ERIC Number: ED247717
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Jun
The Development and Use of Memory Strategies by Deaf Children and Adults.
Liben, Lynn S.
The availability and application of particular memory strategies by deaf children and adults was examined. In the first study, 20 younger (mean age, 6 years, 3 months) and 20 older (8 years, 8 months) children's use of rehearsal strategies was examined with a serial probe task. All four types of stimuli (animals, nonsense shapes, hands, print) elicited strong primacy effects in the serial learning curve, and overt labeling and gesturing during stimulus presentation. Findings suggest that the children tested were using appropriate rehearsal strategies. A subsequent free recall study with 60 third-, fifth-, and seventh-grade deaf children was designed to determine if children would spontaneously group items by semantic category during study and/or recall phases of the task. Results showed that deaf children used semantic clustering and were able to enhance recall from instruction in categorization. A third study concerned deaf adults' use of categorization. Two bases for categorization were available: categories based on semantic meaning (e.g., foods, occupations) and categories based on formational similarity of signs (e.g., with signs for "Train,""Egg,""Chair,""Name," forming one group). While Ss were able to group items according to formational similarity when asked to do so, their spontaneous preference was to cluster by semantic meaning. This finding is parallel to studies with hearing people who virtually always favor semantic meaning to surface item features (e.g., rhyming words) as the basis or organization. Findings suggest that, while it may not be neccessary to provide instruction in memory strategies per se, it may be useful to provide instruction that increases the extent to which deaf individuals (1) have conscious knowledge of the availability of strategies, (2) recognize under what circumstances the available strategies may be applied, and (3) organize material to allow the optimal application of these strategies. (Author/CL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Contained in: International Symposium on Cognition, Education, and Deafness (Washington, DC, June 5-8, 1984). Working Papers. Volumes I and II. David S. Martin, Ed.