All students in our schools, including those with disabilities, are entitled to participate in outdoor learning opportunities. Learning out of school is of great value because it is reality-based and motivating. However, previous research has found that students with visual impairment in mainstream Hong Kong secondary schools often encounter difficulties (and even exclusion) in learning activities conducted outdoors. The research reported here aimed to explore the reactions of students with visual impairment who participate in outdoor learning opportunities, and then to recommend solutions for overcoming any obstacles that they identified. A phenomenological inquiry approach was applied to examine data through the lived experiences of the students. Their perceptions of the experiences offered by their schools were also collected. Three key findings emerged. First, most of the mainstream schools do provide outdoor learning opportunities to all students, including those with visual impairment. Second, some students with visual impairment love to participate in outdoor learning because they can acquire more real-life knowledge, beyond what is found in the textbook; and they can also socialize with different people (e.g., the volunteers and the people in communities). Third, students with visual impairment perceive that they can play a more active role (e.g., as a leader) in outdoor activities to help them learn effectively. Additional findings were: (a) public’s non-inviting attitudes were perceived to be a difficulty the students encountered, (b) students with visual impairment tend to need more time to deal with homework and revision for examinations, and often reluctantly choose to withdraw from optional outdoor learning opportunities, and (c) there are insufficient provisions made for their outdoor learning and opportunities in community service. Implications of the findings for school policies and practices are discussed. Copyright © 2016 Centre for Advancement in Inclusive and Special Education, Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong. All Rights Reserved.
CitationChung, Y. B., Yuen, M., Ho, J., & Leung, J. Y. C. (2016). Useful information from the students with visual impairment in Hong Kong mainstream schools who participated in outdoor learning opportunities. CAISE Review, 4, 5-41. doi: 10.12796/caise-review.2016V4.002
- Students with visual impairment
- Outdoor learning opportunities
- Inclusive education
- Alt. title: 在主流中學就讀的視障學童就參與戶外學習機會的觀感