Problem: The proposed project addresses a critical problem facing most schools serving Deaf students in grades Kindergarten through college- insufficient clarity of sign communication by teachers due to wide variation in sign abilities. Today a very small number of teachers of the Deaf use American Sign Language in the classroom. Most teachers use other variations of sign language such as (1) Pidgin Signed English, (2) Signed English, (3) Simultaneous Communication, (4) Total Communication. Clear and effective communication is critically important to both students' learning in school and their success in future careers. Proposed Project Activities: This project will develop and implement a lesson plan for instruction of three different mathematical concepts. Three teachers who are each proficient in using one of three different varieties of sign language (native ASL, nonnative ASL, and Signed English) will be selected to teach the same math lesson to selected students. Sample problems will be selected that could vary conceptually in the instructional presentation due to different sign language methods. This project will examine these research issues using first-year deaf students on the Gallaudet and NTID college campuses. Intended Outcomes: The target outcome is to indicate which mode of sign language is the most instructionally clear and effective for use in the mathematics classroom. From this information, instructional implications and recommendations will be developed to educate current teachers of the Deaf and teacher preparation programs for educating the Deaf throughout the country about the most clear and effective mode of sign language that can be used in the mathematics classroom.
Department, Program, or Center
Master of Science of Secondary Education of Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (NTID)
Kelly, Ronald - Chair
Rowley, Heather A., "Teaching strategies in mathematics: differences in sign language use" (2005). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus