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date: 15 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter describes research documenting learning behaviors demonstrated by young deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) children that contribute to early mathematics development. Much research has been done over the years documenting the low academic achievement levels demonstrated by DHH students. The more substantial problem, however, may be that DHH students arrive at school not yet knowing how to learn and therefore lack even the most basic cognitive skill already owned by their peers. By the time they start school, young hearing children have had several years of learning experiences in the home environment. Through incidental experiences, hearing children learn how to focus their attention on meaningful stimuli, reflect on cause and effect, and solve problems during situations involving conflict. Given language restrictions, young DHH children may not have these same opportunities, thereby putting them at a disadvantage when they enter the classroom. It is essential that early learning for young DHH children focus on mediating within natural environmental learning opportunities in order to stimulate their ability to take cognitive advantage of what is happening normally around them. Only in this way can we begin to provide young DHH children with the cognitive foundation they need for early mathematics and other future academics.

Keywords: mediation, language, critical thinking, problem-solving, cognition, early childhood, early mathematics

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