Andreou, Yiannoula (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
This thesis is intended to impact positively on our ability to understand and describe spatial awareness of children who are blind by investigating children’s explanations, understanding, feelings and coping strategies in their use of space in their everyday experience. It examines whether children who are blind are capable of providing reliable information that informs our knowledge of how they perceive space and how they achieve spatial understanding. The thesis also examines whether children’s voices inform the ideas, the theoretical perspectives and the positions adopted by researchers over the years that are found in the literature, in this complex field. The results are discussed in terms of their implications for the theoretical understanding of children’s experience of spatiality and the diversity of environmental circumstances to which they need to adapt. The results are also discussed in terms of their implications for practice by providing practitioners with theorized evidence of practice that supports the effective learning. Taken together, the evidence suggests that children who are blind are able to verbalize their knowledge about spatial relationships using a wide range of sensory and cognitive strategies and demonstrating a sophisticated understanding of space; thus suggesting that cognitive experiments may not be the only way to study spatial processing in children who are blind.
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