Deaf education teacher preparation: A phenomenological case study of a graduate program with a comprehensive philosophy


At a time when deaf education teacher preparation programs are declining in number, little is known about their actual effectiveness. A phenomenological case study of a graduate-level comprehensive deaf education teacher preparation program at a midwestern university explored empowered and enabled learning of teacher candidates using the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education educator pillars: (a) commitment to the profession, (b) proficiency in practice, and (c) learning impact, all deemed critical to developing quality teachers. A strong connection was found between the program’s comprehensive philosophy and its practice. Embracing diversity of d/Deafness and differentiated instruction were the most prevalent themes expressed by participants. Teacher candidates displayed outstanding commitment to the profession and high proficiency in practice. The findings suggest that additional consideration should be given to classroom and behavior management, teacher candidate workload, teaching beyond academics, and preparation for navigating the public school system.


Communication Sciences and Disorders
Counseling, Leadership, and Special Education

Document Type





Deaf, Deaf, Deaf education, Deafness, Diversity, Empowered and enabled learning, Hard of hearing, Students who are deaf or hard of hearing, Teacher candidates, Teacher preparation

Publication Date


Journal Title

American Annals of the Deaf