Title: 'To Tap, or Not To Tap? That is the Question. An Observation of Lunch Interaction in a Preschool for the Deaf in France and the United States. '
Track: 4 - Early Intervention
Keyword(s): preschools, socialization, cultural spaces, behaviors
Learning Objectives:
  1. identify different social cues that take place in a preschool classroom serving Deaf and Hard of Hearing children.
  2. participate by role-playing different educator approaches to encourage positive social interaction
  3. Discuss the connective support between social interaction and academic performance in young deaf and hard of hearing children.


In our study of young Deaf and Hard of Hearing preschool children, we aim to identify ingredients needed to encourage a space that bolsters social interaction in the school environment. Since children participate in many activities while attending preschool, they need to learn positive social skills to increase their communication abilities and academic aptitude. We use two short scenes of children interacting with each other during lunch, using the data from the larger Deaf Kindergartens in Three Cultures study. We endeavor to understand how deaf and hard of hearing children can be “active agents who contribute to their own socialization” (p. 5). Lunchtime is usually an activity that occurs without extensive adult intervention, and children are expected to socialize with each other using the skills they learn in school and home. These cultural spaces contribute to their social cues and norms. We gathered data from a school in Toulouse, France and Frederick, Maryland, USA, to explore different types of observable behaviors that took place in the schools’ cafeteria. This will encourage educators to become teacher-observants, watching how children become adept in identifying necessary social cues to bolster their interaction with peers and educators. We encourage these educators to participate in naturalistic observation, and refrain from interfering with the children while they participate in a world that should be their own. The students are the agents in their world, and they can educate each other through social awareness strategies. True interactions from simple taps can lead to many educational moments, as well as peer agreement. Failed interactions can quickly disconnect the student from the community, and could lead to feelings of inadequateness.
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Patrick Graham - Primary Presenter,Author
Western Oregon University
     Credentials: PhD from University of Georgia, MS: Secondary Education, Rochester Institute of Technology, BA: Multidisciplinary Studies, Rochester Institute of Technology. Also certified in K-12 Deaf Education.
      Patrick Graham is an Assistant Professor at Western Oregon University. His dissertation focuses on how Deaf educators use culturally relevant pedagogical strategies to encourage deaf preschool children become embodied members of the Deaf community while attending schools. His main interests lie in comparative and international education, multicultural and multilingual programs for young children and teacher preparation programs. Patrick received his Bachelor’s Degree in Multidisciplinary Studies, with concentrations in History, Psychology, and Deaf Studies, as well as his Masters Degree in Deaf Education from Rochester Institute of Technology. He currently holds certification in K-12 Deaf Education. Patrick previously taught kindergarten at a large urban school for the Deaf, and is passionate about social justice in Deaf Education.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.
Christopher Patterson - Co-Presenter,Author
University of Georgia
     Credentials: BA in Special Education, MA in Deaf Education, EDS in Teacher Leadership, ASLTA-Provision certified
     Other Affiliations: 1) University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 2) National Association of the Deaf, Silver Springs, Maryland
      Christopher Patterson: Currently a doctoral student in the Elementary Education employed at University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, Christopher M. Patterson is passionate about his advocacy work on behalf of deaf and hard of hearing individuals. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Special Education at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah and went on to work Deaf Education and Specialist degree in Teacher Leadership from Mercer University in Atlanta.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - Has a Political relationship for Board membership.   Has a Political (membership) relationship for Other volunteer activities.   Has a Professional (I hold certification for teaching American Sign Language) relationship for Other volunteer activities.