SCIENCE EDUCATION FOR DEAF YOUTH IN BRAZIL – A NEW EXPERIENCE
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (BRAZIL)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN11 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Conference name: 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2011
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:The difficulty of inserting deaf students in regular schools is one of the major problem found by professionals working in education. The deaf community has been linguistically and socially marginalized with regard to education, especially in science. The aim of our work was to reduce the deficiencies concerning basic scientific knowledge of this group offering a specialized course in Biosciences. For that, we made use of an innovative methodology, which allowed these students to comprehend the advances in science and technology keeping a critical mind, learning scientific concepts, developing the method and scientific thinking rather than simply receiving information.
The target audience included high school students from the National Institute for Deaf Education (INES-Brazil). The course was all experimental, without lectures, divided into modules and themes. The role of the coordinator was to assist the students, conducting the rationale and the implementation of experiments. The students themselves suggested how to address the problem and decided what kind of experiments will be conducted. This method makes students think and develop hypotheses, and analyses the results obtained, gaining a critical knowlegdge. The course was taught using LIBRAS (Brazilian Sign Language) and was conducted in the presence of a translator.
In first course, six students graduated. The course lasted about 900h and was able to develop in these students an interest in Biosciences, as well as a better understanding of the construction of the scientific knowledge. They were also able to get the , perception that the University is accessible, and they showed an increased self-esteem, socialization, greater confidence and independence in all activities. Although, the main focus of this course was to prepare students to work in a research lab, we care were concerned to inform students about all issues and current topics and themes in different areas whenever possible to insert this information with what was being worked at the moment. This new methodology, in conjunction with the development of a new scientific language on signs, will allow the coexistence of deaf and hearing students in the same class, without major changes.
Keywords: Deaf Education, science education