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ERIC Number: EJ938378
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 36
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9266
Teaching Life Sciences to Blind and Visually Impaired Learners
Fraser, William John; Maguvhe, Mbulaheni Obert
Journal of Biological Education, v42 n2 p84-89 2008
This study reports on the teaching of life sciences (biology) to blind and visually impaired learners in South Africa at 11 special schools with specific reference to the development of science process skills in outcomes-based classrooms. Individual structured interviews were conducted with nine science educators teaching at the different special schools and focus group interviews with ten Grade 12 learners taking a life science at each of the schools. The interviews were video- and audio-taped by sighted observers. The data was transcribed and the results coded and classified for interpretation purposes. The study revealed learners' difficulties in applying science process skills because of lack of vision, lack of confidence, lack of motivation, etc. For example, one such skill, namely "tabulation", remains a problem to most blind learners. The blind learners were also very seldom engaged in practical work and field trips. Practical activities were limited to very simple and elementary exercises that provided little intellectual challenge and did not call for advanced problem-solving skills. Learners had limited access to computers, encyclopaedias, sources of reference and relevant publications. Educators did however apply cooperative learning strategies in schools where totally blind and partially-sighted shared the same learning environment. (Contains 4 figures.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 12
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa