Exploring the use of ICT in supporting teaching and learning of reading and writing skills for children with hearing impairment in an inclusive school in Karachi, Pakistan
Date of Award
Master of Education (M. Ed.)
Institute for Educational Development, Karachi
The purpose of this research was to explore the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in teaching and learning of reading and writing skills to/by children with hearing impairment in an inclusive school in Karachi, Pakistan. In order to achieve this purpose, the research question that guided the course of the research was, 'what are the ways in which ICT might be used for teaching and learning of reading and writing skills to/by children with hearing impairment in an inclusive school in Karachi, Pakistan'. Embedded in the qualitative paradigm, action research was used to explore my research question. Action research is a flexible spiral process which allows action for change and improvement and research for understanding and knowledge to be achieved at the same time (Dick, 2002). The Kemmis, McTaggart and Retallick's (2004) model of action research was implemented in the study. However, only two cycles of action research could be completed. Classroom observations, semi-structured interviews, document analysis, reflective journal, video recording of classroom teaching, field notes were used as data collection methods. Four students (two with hearing impairment and two without hearing impairment) from a private inclusive school of Karachi, Pakistan, were selected as participants on the basis of a criteria. Moreover, the class teacher and assistant teacher acted as my critical friends. It was found that in order to address the learning needs of children with Special Education Needs (SEN), the use of multiple pedagogies and methodologies were helpful in keeping all the students engaged in the learning process. The use of ICT allowed the teacher to enrich the curriculum with relevant and interesting activities downloaded from the internet. However, the teacher's knowledge and skills of teaching children with hearing impairment posed several challenges. Thus, the professional development of teachers and their capabilities, in using ICT in an inclusive setting was found to be critical. It was found that children with SEN needed more input for improving their vocabulary. It was found that the overall low reading level of children with hearing impairment hinders them in participating in the reading activities and discussion processes even when multimedia were used. The written instructions, along with verbal instructions, projected through multimedia projector were found helpful to include children with hearing impairment in the classroom discourse. The features of power point presentation like hypertext, hypermedia and animations, use of digital stories and colourful pictures helped in gaining students' attention for the reading and writing activities of children, particularly of those with hearing impairment. The above findings have implications as to how ICT can be used in teaching/learning of reading and writing in an inclusive setting in Pakistan. Further exploration of this innovation in education in special schools has been recommended. Lastly, it is recommended that the study could be replicated in a special school for children with hearing impairment in order to gain in depth information about the use of ICT in developing reading and writing skills of children with hearing impairment, An exploratory study could be conducted to see how children with hearing impairment communicate in schools and home, without using any standardised sign language.
Bano, A. (2011). Exploring the use of ICT in supporting teaching and learning of reading and writing skills for children with hearing impairment in an inclusive school in Karachi, Pakistan (Unpublished master's dissertation). Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.