Publication Date

Spring 2016

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Ashley Fox (Director), Antony D. Norman, and Kristin Wilson

Degree Program

Educational Leadership Doctoral Program

Degree Type

Doctor of Education


This study provides reflections on a topic that has received surprising attention on cultural challenges at a residential school for the Deaf. Deaf education in residential schools for the Deaf has changed dramatically over the years. Recent research has shown the number of hearing teachers employed at residential schools for the Deaf has increased in the United States (Amos, 2000; Marlatt, 2004). Most hearing teachers who are certified in Special Education and hold teaching positions at a residential school for the Deaf. Deaf teachers proficient in ASL struggle with passing the written Praxis state certification in the content areas due to English as their second language and are forced to change their career choice (Amos, 2000; Luckner, Goodwin, Howell, Sebald, & Young, 2005; Roald & Mikalsen, 2000). Despite these efforts, little research conducted with qualitative methods exists on the perceptions of Deaf and hearing teachers on learning culture at a residential school for the Deaf.

This phenomenological study is focused on lived experience of teachers to gain a better understanding of the school learning culture, specifically the way relationships among Deaf and hearing teachers and the Deaf students at a residential school for the Deaf may affect student outcomes. The open-ended questions allowed for freedom to explore and discover themes from the participants’ stories. The findings of this study have revealed some significant information regarding the Deaf residential school culture.


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Disability and Equity in Education | Special Education and Teaching