Exploring the academic and social challenges of visually impaired students in learning high school mathematics
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Inclusive education is the practice of integrating visually impaired students into regular classrooms. Differentiation becomes critically important in inclusive education in order to address the academic and social development of all students within the same classroom. However, there is a need to examine the practice of inclusive education in the Turkish context in regard to visually impaired students’ experiences. This qualitative study explored the challenges of visually impaired students in learning high school mathematics. Under the influence of naturalistic inquiry, the constant comparison method was used to analyze semi-structured interviews, which were conducted with four visually impaired students. Major findings were presented under six themes: emphasizing the role of the mathematics teachers, the learning styles of visually impaired students, the use of materials, the evaluation of inclusive education, the assessment system, and the participant perspectives for equity in mathematics education. The findings were discussed in terms of the previously conducted research on teacher knowledge, differentiated instruction and assessment, and motivation. It was concluded that social needs of visually impaired students have been successfully met through inclusive education while their academic needs were far from being satisfactorily addressed.
KeywordsInclusive education in Turkey
visually impaired students
equity principle in mathematics education