Session S59a (Wednesday, 9:30am, Wartik 106)

P653: Hands-on experiences, self-efficacy, and STEM underrepresentation of students who are blind or visually impaired - WITHDRAWN

Mick Isaacson (Purdue University, USA)

Students who are blind or have low vision (BLV) are underrepresented in post-secondary studies and careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). One possible reason for this underrepresentation may arise from classroom and laboratory experiences that do not promote adequate self-efficacy concerning one’s capacity to function in the STEM fields. Educational research suggests that enactive engagement and mastery promotes the development of self-efficacy in the domain specific to which active engagement occurred. Students with BLV are frequently relegated to passive observers in science classrooms and laboratories. Consequently, they are not provided with many opportunities for enactive engagement and mastery, which is not conducive to the development of self-efficacy in STEM. Research will be presented on the development of software for increasing enactive engagement in science laboratories by students with BLV. Measures of learning, self-efficacy, and inclination to consider STEM fields of study by BLV students after experiences with the software will be discussed.

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