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Home >  JVIB >  The Significance of Specialist Teachers of Learners with Visual Impairments as Agents of Change: Examining Personnel Preparation in the United Kingdom through a Bioecological Systems Theory — JVIB Abstract

The Significance of Specialist Teachers of Learners with Visual Impairments as Agents of Change: Examining Personnel Preparation in the United Kingdom through a Bioecological Systems Theory — JVIB Abstract

Abstract: Introduction: The unique challenges to learning and participation in education associated with visual impairment are well documented in the literature, as is the importance of addressing these challenges through ensuring practitioners who support them are equipped with appropriate knowledge, understanding, and skills. We use a bioecological systems theory as a lens through which to examine the personnel preparation of vision specialist teachers to act as agents of change. We draw on the different teacher preparation programs for specialist teachers of learners with visual impairments in the United Kingdom to demonstrate how this theory can be applied. Methods: We use a bounded case study to bring together the respective teacher preparation programs in the UK in order to demonstrate complementary characteristics of the theoretical model proposed. Results and discussion: We argue that a bioecological systems theory offers a holistic framework for educators involved in personnel preparation to explicitly engage with vision specialist teachers in their role as potential agents of change. This preparation includes developing distinctive knowledge, understanding, and skills to facilitate learner participation in education through promoting “progressive” and “mutual” accommodation between the active learner and the changing learning environments in order to achieve successful outcomes. Implications for practitioners: The article is original in applying a bioecological systems theory to the preparation of these specialist teachers, with a focus on their role as agents of change. We argue that it has significance, therefore, for practitioners and researchers concerned with the personnel preparation of other practitioners for learners with distinctive educational needs across national contexts and settings.


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