Janet Ruth Jamieson
Relevant Degree Programs
Graduate Student Supervision
Doctoral Student Supervision (Jan 2008 - Nov 2019)
The transition to school is considered an important milestone in early childhood development with implications for later school outcomes. However, it has been largely uninvestigated for children who are deaf or hard of hearing (D/HH). The overarching goal of this dissertation was to examine the transition from specialized early intervention (EI) programs into the school system for children who are D/HH and their families. Study 1 investigated the availability, accessibility and content of information on the transition to school for D/HH children on government, outreach program, EI program and school district websites in British Columbia (B.C.), Canada. Results indicated that the majority of these websites offer little information about the transition to school, particularly in rural areas. Limited accessibility, particularly for individuals with disabilities or with lower English literacy was noted. Study 2 investigated the transition from the perspective of administrators and directors from EI, outreach, and school-based programs for D/HH children. Using the enhanced critical incident technique (ECIT), 146 incidents were extracted from 10 interviews and sorted into 10 helping, nine hindering and five wish list categories. Findings highlight the importance of communication and information exchange among stakeholders to provide a smooth transition to school for D/HH children. To further investigate the communication that occurs and the relationships that develop among stakeholders during D/HH children’s transition to school, Study 3 used activity theory as a framework to examine the means by which stakeholders (parents, EI providers, and teachers of the deaf) communicated, and the topics that they discussed. Results add support for families’ need for information about their child’s educational program, and use of personalized, high-intensity transition practices to support children and their families through the transition process. The overall findings of this dissertation lend support to the Ecological and Dynamic Model of Transition (Rimm-Kaufman & Pianta, 2000), which conceptualizes the transition to school as being influenced by a pattern of interactions between the individuals, groups, and institutions connected to the child. Future directions for research and practice are discussed.
Positive teacher-student relationships promote healthy school experiences and have been shown to play an important role in creating positive social and academic outcomes for students, including students with special learning needs (e.g., Hamre & Pianta, 2001). Most deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) students are educated in inclusive school environments alongside their hearing peers, and likely receive additional support from an itinerant teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing throughout their school years (kindergarten to grade 12). However, very little is known about the significance of this unique teacher-student relationship in terms of social and emotional support, nor in what ways this relationship may help or hinder social inclusion at school. To address the paucity of research in this area, I used a narrative inquiry and multiple case study design to examine the characteristics of the itinerant teacher-DHH student relationship. Each participant (four itinerant teachers and four DHH students) participated in two separate individual interviews and was asked to reflect upon their relationship working with DHH students or itinerant teachers, as appropriate. The first interview was semi-structured and captured the participants’ perspectives of their itinerant teacher-DHH student relationships generally. The second interview focused on the meaning and significance of the itinerant teacher-student relationship. Narrative stories for each participant were written from the interview data and analyzed using a constant comparison, thematic content analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006). Six prominent themes emerged from the itinerant teacher narrative stores: identity development (of students), attachment, safe space, connector, advisor, and itinerant teacher identity. Five prominent themes emerged from the DHH student narrative stories: identity development (of students), attachment, safe space, connector, and advisor. This study contributes to the field of Deaf Education in terms of identifying possible important aspects of the itinerant teacher-student relationship from both the teachers’ and the students’ perspectives. In addition, the findings shed light on potential interpersonal mechanisms that may be involved in creating successful school experiences for DHH students who are educated in inclusive school environments.