Faculty Publications

Title

Tactile Earth and space science materials for students with visual impairments: Contours, craters, asteroids, and features of Mars

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Geoscience Education

Volume

59

Issue

4

First Page

205

Last Page

218

Abstract

New tactile curriculum materials for teaching Earth and planetary science lessons on rotation/revolution, silhouettes of objects from different views, contour maps, impact craters, asteroids, and topographic features of Mars to 11 elementary and middle school students with sight impairments at a week-long residential summer camp are presented along with tips for constructing/obtaining the materials. Many of the lessons focused on spatial skills, an important skill area for persons with visual impairments. The pretest-intervention-post-test design study measured both attitude changes and gains in content knowledge. Students reported significant improvements (with large effect sizes) in the frequency of science lessons, the concrete nature of science lessons, the enjoyment these lessons produced, and the amount of participation in the lessons at the summer camp for students with visual disabilities compared to students' regular schools. Students generally showed a lack of knowledge of lesson topics on the pretest; on the post-test, most students were able to articulate basic facts about contour maps, impact crater formation, volcanic rocks, and features of Mars. The materials are recommended for use with sighted students as well as those with visual impairments because of their concrete, tactile nature. © 2011 National Association of Geoscience Teachers.

Original Publication Date

11-1-2011

DOI of published version

10.5408/1.3651404

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