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Online Course

Teaching Children with Visual Impairment: Creating Empowering Classrooms

University of Cape Town via Coursera

Overview

In the education of children with visual impairment, there is at present a global movement away from segregated special schooling, and towards inclusive neighbourhood schools. Inclusion provides an opportunity for everyone, teachers as well as learners, to become more acquainted about life with visual impairment and to overcome some of the barriers of difference which have existed in the past. But if it is to be successful, teachers and others require key skills and insights in order to create classroom environments which fully accommodate the learning needs of children with visual impairment. In this course, you will discover the visually impaired child by recognizing that there are many different eye conditions and that each affects learning and behavior differently. During the course, we will explore the Expanded Core Curriculum, which is a collection of content areas that teachers integrate into the core curriculum to give visually impaired learners access to knowledge that sighted learners gain through observation. You will also learn how to make your classroom, the content, your teaching, and the assessments accessible through curriculum differentiation strategies. By the end of the course you will have the necessary tools to create empowering classrooms where you can teach children with visual impairment in an inclusive, accessible, and attuned space.

You will be able to purchase a Verified Certificate if you wish to show evidence of your achievements, but this is optional, and you may apply for Financial Aid if you are unable to pay the certificate fee.

Syllabus

Discover the visually impaired child
-Welcome to the first week of the course! In this week, we take you on a journey to explore visual impairment and in doing so, help you discover the visually impaired child in your classroom. We consider the different educational settings in which visually impaired children may find themselves as well as different eye conditions and how these circumstances may affect the child’s learning and behaviour in the classroom. You will also start with the important task of creating an empowering classroom by learning how to create an inclusive space. At the end of the week, I have invited a group of visually impaired professionals to discuss some of the issues based on their experience. You will also have the opportunity to share your thoughts in the discussion forum and look through the list of further resources we provide. This week’s assessment is a quiz. May you have a rich and empowering first week.

The Expanded Core Curriculum for the visually impaired child
-Welcome to the second week of the course! This week we will deal in some detail with the Expanded Core Curriculum (or ECC). This is a collection of content areas that teachers integrate into the core curriculum to give visually impaired learners access to the incidental knowledge that sighted learners gain through observation. Various guest presenters will discuss the areas of the ECC, bringing you their specialist knowledge. A Braille specialist will introduce what Braille tuition may involve and provide a set of principles to support learners who are being taught Braille. At the end of the week, the panel discussion focuses on the ECCs potential to empower visually impaired learners. You will have an opportunity to share your insights on the discussion forum and add to your learning from the additional resources provided. The assessment this week is a written exercise where you can practice applying the ECC to a lesson of your choice.

Curriculum differentiation and assistive technology
-Welcome to the third week of the course! In this week you will learn about the need and importance of differentiating the curriculum for the children with visual impairment. This means modifying and adapting the curriculum according to the different abilities and learning styles of learners within a class. You will also learn about identifying suitable learning and teaching support material, assessment adaptations, and assistive technology devices or programs for each individual child with visual impairment. The week concludes as usual with opinions and experiences from our expert panel, an opportunity to share your thoughts with your peers in the discussion forum, additional resources to explore, and a graded quiz. This week you also have an opportunity to cover additional content on making learning materials accessible for the voluntary honors assignment.

Becoming an empowered teacher
-Welcome to the last week on the course! In this week, you will gain further understanding about the importance of tending to psycho-social issues of visually impaired children by listening to them with respect, patience, and compassion. We will also describe practical things you can do to broaden your networks of support. Then you will hear from an experienced school principal about empowering yourself and your school through collaboration s. As it is the last week, we have invited our panellist to discuss this week’s topics as well as offering a final reflection on creating inclusive classrooms. The end of course assessment is a graded quiz, and we will leave you with a rich set of resources to support your endeavour to becoming an empowered teacher.

Taught by

Brian Watermeyer

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Reviews

5.0 rating, based on 2 reviews

Start your review of Teaching Children with Visual Impairment: Creating Empowering Classrooms

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    This is not only a course, it is an eye opener (Yes, I say that, fully intending the pun) about how teachers, staff, school administrators, curriculum designers and everyone involved in education can impact the lives of Visually Impaired learners in a positive and meaningful way. This course goes far beyond the academic, as it tackles real-world issues, faced by VI learners and what we can do to make their learning fair and equitable.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Very useful to me because i am special education teacher who haven't any idea of inclusive education and how to teach children with visually impaired now very worth it to finished this course. Thank you

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