Investigating teaching and learning support for students with hearing impairment at a university in the Western Cape

Bell, Diane (2013-03)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Bibliography

Includes Guidelines for teaching hearing impaired students (35 p.)

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Globally, hearing impairment remains the most common congenital anomaly diagnosed in infants, and hearing impairment is the single largest disability grouping in South Africa. Growing numbers of students with hearing impairment are being granted access into higher education in South Africa. However, they still remain under-represented in comparison to students with other impairments, and their needs in the teaching and learning environment in terms of human and technical support as well as communication and access to information remain under-supported. This study came into being because of the absence of research on the academic experiences of students with hearing impairment in higher education in South Africa. The intention of the study was to analyse and describe the teaching and learning (academic) experiences of students with hearing impairment at the case study university. This inquiry focused specifically on educational barriers, coping strategies, assistive technologies, curriculum accessibility as well as support services. Using a qualitative case study design, informed by an interpretive (constructivist) paradigm, purposeful sampling led to the selection of information-rich cases in order to gain insight from the authentic experiences of the students. The context of the case study was a South African university with a relatively large number of registered students with hearing impairment who use the oral method of communication. Data were generated by means of semi-structured interviews with participating students, university lecturers and a staff member from the disability unit. ATLAS.ti was used to code and analyse the data using grounded theory methods, allowing for the discovery of recurring themes. Six major findings emerged from this study, namely that all of the participants identified as belonging to the hearing rather than Deaf identity cultural paradigm, that limited curriculum transformation had taken place, existing support services were largely inadequate, a large number of barriers related to teaching and assessment were experienced, a variety of academic and personal coping strategies were used by the students to support their needs, and some critical factors for success were advocated for by the participants. From the findings and data interpretation and by making use of Bronfenbrenner’s bio-ecological model of human development as a tool, I constructed both an academic learning support framework as well as a set of practical guidelines for teaching students with hearing impairment. Thereafter conclusions were drawn and practical recommendations were made to various stakeholders in the education of students with hearing impairment. Further areas for research are also suggested. The academic learning support framework (as a model of best practice) forms part of my personal contribution to the field of research.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Gehoorgestremdheid is wêreldwyd steeds die algemeenste kongenitale afwyking wat by babas gediagnoseer word, en in Suid-Afrika is die meeste mense met gestremdhede dié met gehoorgestremdhede. Alhoewel ’n toenemende aantal studente met gehoorverlies toegang tot hoër onderwys in Suid-Afrika verkry, is hulle steeds onderverteenwoordig in vergelyking met studente met ander gestremdhede en ontvang hulle steeds min ondersteuning, hetsy menslik of tegnies. Hierdie studie het ontstaan as gevolg van die afwesigheid van navorsing oor die persoonlike ervarings van studente met gehoorgestremdheid in hoër onderwys in Suid-Afrika. Die hoofdoel van hierdie gevallestudie was om vas te stel hoe om hierdie studente akademies te ondersteun ten einde hul tersiêre opvoeding en hul kanse om sukses te behaal en grade te verwerf, te verbeter. Die studie het veral gekyk na die opvoedkundige struikelblokke, hanteringstrategieë, ondersteunende tegnologieë, leerplantoeganklikheid, sowel as onder-steuningsdienste. Die metodologie wat vir hierdie studie gebruik is, was kwalitatief van aard. Die gebruik van doelgerigte steekproefneming het gelei tot die keuse van inligtingryke gevalle ten einde insig in die alledaagse ervarings van die studente te verkry. Die agtergrond van die studie was ʼn universiteit met 'n groot aantal geregistreerde gehoorgestremde studente wat van mondelinge/ouditiewe kommunikasiemetodes gebruik maak. Data is deur middel van semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude met hierdie studente, dosente en 'n personeellid van die eenheid vir gestremdhede gegenereer. Die data is met behulp van ATLAS.ti gekodeer en geanaliseer om die herhalendende temas te bepaal. Die ses belangrikste bevindings uit hierdie studie was dat al die deelnemers hulself met horende studente eerder as met gehoorgestremdes in die samelewing geïdentifiseer het, dat beperkte kurrikulum-transformasie plaasgevind het, dat bestaande ondersteuningsdienste grootliks onvoldoende was, dat die deelnemers ʼn groot aantal struikelblokke met betrekking tot onderrig en assessering ervaar het, dat hulle ʼn verskeidenheid akademiese en persoonlike hanteringstrategieë gebruik het om aan hulle behoeftes te voldoen en dat die kritiese faktore vir sukses deur die deelnemers self bepleit moes word. Uit die bevindinge van hierdie navorsing het die navorser 'n holistiese raamwerk, geïnspireer deur Bronfenbrenner se bio-ekologiese model vir menslike ontwikkeling, vir studente met gehoorgestremdheid in hoër onderwys ontwerp. Gevolgtrekkings is gemaak en praktiese aanbevelings is aan verskeie belanghebbendes wat by die onderrig van studente met gehoorgestremdheid betrokke is, voorgelê. Verdere terreine vir navorsing word ook voorgestel. Die akademiese leerondersteuningsraamwerk (as ’n model van beste praktyk) maak deel uit van my persoonlike bydrae tot die navorsingsveld.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/80004
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