Description of Charting Success: The Experience of Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments in Promoting Student Use of Graphics
Structured abstract: Introduction: This study analyzed the qualitative responses of a survey of teachers of students with visual impairments in Canada and the United States about tactile and print graphic use by their students with visual impairments. Questions focused on barriers to students using graphics, strategies taught to tactile graphics users, and profiles of successful tactile and print graphics users. Methods: The researchers followed a thematic analysis approach to independently code and then reach consensus on themes and subthemes of the qualitative responses. Results: In general, the teachers cited a range of challenges under the main themes of quality and instruction. Subcategories included availability of time for both production and instruction, lack of standardization in material production, and student development of concepts through the use of graphics. Main characteristics of successful graphics users included motivation and an ability to apply skills across tasks. Variations in responses for tactile and print graphics users are highlighted. Discussion: Findings highlighted areas in which teachers of students with visual impairments can focus to promote effective graphics use by their students. Commonality in strategies used for teaching tactile graphics was apparent, as was a general belief that being intelligent contributed to success. Implications for practitioners: Frequent exposure and practice with graphics, whether tactile or print, is important. Developing an ability to analyze the features of a graphic and its impact on comprehension can inform strategies for and selection of instructional methods.