Term of Award

Spring 2020

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

Dr. Ming Fang He

Committee Member 1

John Weaver

Committee Member 2

Robert Lake

Committee Member 3

William Schubert

Committee Member 3 Email



My dissertation, that incorporated performative storytelling and dance, is a memoir reflecting over fifty years of my lived experiences related to deafness as a multidimensional illustration that spans from my experience as a young child with a family member affected by Usher’s Syndrome; as an educational sign language interpreter; as a teacher of the deaf (TOD); and as an early intervention auditory-verbal therapist. Theoretically, my dissertation builds upon critical pedagogy (e.g., Baglieri & Shapiro, 2012; Freire, 1970/2009; McLaren & Crawford, 1998) and disability studies (e.g., Davis, 2002; Goodley, 2011; Siebers, 2008; Kitchens, 1998). The physical disability of deafness continues to be viewed with a rejection of personal identities and instructional methodologies that reflect academic abilities for diverse learners. With a new perspective on brain-based science along with advances in technology (cochlear implants), disabilities studies and critical pedagogy empower AVT deaf students to become agents of change.

Methodologically, I crafted a performative memoir, drawing upon the works of memoir (e.g., Berube, 1992; Karr, 2016; Zinsser, 1998) and artistic and performative aspects of dance and storytelling (e.g., Barone & Eisner, 2012; Pink, 2012), to engage the audience through auditory and visual deliveries to develop empathetic understanding towards AVT deaf students. Memoir transgresses traditional research inquiries to create space to tell silenced narratives of AVT deaf students and liberates academic writing solely relying on words.

Six observations have emerged from the study: The AVT approach, with technology and early intervention, creates opportunities for AVT deaf students to be liberated. A performative memoir is more compatible with the ways AVT deaf students express themselves. The different ways Deaf and AVT students interconnect with the hearing world disrupt the stereotypes of AVT deaf students and challenge the deafness of the hearing world. Place and space for AVT deaf students, which are docile-bodied (Foucault, 1977) by abled-bodied societies, are embodied in a third space (Soja, 1996). Performative memoir transgresses traditional research inquiries to create space to tell silenced narratives of AVT deaf. Recognizing funds of knowledge (Gonzalez, Moll, & Amanti, 2005) helps develop a culturally responsive curriculum that creates equal opportunities for AVT students (Siddle-Walker, 1996).

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material