Improve learning with hands-on classroom activities: science instruction for students with visual impairments


EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF SPECIAL NEEDS EDUCATION, 2020 (SSCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier


The preponderance of visually oriented and visually complex concepts and information in science classrooms poses significant challenges to learning among students with visual impairment (VI). It is acknowledged that the good quality of practical work promotes the engagement and interest and curiosity of students as well as developing a range of skills, science knowledge, and conceptual understanding. Specifically, this study examined the contribution of activities and materials developed for teaching science to students with VI which are found difficult to comprehend even by the sighted students. The research was carried out in three steps. In the first step, the exploratory case study was used in order to identify the needs of the students. In the second step, instructional materials and activities were designed to meet the needs of students. In the last step, the evaluative case study was used to examine the effectiveness of the designed activities and activity materials. In conclusion as students with VI are easily distracted by unnecessary details, it is equally essential to design materials and activities to be as simple as possible, as well as focusing on only few core ideas in each practical work, rather than covering several ideas through a single activity.