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The Montessori Method's Use of Seguin's Three-Period Lesson and Its Impact on the Book Choices and Word Learning of Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Jackson, Rebecca L. W.

It has been well established in the literature that the acquisition of literacy presents a significant challenge for most students who are deaf or hard of hearing (Allen, 1986; Babbini & Quigley, 1970; Holt, 1993; Lane & Baker, 1974; Marschark, Lang, & Albertini, 2002; Moog & Geers, 1985; Traxler, 2000; Trybus & Karchmer, 1977). Vocabulary, which has been identified as one of the critical skills necessary for reading (NRP, 2000), is an area of language acquisition in which students with hearing loss demonstrate particular weakness (Davey & King, 1990; Gilbertson & Kamhi, 1995; LaSasso & Davey, 1987; Paul & Gustafson, 1991; Paul & O'Rourke, 1988). The Montessori Method uses Seguin's three-period lesson as a way to introduce new words to students. The individualization provided by the three-period lesson, as well as the simplicity of language and lack of feedback involved all hold potential benefit for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. While little research has been conducted on the book choices of students, King and Quigley (1985) demonstrated that text difficulty is less important when students have a high level of interest in a book. In theory, increasing student interest in a book by using it in book share sessions and teaching some of the unknown words may make that book more accessible to students. The current study examined the impact of book share sessions, as well as two different types of vocabulary instruction on the book choices and word learning of students. Six students from a first-grade classroom in a school serving students who are deaf participated in this study. A mixed-model design with alternating treatments employing the framework of qualitative analyses and single-subject design was used. The dependent variables were book choice and long-term retention of vocabulary items. The independent variable was the type of vocabulary instruction. While the data showed no impact of any intervention on participants' book choices, five of six participants retained more words taught to them using the Montessori Method than those taught to them using traditional direct instruction. The study also demonstrated the efficiency of the Montessori Method in teaching vocabulary as compared with direct instruction that included verbal feedback and tangible reinforcement.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Physical Disabilities
Thesis Advisors
Kretschmer, Robert E.
Degree
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
May 10, 2011
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