Study visual aids for acquirement of mathematical concepts by students with visual pathology



The article deals with the role of descriptive materials in teaching mathematics to students with vision impairment. The issue is regarded in a wider context of sensory vs. logical aspects balance in cogitation. Features of visually impaired people's cognitive functions are brought under discussion; and particularities of their mathematical thinking and patterns of acquiring mathematical concepts are analyzed. The article presents results of empirical pilot study on the meaning of mathematical concepts and modes of use. The study compares individual cases of teaching students with normal vision with cases of teaching students with vision impairments without descriptive materials. It was hypothesized that when teaching students with vision impairments without visual aids, acquired mathematical concepts would be formal and lacking explicit meaning. It was concluded that in higher educational institution having no descriptive materials, the operational concepts would poorly refer to particular subject. If the goal of education is deep insight into the subject studied, students should be provided with descriptive materials, and the latter should be used within the working process.

General Information

Keywords: cogitation, sensory perceptions, mathematical concept, education in mathematics, visual expression, blind and visually impaired

Journal rubric: Clinical and Special Psychology

For citation: Schwartz A.Y. Study visual aids for acquirement of mathematical concepts by students with visual pathology. Psikhologicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie = Psychological Science and Education, 2009. Vol. 14, no. 5, pp. 97–103. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Anna Y. Schwartz, PhD student, General psychology chair, Psychology faculty, the M. V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, e-mail:



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