New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

University Students Planning a Project that Challenges Sighted School Students to Develop Botanical Activities for Blind Students

Lais Futuro, Colégio Pedro II (Brazil)

Daniel Reynaldo, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)

Isabela Araújo, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)

Taissa Marinho, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)

Carolina Voloch, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)

Flávia Machado, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)

Abstract

A long-term project planned by Biology Graduation Students and the supervising Teacher, both incorporated to a government project of teaching initiation (PIBID) aimed to stimulate the school students of Colégio Pedro II as active agents in the complete process, challenging them to experience some of the difficulties lived by blind students and to think about alternative methods to facilitate the learning of some botanical concepts. As a trigger, they experienced in pairs a guided olfactory and tactile tour in the local Botanical Garden, in which one student remained blinded and the other acted as guide. The ideas presented by these students based on their experience were discussed and approved by the whole group. Each student chose one of the approved projects to research, develop and implement. One of the interesting results of this process is a cooperative  activity that privileges the sense of touch, approaching concepts that initially were inaccessible by this sense. As the explanation about a concept or object is presented by a person without blindness, the model is simultaneously constructed in play dough by a blind one. This explanation can be adapted throughout the construction of the model. If the explanation alone is not enough, the person without blindness can interfere in the model construction so that the blind person understands more accurately what is being presented. This strategy is a way to facilitate more accurate explanations such as size, proportion, position of structure, shape, among others. Another advantage is the possibility to realize eventual conceptual errors during the process, instead of at the end of the explanation, allowing an immediate interference, still during the construction phase of the mental model. The group was able to attest in an evaluation analysis that the school students considered the process interesting and useful. Finally, it was possible to observe the conceptual and experience gain that both, school students and those of the university, obtained during this process, as the development of socio-emotional skills of empathy with blind students, and perception of another being, and the shaping of more careful future teachers about these issues, breaking paradigms already established.

Keywords: Blind students, relation university school, model creation, cooperative activity;

References

[1] Waldrop, M.M. “The Science of Teaching Science”, Nature, 2015, 523: 272-274.
[2] Brandenburg L.E. “The institutional program for scholarships for initiation in teaching in Brasil – and a teaching program in music – the relation between theory and practice”, Procedia – Social and Behavioral Science, Elsevier, 2015, 174: 2610-2615.
[3] Rocha S.J.M.; Silva E.P. “Blind Students and the Learning of Genetics in Classroom: Teacher's and Student's Perceptions”, Revista Brasileira de Educação Especial, Marília 2016, 22(4): 589-604.

 

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