Educating Deaf Children: Becoming an Empowered Teacher

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Many Deaf children around the world still leave school functionally illiterate. In some cases there is no allowance made for education of Deaf children at all. This 4 week course provides you with invaluable knowledge and skills about teaching Deaf children. You will learn about the importance of Deaf culture and community, the need for a language rich environment for the Deaf child from as young as possible, and that having access to sign language can help Deaf children academically, emotionally, and socially. We also cover various accommodations and modifications that you can apply in your classroom and learning environment to create an accessible learning experience for Deaf children. You will also find that a shift in attitude will enable you to connect with Deaf children with more understanding. We hope that through this course you become an empowered teacher - for yourself, for your fellow teachers, and most importantly, for the Deaf children in your classroom.

You will be able to purchase a Verified Certificate if you wish to show evidence of your achievements, but this is optional, and you may apply for Financial Aid if you are unable to pay the certificate fee.


The experience of being Deaf and how it impacts learning
-Welcome to the first week of the course! In this week, you will be finding out about the experience of being Deaf from school children who participated in the TEDI research project as well as from three Deaf guest presenters. Being Deaf impacts learning and it is important to start the course with this awareness. The assessment in this week is a graded quiz at the end of the week. You will also have an opportunity to share some of your thoughts and reflections in the discussion forum. We hope you enjoy the first week of the course!

The role of teachers in developing resilience in Deaf children
-The second week in this course focuses on knowledge about the Deaf child's communication, emotional, and social development. This type of knowledge is crucial for teachers working with Deaf children, as it can inform teaching practices and greatly contribute to becoming an empowered teacher. In this week, you will hear from various experts, such as a counselor, an occupational therapist, and an audiologist, who will share their knowledge and experiences regarding Deaf children's development. At the end of this week there is a graded quiz and an opportunity for reflection through discussion. This week also includes an optional Honors lesson with a written assignment that will be reviewed by your peers.

Creating an accessible learning experience
-Welcome to the third week of the course! In this week, we will look at creating classroom and learning experiences that are accessible to Deaf children. We know that every child has a right to quality education and in the previous two weeks you have learnt about the barriers to learning that Deaf children face and how excluded they often are from education. The content we bring to you in this week will show you how you can ensure that Deaf children are able to access learning by making your classroom, teaching methods, and assessments accessible. This week includes a graded quiz at the end of the week. You will also have an opportunity to share your reflections and experiences with your peers in the discussion forum at the end of the week.

Becoming an empowered teacher
-Welcome to the last week of the course! Your journey to becoming an empowered teacher is ending. We hope that you have learnt valuable new practices in the previous three weeks. In this last week, the guest presenters discuss some internal and external aspects that you as teachers of Deaf children can focus on that can help you become a stronger and more effective teacher. These aspects include taking care of yourself, building support around you, working with teaching assistants, and collaborating with parents. By the end of the week, you will have completed your journey to becoming an empowered teacher and you will have an opportunity to reflect on the knowledge that you have gained through a written assignment that will be reviewed by your peers. You will also be able to share some reflections and final thoughts with your peers in the discussion forum at the end of the week.