Science for All: Experiences and Outcomes of Students with Visual Impairment in a Guided Inquiry-based Classroom

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/194503
Title:
Science for All: Experiences and Outcomes of Students with Visual Impairment in a Guided Inquiry-based Classroom
Author:
Rooks, Deborah Lynn
Issue Date:
2009
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
The purpose of this study was to examine instructional experiences of students with visual impairment in an guided inquiry-based science classroom. Drawing from social constructive perspectives about teaching and learning, I focused on the initial attempts of students to participate fully in an inquiry-based astronomy unit. The astronomy unit incorporated features of project-based science inquiry and aligned with national standards. This study described the opportunities provided to and challenges faced by students with visual impairment as they participated in the guided inquiry-based learning environment. Additionally, discursive practices of students including student-generated questions, student discussions, and students' science notebook writing were examined. Also, students' alternative conceptions about scientific phenomena and changes in students' thinking during the course of instruction, if any, were described. Methods of data collection included classroom observations, video records, pre- and post- curriculum assessments, attitudes toward science measurement, student interviews, and student artifacts (i.e., science notebook entries, student-constructed models). Findings showed that student learning was enhanced when the instructor-researcher guided students in accomplishing inquiry tasks and in making sense of their inquiry experiences. Additionally, the use of appropriate reflective prompts assisted students with visual impairment to fully participate in the writing tasks of the inquiry-based learning environment. Results suggested that the quantity and quality of student-generated questions increased with extended inquiry instruction. Also, students used questions to not only establish verbal communication, but to elaborate on their own thinking and expand or explain the thinking of others. Findings suggested also that students with visual impairment have similar alternative frameworks about scientific phenomena (i.e, causes of lunar phases, reason for the seasons) as do their peers with sight. This study contributes to the literature about inquiry-based instructional strategies for all students and initiates the conversation about best practice for science instruction with students with visual impairment.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
conceptual change; guided inquiry; middle school students; science education; special education; visually impaired
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Special Education & Rehabilitation; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Erin, Jane
Committee Chair:
Erin, Jane

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titleScience for All: Experiences and Outcomes of Students with Visual Impairment in a Guided Inquiry-based Classroomen_US
dc.creatorRooks, Deborah Lynnen_US
dc.contributor.authorRooks, Deborah Lynnen_US
dc.date.issued2009en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThe purpose of this study was to examine instructional experiences of students with visual impairment in an guided inquiry-based science classroom. Drawing from social constructive perspectives about teaching and learning, I focused on the initial attempts of students to participate fully in an inquiry-based astronomy unit. The astronomy unit incorporated features of project-based science inquiry and aligned with national standards. This study described the opportunities provided to and challenges faced by students with visual impairment as they participated in the guided inquiry-based learning environment. Additionally, discursive practices of students including student-generated questions, student discussions, and students' science notebook writing were examined. Also, students' alternative conceptions about scientific phenomena and changes in students' thinking during the course of instruction, if any, were described. Methods of data collection included classroom observations, video records, pre- and post- curriculum assessments, attitudes toward science measurement, student interviews, and student artifacts (i.e., science notebook entries, student-constructed models). Findings showed that student learning was enhanced when the instructor-researcher guided students in accomplishing inquiry tasks and in making sense of their inquiry experiences. Additionally, the use of appropriate reflective prompts assisted students with visual impairment to fully participate in the writing tasks of the inquiry-based learning environment. Results suggested that the quantity and quality of student-generated questions increased with extended inquiry instruction. Also, students used questions to not only establish verbal communication, but to elaborate on their own thinking and expand or explain the thinking of others. Findings suggested also that students with visual impairment have similar alternative frameworks about scientific phenomena (i.e, causes of lunar phases, reason for the seasons) as do their peers with sight. This study contributes to the literature about inquiry-based instructional strategies for all students and initiates the conversation about best practice for science instruction with students with visual impairment.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectconceptual changeen_US
dc.subjectguided inquiryen_US
dc.subjectmiddle school studentsen_US
dc.subjectscience educationen_US
dc.subjectspecial educationen_US
dc.subjectvisually impaireden_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineSpecial Education & Rehabilitationen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorErin, Janeen_US
dc.contributor.chairErin, Janeen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberTopor, Ireneen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberHarris, Christopheren_US
dc.contributor.committeememberStrauss, Alanen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMaker, Juneen_US
dc.identifier.proquest10408en_US
dc.identifier.oclc659752035en_US
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