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ERIC Number: EJ1180349
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1544-6751
A Shift to the Middle: Redefining the Community of Practice for Deaf Educators
Maiorana-Bases, Michella
Odyssey: New Directions in Deaf Education, v19 p4-9 2018
Since its beginning, the education of deaf and hard of hearing individuals has been steeped in a debate around language, as professionals have clashed in a debate on whether signed or spoken language should be used as the primary language of instruction and communication with deaf and hard of hearing individuals. This has created a condition in which many professionals feel compelled to choose a side. Attempts at philosophical unification have been ongoing, and an important step toward this unification will be the recognition that regardless of beliefs, philosophy, or approach, all stakeholders are part of a single community of practice. The author noted the impact of this conflict on her students and their parents and on her relationships with deaf and hard of hearing individuals. She made a deliberate choice to create a mindset that accepted a different narrative. She joined with a few colleagues to create a community of practice in which individuals from a diverse swath of communication approaches and professional experiences could engage. They called it "The Radical Middle Project." The project's goal is to to encourage scholars who are representative of a wide range of educational, cultural, and linguistic philosophies to learn and work together through research and collaborative scholarship, holding a common goal of doing what is best educationally, culturally, and linguistically for each deaf and hard of hearing child and his or her family. This professional online community respects all communication and educational philosophies and encourages participation by parents, deaf and hard of hearing individuals, researchers, and experts. In a section titled "STEPping Toward a Radical Middle," the author provides the steps toward becoming part of The Radical Middle community of practice.
Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center. Gallaudet University, 800 Florida Avenue NE, KS 3600, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-526-9105; Tel: 202-651-5340; Fax: 202-651-5708; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A