|TITLE:||COMMUNICATION AND LITERACY IN CHILDREN WHO ARE CONGENITALLY DEAFBLIND: IDENTIFYING EFFECTIVE TEACHING STRATEGIES|
|PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATOR:||BASHINSKI, SUSAN|
|OTHER INVESTIGATORS:||NONE AT MWSU|
File Created: March 7, 2013|
Department Chair Action Date: March 18, 2013
Current Status: Expedited Approval Granted
Action Date: March 19, 2013
Approval Expiration Date: March 19, 2014
|Confidentiality||Data are linked to individuals.|
STATEMENT OF PURPOSEThe overarching purpose of this study is to learn more about communication and literacy instruction for children who have congenital deafblindness. The researchers seek to identify the most effective practices for teaching communication and literacy from those who work with children who are deafblind on a daily basis. This study brings together three active researchers in the area of communication development in children who have congenitally deafblindness (Susan Bruce, Massachusetts; Susan M. Bashinski, Missouri; and Marleen Janssen, The Netherlands). This descriptive study is intended to ground an intervention study we hope to conduct next year. The primary aim of this study is to identify principles and effective instructional strategies in communication and / or literacy. The secondary aim is to learn more about teachers’ understandings of communication and literacy. The third aim is to learn more about how teachers individualize and personalize communication and literacy instruction. The term “personalized” is used here to refer to lessons that are about the child and his / her experience and perspective.
STATEMENT OF RESEARCH METHODOLOGYThe following research questions address the above-stated aims: 1. How do teachers and speech / language pathologists define communication and / or literacy? 2. What instructional strategies do teachers and speech / language pathologists report as being most effective in supporting communication and / or literacy development? 3. What instructional strategies do teachers and speech / language pathologists demonstrate for supporting communication and / or literacy development? 4. How do teachers and speech / language pathologists individualize and personalize instruction to meet the communication and / or literacy needs of their students? Observations Seven children at each of three locations (Massachusetts, NW Missouri / NE Kansas, and The Netherlands) will be videotaped participating in three activities or lessons each (which might be on the same or different days). In Massachusetts, all filming will occur in the school setting, in both other locations, it is possible some children might be filmed in the home setting, due to educational services being provided there. The most likely locations, within any school setting, will be the classroom and the clinical room utilized by a speech / language pathologist (SLP). Each researcher will observe and file at her site only. (In this case, Susan M. Bashinski will observe and film only in NW Missouri / NE Kansas.) No direct interactions with participants at other research sites will occur. Thus, it should not be necessary to coordinate Office of Research Protection applications across the three research sites. Each classroom teacher will be asked to select times for videotaped observations that serve as best examples of what he / she and / or the SLP does to support communication and literacy development. Each activity or lesson will be a minimum of 20 minutes in length, in order to capture context. Every effort will be made to only capture images of the children for whom consent has been given to participate in the study. If a non-study child is inadvertently captured on film, the face and all other identifying features will be digitized out before the film is shared with anyone other than the individual who captured the original footage. Thus, 420 minutes of video will be captured in each of the three study locations, for a total of 1,260 minutes, or 21 hours of video. Field Notes Field notes will be used to record contextual information that cannot be captured on video. Field notes will be used to record the name of the lesson or activity, day of the week and time of day for each lesson filmed, the center or area of the classroom in which the lesson takes place, pseudonyms for the children and staff participating in each lesson, and the names of materials used (e.g., the curricula or book titles). Information regarding the physical environment (e.g., classroom layout and adaptive equipment used within specific lessons) will also be recorded in field notes. The information regarding the environment will be important to knowing more about how the physical environment impacts communication. Interview The interview will be conducted on the same day as one of the three observations and at a time that is convenient for the teacher, but no later than one week after the initial observation. If the SLP has also been filed, the SLP will, also, be interviewed. Whenever possible, a face-to-face interview will take place. If for some reason this is not possible, a telephone interview may be substituted, using the same question protocol. In either case, all interviews will be audio recorded for later full transcription and analysis. It is estimated each interview will take approximately 20 minutes. Interview questions are included in the supporting materials attached to this application. Data Coding and Analysis The constant comparative approach (Glaser & Strauss, 1967; McHatton, 2009; Strauss & Corbin, 1998) will be used to code and analyze all the observation videos, the interviews, and the environmental notations within the field notes. In addition, line-by-line and word-by-word in vivo coding (Charmaz, 2006) will be conducted to identify words and phrases that were more frequently used by participants in response to specific interview questions. Through this grounded theory approach, the data will inductively inform the development of a theory about how teachers perceive communication and literacy and the strategies they implement during these lessons. Consensus coding will be used at each research location, involving the primary researcher and a graduate assistant. The researchers will then combine data across sites in identifying effective instructional practices.
ANTICIPATED RISKS AND BENEFITSVery minimal risk to both child and adult (i.e., teacher) participants. Children might become tired during instructional activity. If a child begins to demonstrate discomfort, frustration, or tiredness, the researcher will ask the teacher to take a break; if necessary, an alternate day / time to complete the data collection will be scheduled. Sessions will be scheduled so as to minimally interfere with other educational activities and at a teacher’s convenience. It is possible the participant children or professional staff might experience mild discomfort being observed and videotaped. Some of the teachers might be concerned about how the observations or interviews might impact their future relationship with administrators of their respective deafblind projects or with Missouri Western State University. Researchers will emphasize that the observations and their interview responses will not impact their relationship with either of these entities. Confidentiality procedures protect participants’ identities from being associated with any specific comments made during an interview.
SUBJECT SELECTIONIn Massachusetts and The Netherlands, schools will be purposefully selected because they are known to have students who experience congenital deafblindness. In NW Missouri / NE Kansas, the researcher (i.e., Bashinski) will work with administrators of the state deafblind projects in Missouri and Kansas to identify potential participants. [NOTE: From previous research efforts, Dr. Bashinski already has a firm working relationship with Deafblind Project administrators.] Each school or project administrator will be informed of the purpose of the study (i.e., to identify the most effective practices for teaching communication and literacy to children who are congenitally deafblind). The researcher at each site will ask the administrator to suggest teachers and / or speech / language pathologists who have experience teaching learners with deafblindness. The respective researcher shall then contact the identified staff members to secure their consent. Child Participants The children who will participate in this study will range from 3 – 21 years of age and experience congenital deafblindness. It is important to note that over 90% of individuals who are congenitally deafblind do have some residual, functional vision or hearing. Only those children who have objective, measurable vision and hearing loss will be included in this study. Thus, researchers are excluding those children who experience only cortical causes of functional vision (i.e., cortical vision impairment) and hearing (i.e., central auditory processing disorder) loss. No potential participants will be excluded by etiology of deafblindness, health status, or behavior. The participants in this study will exhibit intentional behavior (i.e, acting purposefully on objects). Thus, this sample may include children who are pre-intentional communicators and intentional communicators, who express up to as many as 40 words or manual signs (i.e., sign language). Adult Participants Since researchers are seeking to identify excellent practices, they will only film children who are being served by licensed professional personnel. Special education teacher participants must be licensed special educators, with at least two full years experience working with children who experience deafblindness (although those two years do not necessarily have to have been in a teacher’s role). Speech pathologist participants must be licensed by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and have at least two years experience working with at least one child who is deafblind. Informed Consent Procedure The first contact for consent will be with the project / school administrator. After securing administrative consent, the teachers and speech / language pathologists will be contacted by the primary researcher at each site. (In NW Missouri / NE Kansas, this will be Susan Bashinski). The consent form for each potential child participant’s parents / guardians will be sent home in each child’s school backpack. Because these children are pre-linguistic (i.e., they do not communicate through verbal speech or manual / tactual sign language), they customarily return home with notes from school—this is a common way to reach families. The children will be observed for any signs of distress (during the videotaping of observations) and, if such occurs, the researcher will discuss the possible withdrawal of the child from the study.
CONFIDENTIALITYParticipant and data confidentiality will be maintained in multiple ways. Study records, including video records, will be secured in a locked cabinet within a locked office at each of the three researchers’ respective locations (i.e., data from NW Missouri / NE Kansas will be stored at Missouri Western State University, in Dr. Bashinski’s office). Only the researcher and graduate assistants within their respective universities will have access to the records. Pseudonyms for the children, teachers, speech / language pathologists, and schools will replace actual names on all study documents, including video transcripts. The list of pseudonyms for children, teachers, SLPs, and any other staff members will be stored in separate locations from the video files. Researchers will not use actual names in any report or manuscript submitted for publication and will not include information that would make it likely a reader could identify a particular participant. Access to the study records will be limited to the researcher; however, regulatory agencies and the Committee on the Use of Human Subjects at Missouri Western State University may review the research records as needed to comply with IRB regulation.
PRIMARY SUPPORTING DOCUMENTClick for Word Document
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