Developing Deaf Children's Conceptual Understanding and Scientific Argumentation Skills: A Literature Review

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review


There is limited research available in the area of science education for deaf children. In the twenty-first century, the importance of science and specifically scientific argumentation cannot be overlooked as a vital aspect of the curriculum. Current science teaching presents a range of difficulties for deaf students particularly when abstract concepts are delivered using a didactic approach with a reliance on text books. Research also identifies that inferencing skills and the language needed to articulate findings are often underdeveloped in deaf students. This review discusses the need for teaching and testing methods to be adapted to suit the learning needs of deaf students to provide them with the opportunity to learn and demonstrate their knowledge in a manner which is not solely dependent on their literacy skills. In the concluding paragraphs it is suggested that by using analogy-based role play in science teaching, teachers are able to create a learning environment which allows participation with the abstract and enables students to explore scientific concepts which ordinarily could not be seen. It is further suggested that this teaching approach could equip deaf students with the knowledge and skills needed to develop scientific argumentation by allowing them to visualize and make links between concepts and ultimately raise their engagement and attainment in science
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-160
Number of pages15
JournalDeafness and Education International
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Deaf children
  • Scientific argumentation
  • Role play


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