Regular Teacher Teaching Methods and Their Effect on Learners with Visual Impairment from Selected Secondary Schools in the BUEA Municipality Southwest Region of Cameroon
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The purpose of the study was to examine regular teacher teaching methods and their effects on learners with visual impairment. The study utilized a sample of 30 teachers from 3 selected secondary schools in the Buea municipality southwest region of Cameroon. the survey study employed a structured questionnaire for data collection. The study instrument was pilot tested and equally subjected to Cronbach’s alpha coefficient using SPSS statistics (version 21.0) to establish their validity and reliability.
The result of the study revealed that lack of training by regular has an effect on their teaching methods on learners with visual impairments, it was also revealed that teaching visually impaired learners require more attention, extra skills and regular teachers who cannot cultivate this altitude will turn to make learning difficult for this learners.
In addition, the result of the finding shows a lack of awareness in special education has an effect on regular teaching methods. It was, therefore, recommended that regular teachers should attend as many workshops and seminars on visual impairment as they can afford, and encourage the government to pilot the production of a new curriculum that involves the inclusion of all types of impairments in secondary schools.
This chapter focuses on the background of the study, conceptual background, theoretical background, contextual background, empirical background, statement of the problem, research objective, research questions, justification, the scope of the study, significance of the study, the definition of terms.
1.1 Background of the Study
1.1.1 Historical Background
The teaching of persons with visual impairment has gone through the evolutionary systems from the traditional era to the modern inclusive setting that we are today.
The history of visual impairment date back to biblical times. This gives us an insight into how visual impairment was perceived by many so many years ago. Clearly, during this time, people with visual impairment were seen as helpless and dependent on others. The perception was that the cause of blindness could be attributed to the sin of their father (Carmen willings,1903).
Teaching in the past was mainly informal teaching where the parents and mentors were the ones teaching their children. This form of education never had a standard curriculum like today, but to be noted that those with disabilities were mostly by parents especially in areas of communications and vocation.
In 1954 the pine brook report identifies different options for students who are blind or visual impaired and the type of teacher preparation required. Most blind children had only one means of education and that was in schools for the blind. Schools were opened all over Europe and the world.
Benjamin Constant School in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 1854 Brazil 1954, School for the Blind, Zagreb, Croatia 1995, Light and Hope Society for Blind Girls, Egypt 1973, School for the Blind in Thessalonica, Greece, Greece 1977, Calcutta School for the Blind, India 1994, Tomteboda School for the Blind, 1888 Sweden 1981, Iran Institute for the Blind Iran 1964, Salvation Army School for the Blind, Kingston, Jamaica 1987, National School for the Blind, Panama 1961, National School for the Blind, Mexico 1995, Worcester Institute for the Blind, now the Pioneer School, South Africa 1981, Belarus School for the Blind, 1887 Belarus 1997.
The education of students with special education needs has been a concern to the international community since the 1994 United Nations Salamanca statement and framework for action on special needs education (UNESCO,1994). World nations are committed to providing access for students with special needs to be educated with their peers.
Cameroon Law No. 83/13, Article 3, of July 1983, provided for the needs and protection of individuals with disabilities with three major provisions: integration of children in ordinary schools, admission in special classes, and admission into specialized institutions (Protection of Disabled Persons, 2003).
As of 2003, only 10 institutions (segregated schools for more significant disabilities such as visual impairments, multiple disabilities (mostly physical), deaf/hard of hearing, and behavioural disorders) existed in Cameroon that serves the needs of individuals with disabilities; out of the ten, only two are government institutions (Yuh & Shey, 2008).
1.1.2 Conceptual background
The concept of teaching methods:
For a very long time, learning has been considered a product of teaching. Teachers have been mostly using non-participatory strategies which are not effective in teaching. Effective teaching is more than mere transmission of information from teachers to students, but rather a complex interaction between the two parts (Webster & Roe, 1998). The following are several methods regular teachers can use to teach students with visual impairments in the inclusive classroom:
Used of a personal assistive technology device, computer, emergence braille literacy skills, Extra Time Allowance, the use of Tactile Materials, Sound Projection and Calling Students Names. Some of these methods are used as they are but other methods require adaptations to work better for students with visual impairments.
The concept of visual impairment
Visual impairment can be defined legally and educationally. The legal definition describes visual impairment by considering the visual acuity of a person. It describes a blind person as the one having a visual acuity of 20/200 or less than that, even by using optical devices.
This means that; a person with blindness can see an object at 20 feet whereas a sighted person can see at 200 feet. A legal definition considers a person with low vision as having a visual acuity of 20/70 meaning that; a person with low vision can see an object at 20 feet whereas a person with normal vision can see at 70 feet (Spungin, 2002).
1.1.3 Contextual background:
Teachers are seen as a vehicle through which learning and performance are expected to be reflected by students with visual impairment. However, a number of variables may prevent this from happening. These include teacher’s qualification, training of teachers, adapting off the syllabus, didactic materials, sighted attitude, and administrative among other variables. This framework portrays that teaching student with visual impairment brings about challenges especially on the part of the teacher (Mutunga, 2019).
A great number of books, articles, and journals have been written on how to teach visual impairment, how to improve the academic achievement of students with visual impairment, but Cameroon secondary schools are still faced with the problem of poor academic achievement of the visually impaired person.
When we talk of how to teach visual impairment, it means looking at the methods and strategies of teaching that can be employed in the teaching-learning process to bring about the realization of the set goals and objectives of learners with visual impairment.
Teachers use a variety of styles in Nigerian schools; however, the chalk-talk technique is the most common in Nigerian public schools (Osakinle, et al, 2010; Aduwa-Ogiegbaen and Iyamu, 2005; Hodges, 2001), which promotes rote learning (Watkins and Akande, 1994). Ogunmade (2000) also confirmed in his study of the status and quality of science teaching and learning in Lagos State, Nigeria, that the chalk-talk method, which encourages rote learning was mostly used by teachers.
1.1.4 Empirical background
Hatlen (1996) in his study called for the adoption of an Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC) for students with visual impairments. The ECC is comprised of nine core clusters of knowledge base and skills that are essential to students with visual impairments due to their disability-specific needs. The ECC must not be confused with the Common Core State Standards.
The ECC is designed specifically for students with visual impairments and focuses on functional academic skills (including communication skills), orientation and mobility, social interaction skills, independent living skills, recreation and leisure skills, career education, use of assistive technology, sensory efficiency skill, and self-determination. These skills are needed along with the general education curriculum.
1.1.5 Theoretical background
Three theories will be used to inform the objective of the study, these theories include The theory of normalization theory, The theory of humanism, The social model of disability, Oliver’s theory of disability, Carl Rogers self-theory.
The theory of normalization: this theory seeks to inform the general objective. This theory involves the acceptance of people with disabilities offering them the same conditions as other citizens (Wilmshurst and Brue, 2005)
Constructivist theory: This theory seeks to inform the research objective number of the study. Constructivism is a view that emphasizes the active role of students in building understanding and making sense of the information. Constructivist teaching is learner-centered where students are actively involved in knowledge construction rather than mere passive listeners. Constructivists’ views can be organized in two forms: psychological and social.
In Psychological constructivists’ view such as Piaget, students construct knowledge by transforming, organizing, reorganizing previous knowledge whereas, in social constructivists’ view such as Vygotsky, opportunities are provided to students to learn through social interaction in the construction of knowledge and understanding.
Hierarchy of need theory: This theory strives to explain research objective number two of the study. This theory focus on the physical, safe, loved, and esteem needs, the genius of the hierarchy is its concept of prepotency. A prep tent need is the one that has the greatest power or influence over our actions.
The Social Model of Disability: This theory seeks to inform objective number three. This theory holds that disability is something imposed on top of our impairments by the way we are unnecessarily isolated and excluded from full participation in society (Hodkinson and Vickerman, 2009).
1.2 Statement of the problem
Teaching methods use by regular teachers in teaching learners with visual impairment in Cameroon and specifically secondary schools in Buea municipality have been a call for concern. These teachers always forget these learners with visual impairment, they used charts, videos, flit chart, a role model who is not physically touching which made it difficult for a learner with visual impairment to be fully involved in the learning process because they cannot see what is going on.
Also, these teachers do not make use of talking calculators, audios, and role models that are physically touching. Rasugu (2010) indicates that children with learning disabilities are labeled as hard to teach, lazy, slower learners, and careless.
All these worries have inspired this researcher to find out, if the problem of almost abandoning learners with visual impairment by regular teachers is because of nonawareness in special education, lack of training, or is it because of their attitude that they don’t want to get involved with students with visual impairment.
Very little attention has been accorded to a teaching method for learners with visual impairment, which have motivated this researcher to investigate regular teacher teaching method and its effects on learners with visual impairment in some secondary school in Buea municipality.
1.3 The objective of the Study
The objective of the study includes the main objective and specific objectives:
1.3.1 Main Objective
The main objective of this study is to investigate whether regular teachers’ methods affect learners with visual impairment in some selected secondary schools in Buea municipality.
1.3.2 Specific objective
To examine how regular teacher teaching methods affect the learners with visual impairment?
To find out how regular teacher altitude toward learners affects visual impairment?
To find out what impact does regular teacher awareness in special have in the teaching method used to teach visually impaired?