Challenges in teaching and learning mathematics by visually impaired pupils

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Simalalo, Magdalene M
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Scholars such as Osterhaus (2002) have stated that teachers and visually impaired pupils face challenges in mathematics. The aim of this study was to find out the challenges teachers and pupils encounter in mathematics. It further identified the compounding factors and some strategies teachers and pupils put in place to overcome the challenges.The sample comprised teachers and pupils from four schools where the visually impaired learn and also the lecturers at a special education training college. Sixty participants took part in the study. They were sixteen teachers, forty pupils and four lecturers.Questionnaires, focused group discussions and lesson observations were used to collect data. The data was analyzed using qualitative methods to form categories and themes.Simple quantitative analysis was done to come up with percentages.Results of the study revealed that specialist teachers, ordinary teachers and pupils face challenges in mathematics. There were no significant variations in the challenges faced by teachers and pupils. The study found that the effects of the challenges teachers face spill over to the pupils. There were several factors, which made the challenges complicated. The compounding factors emanated from the teachers and the prevailing supply of materials and equipment in schools. In some instances teachers and pupils abandoned mathematics due to challenges coupled with compounding factors. The study also found that teachers and pupils put in place certain measures to overcomechallenges. The attitudes of teachers and pupils towards the subject influenced the kind of in coping strategies they put in place in order to continue teaching and learning mathematics. The study recommended that schools where the visually impaired pupils learn be provided with learning and teaching aids. The teachers of visually impaired pupils must be adequately trained in teaching mathematics.
Mathematics--Study and teaching--Visually Impaired Pupils--Zambia , visually Handicapped Children--Zambia