Teachers in Ireland who wish to specifically work with deaf children, should first complete an undergraduate degree course in education, which enables them to teach in every primary and secondary school nationwide.
E-Learning Courses In The UK
Ireland currently has no courses for specialist teachers of deaf pupils but the UK has several flexible postgraduate e-learning courses. The best known, from the Universities of Manchester and Birmingham, are recognised by the Irish Department of Education.
The e-learning focus of these courses means that non-UK students can access the teaching with only an internet connection. This is particularly helpful for deaf or hard of hearing students who are interested in teaching. Access to course material is simplified, while students with hearing issues have equal use of resources offered by the universities.
A brief overview of the two main training courses
- The Postgraduate Diploma in Deaf Education from the University of Manchester is a 2 year online blended programme. It is limited to qualified teachers with strong interest in the field of deaf education and seeks to equip students with the knowledge and skills to be a specialist teacher of deaf pupils in the 21st century.
Students who successfully complete the course, will be able to identify the experience of deafness for individuals and evaluate current practice and research in the field. Course attendees can access online resources, from e-books and online journals, to discussion boards and will be able to receive advice and support from recently-qualified students.
2. The School of Education at the University of Birmingham offers a 2 year distance learning programme, leading to a Bachelor of Philosophy Degree ( Ed.) or a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (Hearing Impairment), with the option to progress to a MEd.
Each student has a personal tutor in a regional group. Study is supported through tutorial groups, phone, email and online WebCT contact which allow students to learn with each other. There is only one university-based residential week in January each year of the programme, at which attendance is compulsory.
Students without a basic teaching qualification can take the University of Birmingham course and obtain the diploma, but don’t complete the course practicals and are not recognised as fully-qualified teachers of deaf pupils.
It’s possible to see a full list of UK-based courses for specialist teachers of deaf pupils, on the website of the British Association of Teachers of the Deaf.