Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Shearer, William M.||Williams, J. David||Fisher, Cletus

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Speech


Hearing aids; Teacher-student relationships


The purpose of this study was to test elementary school teachers' stereotyped perceptions of their students who wear hearing aids. The specific problems discussed in this study included: (a) the definition and structure of the stereotype, (b) the favorability or unfavorability of the teachers toward the perceived stereotype, (c) the general areas of the stereotyped traits and (d) the implications of orientation and training for the teacher and the hearing impaired child. The ten counties that make up the Northwestern Illinois Association for Hearing, Visual and Physically Handicapped Children participated in this study. A listing of all the teachers who have had a student with a hearing aid in their classroom was received by petitioning the principals in each of the 209 schools in the ten counties. From this listing, 174 teachers qualified for the study. The open-ended questionnaire method was used to investigate the teachers' stereotypes. The teachers were asked to list all words, adjectives or traits needed to describe the child with a hearing aid. Responses came from 104 teachers. One hundred Northern Illinois University students, participating in audiology and speech pathology classes were asked to assess the desirability or undesirability of the thirty most frequently mentioned traits from the teachers' responses. The results of this study indicated that elementary school teachers, who have had a child with a hearing aid in their classroom, gave a relatively large number of descriptive responses. As a whole, the total group of teachers showed a high degree of consensus in their assignments as displayed by the frequencies of similar traits. Upon investigation, it was found that the thirty most frequently mentioned traits tended to have emotional and social implications rather than physiological or educational implications. The evaluations of the thirty traits by the critic judges found most of the traits to be undesirable. The range of standard deviation for those traits found to be desirable was much more limited than the range for those traits evaluated as undesirable. This difference seemed to indicate that there was a higher degree of consensus in the placement of those traits designated as desirable than for those evaluated as undesirable.


Includes bibliographical references.


vii, 46 pages




Northern Illinois University

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