NTID And National Science Foundation Team For June Conference

Experts Focus on How Dea Students Learn




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An emerging research area among those who study education of deaf students—looking at how students’ educational backgrounds and cognitive skills account for what they know, their learning strategies, and ways that instructors can optimize educational opportunities for them—will be the topic of a June 21-22 conference at Rochester Institute of Technology hosted by the National Technical Institute for the Deaf’s new Center for Education Research Partnerships. The conference is co-sponsored by Oxford University Press and is supported by a $149,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

“Cognitive Underpinnings of Learning by Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students” will feature experts from around the world and will focus on how deaf students learn in areas like science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Presentations will examine educational theory, cognitive and neuropsychological foundations of learning, language, and quantitative/mathematical skills with the hope of establishing a national research agenda in this area.

“Increasing the number and diversity of students majoring in science is a first step toward increasing the number and diversity of individuals employed in and making contributions in science and engineering fields,” said Marc Marschark, NTID professor and director of CERP. “Although deaf individuals have a long history of contributions to science and technology, we suspect that some barriers have limited the number of individuals in those fields. Recent research suggests that these barriers have little to do with hearing loss or communication, but may be the product of multimedia technologies and teachers’ lack of knowledge about differences in the way that deaf and hearing students learn and what they know.”

Oxford University Press will fast track production of a book highlighting contributions by presenters that will be available free to all conference participants.

NSF has given more than $2.5 million in grants to support research by CERP members. CERP was established in 2006.

Information on the conference and the center can be found at http://www.ntid.rit.edu/CognitiveUnderpinnings.

NTID is the first and largest technological college in the world for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. One of eight colleges of RIT, NTID offers educational programs and access and support services for its 1,100 students from around the world who study, live and socialize with 14,400 hearing students on RIT’s Rochester, N.Y., campus.

Web address: http://www.rit.edu/NTID

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