and legislative bodies.
This course is designed for future educational leaders in Deaf Education whose primary focus is addressing needs of deaf and hard of hearing children and youth. The course deals in-depth with the history and role of schooling in American society. It addresses the nature and roots of curriculum as well as trends and issues at the early childhood, elementary and secondary levels in general education, including special education. Students in the course will be expected to critically analyze and synthesize the professional literature related to trends and issues in general and special education that impact on deaf education and to develop and defend positions on controversial issues.
This course addresses current trends and issues in reading and writing instruction for deaf students. Students are exposed to the literature pertaining to theory and research related to the nature of fluent reading and writing processes for deaf and hearing readers, including deaf learners from diverse cultural backgrounds. Topics addressed include the relationship between speech, language, cognition, memory, background knowledge, and reading; the role of ASL in developing literacy, methods for developing conversational forms of print English for deaf students; the role of parents in literacy development, readability and reading assessment for deaf learners, alternative instructional frameworks for instruction, instructional readings and writing strategies for deaf students, and trends and issues in reading instruction in bilingual-bicultural programs.
Professional Development and Supervision
The seminar is second in a series and provides a forum for doctoral students to explore and discuss beliefs and practices related to clinical supervision of teachers, including observation and conferencing techniques, record-keeping, and supporting, guiding, and evaluating pre-service teachers in practica. In addition to seminars, the doctoral student will complete a minimum of 30 (thirty) hours of guided field experience in educational supervision comprised of observations of practicum and student teaching seminars taught by Department of Education instructors, observations of pre-service teachers in practica student-teaching and their supervisory conferences; and meetings with the course instructor to review observation notes.
Legal and Ethical Issues
This course is designed to familiarize students with legislation in special education (past and present) and the IEP process.
This course considers educational institutions as political entities that are influenced by policy and political ideologies. Federal policies impacting schools from kindergarten to post-secondary levels are examined, and their consequences are analyzed. Roles of educational institutions in implementing change to promote social justice and equity are considered.
Resource Management, Public Relations, and Administration
Taken via consortium:
Provides an intensive field-based experience for Ed.S. students who are expanding their teaching skills into specialized areas. Minimum of 60 clock hours per credit hour.
Bilingual Education (18 credits)
This course introduces the fundamentals of general, special, and bilingual education and how they are infused into deaf education. It will also acquaint candidates with current trends and issues, and research in the education of Deaf and hard of hearing learners of all ages, including historic and current objectives, techniques, and results. The cultural, historical, philosophical, psychological, linguistic and social aspects of the Deaf community will also be addressed from educational perspective. Candidates are challenged to rethink their conceptualization of ''Deaf education'' as well as ''general education'' based on their perceptions of their own cultural dimensions. The course typically is taken in the first semester of study.
This course is designed to provide the students with the knowledge of the specific linguistic structures and introduce them to basic similarities and differences in the linguistic structures and uses of American Sign Language (ASL) and English. Examining categories from a universal perspective, the linguistic contrastive analysis is accomplished by focusing on: phonological and morphological processes, syntactic properties, discourse types, word classes, and linguistic variation in Deaf and Hearing communities in the United States. Also, the students will examine the basic phonological, morphological, syntactic, and semantic features of ASL and English. Application of the instructional ASL/English linguistics and structures in the classroom and activities will be presented. Students will develop activity plans, and adapt and implement the methodologies and materials used in ASL/English learning to the needs of the individual Deaf/Hard of Hearing child.
This course addresses literacy instruction through a bilingual and ESL instructional methodology in general bilingual education and their application to a diverse group of deaf and hard-of-hearing children. Students will apply the theories and instructional strategies they learn during their practicum experiences, and reflect on these applications through on-line, group activities, and assignments designed to promote the creation of optimal bilingual k-12 classrooms.
This course addresses several theories and theorists on language acquisition and cognitive development, with a focus on educational applications with deaf children. The instructor presents information, facilitates cooperative learning activities, and models educational strategies. Class participants fully participate in cooperative learning activities, complete required readings and journal response activities, and complete projects/assignments, individually or in teams.
International Education (18 credits)
This course will provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the contemporary transnational Deaf public sphere. Students will study the origination and spread of international meetings among Deaf people and the concurrent formation of transnational Deaf networks. Students will study key concepts and review case studies in transnational studies which will then be used to interrogate the nature of interconnections between Deaf communities across the globe.
This course introduces students to the field of International Development by examining the history, theories, and models of development. Drawing on a range of case studies, students gain an understanding of development as a set of institutions and networks that emerged in the post WW II period and proliferated primarily throughout the Global South, facilitated by neoliberal policies. Critically analyzing the role of development organizations from the Global North in foreign assistance, as well as their influence on social policies and political decision-making, students will apply their insights to current development issues, controversies, and debates.
This course expands upon IDP 770: Introduction to International Development by exploring human rights frameworks currently reshaping the field of international development, particularly with respect to sustainable development goals. IDP-771 applies human rights theories and models to case studies from Deaf, DeafBlind, Hard of Hearing, signed language communities, and persons with disabilities around the world to analyze human rights indicators in the context of sustainability, as well as social movements, grassroots activism, and other forms of non-governmental organizing work. This course also examines the impact of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), assistance projects/programs, international laws, and social protection policies for communities at the local, regional, national and international level.
This course explores how micropolitical factors shape individual experiences and social relations within and between groups. Understanding human experiences and practices connected to gender, race, ethnicity, language, disability, sexuality (and so on) as changeable, contradictory, and often situation-specific, we will examine personal choices, identities, and community formations as legacies of and responses to the ways power is organized under late-modern capitalism and post-colonial international relations. Drawing from a wide range of social scientific materials, we will pay especial attention to intersections of race and class, as well as local, national, and global affiliation in the formation and transformation of people¿s lives. Course activities focus on the project level in which development takes place, allowing students to examine those social categories that most impact development outcomes, associated political processes, and individual and group action of the group or groups selected for the semester project.
This course focuses on collaborative formulation, development and evaluation of programs with Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing people and people with disabilities, giving special focus to economic structures and forces. Exploring current philosophical, theoretical, and methodological stances related to collaborative program development, course activities demonstrate the salience of international human rights frameworks for sign language-centered leadership and disability rights, and connect these to bi- and multilateral organizational and funding channels now undergoing enhancement as a result of the United Nation¿s introduction of the Sustainable Development Goals. Using the latter as a foundation to identifying socioeconomic problems and barriers to self-determination, participation, and equity, students will design program proposals in response to an actual Request for Proposal (RFP). Working on program development teams in the classroom setting (for all or part of the assignment), student learning activities will culminate in submitting an Evaluation Plan suitable for a program that currently exists and works with Deaf, DeafBlind, and/or Hard-of-Hearing people. In addition to cultivating program development and evaluation skills, course activities provide students with opportunities to practice program management skills and grant-writing experience.
IDP-775 introduces students to the design, planning, and implementation of community development projects with Deaf, DeafBlind, Hard of Hearing people, signed language communities, and people with disabilities. Theoretical frameworks address the nature of social change in societies around the world, the interrelationship between inequitable social conditions and efforts to improve such conditions, and the value of local constituencies¿ involvement in shaping change. Students will develop essential skills for designing projects, as well as training in collaborative team-building and facilitation of projects that are sensitive to local communities¿ viewpoints, social interests, and leadership in local and international development networks.
International development activities place a heavy emphasis on the ability to skillfully interact with and to generate many types of data. This course introduces students to the most common types of research methods and strategies currently used in the international development field, and explores the ethical implications of research planning, methodological decision-making, and research fieldwork. Course activities include: introduction to research formulation and design; literature review; quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods; data collection and analysis; rapid assessment methods; and participatory community assessments. Course activities also highlight the elements of a good argument and provide opportunities to analyze, construct, and to refine research arguments.
Students are introduced to significant topics in international relations that affect economic and social development. Among the topics to be included will be: theories of the nation-state; theories of peace and war; theories, perspectives and measures of economic and social development; the role of international organizations and international law related to conflict resolution and development; Case studies of development reflecting various perspectives; and the role of women and disabled people as both participants and subjects of the development process.
Teacher Education (18 credits)
This seminar is first in a series and provides a forum for doctoral students to explore and discuss beliefs and practices related to teaching undergraduate and graduate university education courses; topics include course design, course preparation and presentation, use of appropriate technology and media, organizing effective participatory learning, developing and using effecting teaching strategies and standards-based assessment techniques, and mentoring for reflective teaching/learning. In addition to seminars, the doctoral student will complete a minimum of 20 (twenty) hours of field experience comprised of classroom observation and conferencing with Department of Education faculty members.
The student assumes a major role for teaching a graduate course within the Department of Education under the supervision of a faculty mentor. The primary purpose of this practicum is to develop the doctoral student's ability to plan, teach, and evaluate the effectiveness of a graduate-level course in a content area in which the student has expertise. Students earn one to three credits for the practicum depending on the level of involvement in designing and/or teaching the course.
Deaf Students with Disabilities
EDU 670 or equivalent is a prerequisite for this specialization
This course uses a disability studies approach to familiarize students with major trends and issues in special education with a focus on deaf students with disabilities. Topics include historical roots, perception of disability, policies impacting students with disabilities, labeling, overrepresentation, and discipline. Other topics in the course include research in the education of deaf students with disabilities, developing Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), examining instructional practices, and working with families.
This course introduces students to a variety of classroom management approaches and techniques, with an emphasis on working with students who have disabilities. Students are provided with a foundation and background in behavior management and discipline in special education. They will also consider theories and techniques that apply to individual students, classroom communities, and schoolwide communities.
This course is designed to prepare graduate students to address issues related to language and literacy development for deaf students with disabilities. Topics include language and communication disorders, augmentative and alternative communication systems, cultural influence on language and literacy development, and how language and communication impact classroom performance. The course will also provide strategies to promote metacognitive skills and literacy development.
This course provides an overview of functional academics for deaf students with disabilities. Topics include teaching vocational skills, teaching life skills, supporting motor development, supporting social-emotional development, developing transition plans, and selecting assistive technology devices. Course assignments are designed to allow students to apply these concepts in their current teaching setting.
The course reviews what it means to be an effective teacher and introduces the concepts of universal design for learning (UDL) as well as differentiation to meet the needs of deaf students who have disabilities. Further studied is the concept of multiple literacies and access to content and opportunity for the development of literate and metacognitive thought. The lesson plan format is augmented with the development of tiered lessons by addressing three levels of content, process and/or product expectations as determined by interest level, learning style or readiness. In addition, candidates will become familiar with a variety of instructional strategies based on evidence-based practice in general and special education, the hierarchy of cognitive applications in Bloom's Taxonomy, Barbara Given's 5 natural learning systems, Robert Sternberg's Triarchic Intelligence model, as well as Howard Gardner's multiple intelligences. Evidence of learning focuses on the student's ability to prepare and teach developed lesson plans, and document student learning in clear and concise manner using visual documentation strategies. Candidates are taught to encourage a) self-regulation and other self-determination skills in their students; b) social interaction and true discussion as a method for developing metacognition; and c) developing receptive and expressive learning pathways for academic discourse.
Students in the class will focus on concepts and methods of assessment in special education with an emphasis on administering, scoring, interpreting, and reporting on standardized educational tests. In addition, emphasis will be placed on administration and interpretation of formal and informal diagnostic procedures, diagnostic reports, IEP development, and professional ethics.
Requirements for a Ph.D. in Critical Studies in the Education of Deaf Learners at Gallaudet University
Requirements to join the Ph.D. in Critical Studies in the Education of Deaf Learners Requirements
Student learning outcomes for Ph.D. in critical studies in the education of deaf learners
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