New Tools for Blind Students to Learn to Think Like Scientists
[Source: Science Daily]
Education for the blind has lagged because science classrooms predominantly rely on visually-based materials. However, innovative new toolboxes on evolutionary biology, set to be released next year, may revolutionize science education for more than 60,000 blind K-12 students, allowing them to collect data through their fingertips and incorporate their findings into a scientific framework. “This work is important because it helps teach students to think like scientists, aiming to instill in these students enthusiasm for lifelong learning,” explains Dr. Colleen Farmer of the University of Utah, the leader of the project.
Farmer and her colleagues have been developing evolutionary toolboxes for blind and visually-impaired K-12 students in collaboration with the Utah Museum of Natural History and the National Federation of the Blind. The toolboxes contain audio and Braille lesson plans, three-dimensional models, tactile games, graphics, and maps, all incorporated into comprehensive lesson plans that address key concepts in evolutionary biology, anatomy, and conservation biology. This initiative, funded by the National Science Foundation, has already produced two prototype toolboxes.
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