Dissertation Abstract




Pathways to Understanding:

Children With Hearing Loss Respond to Literature

Through Language, Drama and Art


LaFon Louise Phillips



Degree: Ph.D.

Year: 1999

Pages: 469

Institution: The University of Arizona; 0009

Advisor: Kathy G. Short


Source: DAI, 61, no. 01A (1999): p. 116


This longitudinal, nine-semester, teacher research investigation focuses upon young, hearing-impaired students' responses to literature through the sign systems of Language, drama and art. Theories underlying this study are the transactional theory of literature as conceptualized by Louise Rosenblatt (19381983) and the semiotic process of signification put forth by C. S. Peirce (18391914).

The questions guiding this investigation focused upon (1) the role of literature in this classroom, (2) the role of dramatization in students' "lived-through" experiences of literature, (3) patterns of visual and verbal response in these students' drawings and dictations, and (4) changes in these children's visual and verbal literary responses over the course of time.

Research findings indicated a steadfast pattern of visual response (n = 559), i.e., students depicted story characters (94%), story settings (3%), or something else brought to mind (3%) in responding to literature through art. This focus was found also in students' accompanying dictations which explicated story characters' actions or feelings 41% of the time.

These dictated responses revealed that students also gave retellings of story events (22%), paraphrases of story events (20%), identifications of items in drawings (4%), combined paraphrase/retellings of story events (4%), evaluations (6%) or other types of statements (1%). This study indicates that retelling as a form of literary response can serve multiple purposes within the classroom context and merits further investigation.

Uniquely characteristic and focused themes of personal response were found in this investigation as well. Three of these themes are explicated in case studies of selected students whose responses to classroom literary experiences led each to pursue a path of self-realization as an artist, language learner, and contemplator of self-identity.

This study indicates that contextualized literary experience within and across multiple sign systems allowed these hearing-impaired students to develop multifaceted understandings of literature, art, drama, language and life. These multifaceted understandings, in turn, led these children to deeper understandings of their own worlds of experience.






Accession No: AAI9957976

Provider: OCLC

Database: Dissertations