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Challenges Faced and Process Adopted by Students with Visual Impairment in Learning Science at Secondary School

Challenges Faced and Process Adopted by Students with Visual Impairment in Learning Science at Secondary School

Coordinator
Gowramma I P
Professor in Education
Department of Education
Year: 2019

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Considering the significance of science education in national development, science has been placed as one of the compulsory subjects at school level.  Review of research in the area of learning of science by children with visual impairment reveals that the feeling of belongingness to the subject and confidence in the ability to perform is a factor that supports success of students in science career.  Studies also direct towards the fact that students with visual impairment perform on par with their peers if given opportunity.   The present study is undertaken to find out the scenario of science learning among students with visual impairment at secondary schools with the objective to know their challenges in science classroom and processes to overcome the challenges.

The exploratory study lead to collection of data from students with visual impairment who have completed and those who are studying in special school and inclusive school at secondary level. Data was collected regarding the processes of science learning, the challenges faced and coping strategies adapted by the participating students.

The findings revealed that students with visual impairment like to learn the subject science in their school just like any other student. For learning of science the most preferred way is discussion with parents, peer group and teachers without visual impairment.  This supports the importance of inclusive education for students with visual impairment. Technology proves to be a good means to be used by the teachers in order to meet the needs of the students in the classroom.  All the participants of special school opined that repetition of lessons; detailed verbal explanations by the teachers help them to understand the science concepts whereas participants of inclusive setting sought of the support of both teachers and peers in clarifying their doubts. The study has further implication that parents, teachers and community to encourage the children to pursue higher education rather than restricting them by indicating the child’s limitations.  Students studying in inclusive environment were proved to have better coping strategies and learning in comparison to students staying in boarding school. In spite of few limitations, the study has some major findings and educational implications for students, teachers, parents and professionals.

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Challenges Faced and Process Adopted by Students with Visual Impairment in Learning Science at Secondary School