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spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer May 18, 2007

NTID hosts deaf-ed conference (June 21-22)

An emerging research area among those who study education of deaf students—looking at how students’ educational backgrounds 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 RIT hosted by NTID’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 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.

Marc Marschark, NTID professor and director of the center, says: “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 publish a “fast track production” book highlighting contributions by presenters that will be available free within a year to all conference participants.

NSF has given more than $2.5 million in grants to support the center in the past several years.

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

Kathy Smith

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