Focus Group Inquiry with Parents who Children are Deaf of Hard of Hearing: What are their Perceptions
The purpose of this study was to better understand hearing parents’ perspectives on their involvement in the education of their children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Due to the communication challenges and associated concerns that permeate raising and educating children with hearing loss, it appears important for parent-teacher partnerships to be formed. These partnerships hold the promise of empowering families and professionals to better prepare these children to do well in life. With insight into the parents’ perspective, teachers can become better partners. Therefore, this study sought the parents’ perspectives on their involvement. With an interpretivist theoretical perspective, focus group methodology was utilized to allow for a variety of understandings and perceptions. Five focus groups were conducted. Audiotapes were used to type the first draft of the transcripts. Then the transcripts were verified by watching videotapes. Credibility procedures included member checks, reciprocity, research team debriefing, and dual data analysis for coding rule establishment. A list of topics was compiled for each group. Lists were compared and reorganized into a grid of topics. The grid helped provide a visual aid to cluster the topics into themes. Throughout the analysis, preliminary findings were compared to the transcripts, assistants’ field notes, and researcher’s reflection journal to ensure continued fit. Most of the participants in the study were likely more involved in their children’s education than average parents; however, there was a large range of the amount and types of involvement represented in the study. Three themes were induced from the data: the barrier of prohibitive bureaucracies in school systems and programs, understanding the unique communication and learning needs of their children as an impetus for active involvement, and an improvement in parent involvement due to self-education and self-empowerment. Further research is needed to determine the perspective of parents who are relatively uninvolved in their children’s education. In addition, research is necessary to discover the knowledge administrators have about effective programming for students who are deaf or hard of hearing, and how they perceive their leadership role in removing the bureaucratic barriers to parent involvement.
Muir, S.G. (2004). Focus group inquiry with parents who children are deaf of hard of hearing: What are their Perceptions of their experience? (Doctoral dissertation. University of Northern Colorado, 2003). Dissertation Abstract International, 64/11, 4011.