Off-campus UNL users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your NU ID and password. When you are done browsing please remember to return to this page and log out.

Non-UNL users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Teacher expectations of students who are deaf: A case study

David Harry Smith, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This single case study examined a Deaf teacher's communication behaviors that reflected her expectations of her deaf students. The teacher taught a U.S. History class to high school juniors at a state school for the deaf. The class was considered of average achievement ability at the school. There were seven students of diverse ethnic backgrounds in the class who all identified themselves as Deaf. The primary modes of communication used were American Sign Language and written English. ^ Data were collected through videotaped classroom observations and interviews of the teacher and students. Analysis was done by categorizing the utterances of the participants based on a preliminary model of teacher expectations developed for this study. Within these categories, communication behavior patterns were identified. From the analysis, descriptions were produced of the communication patterns of the teacher that reflected her expectations of her students. Results showed that the Deaf teacher in this study showed communication behaviors that reveal high expectations of her Deaf students including setting a friendly but no-nonsense climate in her classroom, assigning her students a challenging level of work, providing a good amount of direct instruction, frequently questioning her students, and trying to elicit further expansions of their answers. The students were provided many opportunities for output, both signed and written. The teacher provided feedback in a concise manner and encouraged students to do better when they did not meet her expectations. These teacher behaviors were not only shown for the class as a whole, but were also differentiated by student based on their strengths and needs. Of all factors investigated, the affective climate generated by the teacher was the most overarching communication behavior that manifested teacher expectations. The preliminary model for this study was revised based on the findings. Recommendations for further research to examine teacher expectations with other deaf education settings and participants are included. ^

Subject Area

Education, Special

Recommended Citation

Smith, David Harry, "Teacher expectations of students who are deaf: A case study" (2003). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3092597.