The value of visual art in deaf education-investigating visual teaching in some schools for the deaf

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Students who are deaf typically lack the language of the hearing world. Their hearing handicap presents serious academic challenges that require visual teaching. It is not clear whether visual teaching is practised in the various Schools for the Deaf hence the need to ascertain through research, the present teaching and learning challenges facing the deaf, the practice of visual teaching in Schools for the Deaf and then to suggest how certain visual tools can be used effectively to facilitate visual teaching in Schools for the Deaf. The qualitative research method with a focus on the descriptive cum multiple case study approaches was used for the study. The selected schools for the study included State School for the Deaf at Adjei-Kojo near Ashaiman; Demonstration School for the Deaf at Akuapem Mampong; Senior High/Technical School for the Deaf at Akuapem Mampong; Sekondi School for the Deaf at Inchaban, and Ashanti School for the Deaf at Jamasi. Purposive sampling technique was used to get the accessible population and a three-tier research strategy involving observation, in-depth interview and focus group discussion was used to gather data for the study. The researcher was literate in Sign Language. The findings of the research were that: the teaching and learning techniques employed in the Schools for the Deaf are the same traditional methods used in regular schools and this poses a number of challenges. Although the teachers were aware of the visual teaching needs of the deaf, they did not adequately practise visual teaching in a way that meets the academic needs of the deaf. Presently, there is the need to adapt and modify traditional methods of teaching to promote quality, purposeful and appropriate education for the deaf. Visual teaching should, as a matter of expediency, be the focal point of every education formulated for the deaf.
A Thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Art Education.