Concept Development for Students with Visual Impairments

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Concept development is one of the most important ways students with visual impairments can learn about the world around them. This lesson discusses what concept development is and how it works in students with visual impairments.

Understanding Concept Development

Will has been teaching students with visual impairments, or disabilities that affect their sight and capacity to process visual information, for five years.

This year, he has decided to focus on learning about concept development. Will knows that in the context of teaching students with visual impairments, concept development is a way of teaching about objects and their relationships with other objects that does not rely on sight.

Will is very interested in helping his students have meaningful interactions with the world around them. He knows that this will aid them cognitively and will also move them toward a capacity to function independently in life.

Will starts learning more about some of the strategies involved in concept development.

Teaching About Shape, Size, and Texture

First, Will is interested in using concept development to teach his students about the different objects they interact with on a daily basis. He knows that for a student who cannot see, or who has impaired vision, some of the aspects of an object must be understood conceptually, rather than concretely.

For instance, if a student cannot see an orange to know that it is a sphere, they will have to learn about the concept of a sphere and then find other ways to fit the orange into this schema.

In other words, Will wants to use concept development to teach students about shape, size, and texture.

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