Influence of teaching methods on the academic performance of students with visual impairments within inclusive schools in the Buea municipality, South West region of Cameroon

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Influence of teaching methods on the academic performance of students with visual impairments within inclusive schools in the Buea municipality, South West region of Cameroon

Department: Curriculum Studies and Teaching

No of Pages: 58

Project Code: CST6

References: Yes

Cost: 5,000XAF Cameroonian

         : $15 for International students

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The purpose of the study was to examine the influence of teaching method on the academic performance of students with visual impairments within inclusive schools in Buea municipality, South West region of Cameroon.

The study utilized a sample of 08 visually impaired students from 02 selected secondary schools in the Buea municipality southwest region of Cameroon. The Case study research design employed a semi-structured interview for data collection. This study made use of the Narrative analysis in analyzing the comments of the respondents.


Three themes were created based on the research questions such as; how does illustrative teaching affect the performance of learners with visual impairments?, to what extend does demonstrative teaching method affect performance of learners with visual impairments?, and how doe collaborative teaching influence academic performance of learners with visual impairments?. Comments from interviewees were narrated following their responses on the different themes.


Findings of the study revealed that methods used by regular teachers in classrooms containing visually impaired learners do not sufficiently address their learning needs. This is because teachers in inclusive schools in Buea do not adequately possess knowledge of adapting and modifying methods, teaching resources, and implementing Individualized Education Plan (IEP).


With the use of teaching methods such as illustrative and demonstrative teachings, achieving realities of inclusive education in these schools and others facing similar challenges is a difficult endeavor (Abosi, 2000; Zindi, 1997).


It is recommended that, regular teachers should attend many workshops and seminars to boost their capacity on the various techniques involved in handling. In addition, the school administration and government should endeavor to test skills, and experiences   of teachers before assigning them.




Teaching methods are standard procedures of presenting subject matter and organizing teacher-student interaction during a lesson. Each teaching strategy is associated with a method. Teaching methods can be general or specific. General teaching methods are the procedures that are common in the teaching of different subjects.


Specific teaching methods on the other hand may be applicable mainly in teaching specific subjects. For instance, specific teaching methods can be used to teach language and other specific subjects. Thus, this research is aimed at determining the influence of teaching methods on the academic performance of students with visual impairment within an inclusive classroom.


On this note, the methods used by a teacher to teach learners especially those with profound visual impairment, would have a greater influence on their academic performance either positively through excellent achievements or negatively in the form of poor performance.

This chapter is an introduction of the entire research study and focuses on the background of the study, contextual background, theoretical background, statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research questions, justification of the study, significance of the study, scope of the study and operational definition of terms.


Background of the study

Historically, the evolution of teaching methods dates back from the Ancient times wherein learning is very much different from what we are accustomed today but some concept and philosophies are still being used today. In ancient times, about 3000 BC, with the advent of writing, education became more conscious or self−reflecting, with specialized occupations such as scribe and astronomer requiring particular skills and knowledge.


Philosophy in ancient Greece led to questions of educational method entering national discourse. In Plato literally work; ‘the Republic’, he described a system that he felt would lead to an ideal state. In his dialogues, he described the Socratic method, a form of inquiry and debate intended to stimulate critical thinking and illuminate ideas.


During the Medieval education, Comenius, in Bohemia, wanted all children to learn. He created an illustrated textbook of things children would be familiar with in everyday life and used it to teach children. Much later, Jean−Jacques Rousseau in his Emile, demonstrated methodology to teach children the elements of science and more.

During Napoleonic warfare, the teaching strategy of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi of Switzerland enabled refugee children, of a class believe to be unteachable to learn and love to learn. He described this in the account of the educational experiment at Stanz. He felt the key to have children learn is for them to be loved.


19th Century – compulsory education. The Prussian education system was a system of mandatory education dating to the early 19th century. Parts of the Prussian education systems have served as models for the education systems in a number of other countries. 

This Prussian model obliges classroom management skills to be integrated into the teaching process. In the 20th century, the philosopher Eli Siegel posited that the purpose of education is to ‘like the world through knowing it’.


Teachers in New York found that student performance enhance when this principle was employed in their teaching methods. Many current teaching philosophies are aimed at fulfilling the precepts of a curriculum based on Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE).  According to Dr. Shaikh Imran, the teaching strategy in education is a new concept in the teaching learning process.


New methods involved in the teaching learning process are television, radio, computer, etc. other educators think that the use of technology, while facilitating learning to some extend is not a substitute for educational method that brings about critical thinking and a desire to learn.  Another modern teaching technique is inquiry learning and the related inquiry based science.

Academic performance is the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has attained their short or long-term educational goals. For instance, completion of educational benchmarks such as secondary school diplomas and bachelor’s degrees represent academic performance\achievement.


Academic performance is commonly measured through examinations or continuous assessments. There is no general agreement on how it is best evaluated or which aspects are most important. 

Furthermore, there are inconclusive results over which individual factors successfully predict academic performance, elements such as test anxiety, environment, motivation and emotions require considerations when developing models of school achievement. 


Academic performance refers to the students learning outcome of a school curriculum. It is a crucial indicator of education quality. Academic achievement assessment is an essential means by which education quality is evaluated and guaranteed. Since the beginning of school education, there had been examination of student performance, a form of academic achievement assessment to some extent.


But in the context of modern education, academic achievement assessment has specific features of its own. These specificity lies in its close connection with people’s efforts to promote equity and quality in education, to adjust education policy as well as to make classroom interventions.


Conceptually, visual impairment can be defined legally and educationally. The legal definition describes visual impairment by considering the visual acuity of a person. It describes a blind person as the one having vision acuity of 20\200 or less than that, even by using optical devices. 

This means that a person with blindness can see an object at 20 feet whereas a sighted person can see at 200 feet. A legal definition considers a person with low vision as having visual acuity of 20\70 meaning that; a person with low vision can see an object at 20 feet whereas a person with normal vision can see at 70 feet (Spungin, 2002). Visual impairment is classified into the following categories;

  • Mild visual impairment, which means the visual challenge is less than 25% of the time with an intensity that a person can tolerate.
  • Moderate visual impairment, this is when the present problem is less than 50% of the time with an intensity, which is partially interfering, in the person day to day life.
  • Severe visual impairment, it means the visual impairment is more than 50% of the time, with an intensity which is interfering in the person’s day to day life.
  • Complete or profound visual impairment, this means that the visual impairment is more critical over 95% with an intensity which is totally disrupting the person’s daily life.


Persons with visual impairment have characteristics which are usually defined by a degree of visual impairment, age-onset, cognitive development, language development, motor and mobility development, social and emotional development (Beatrice and Janet, 2003). However, there are educational characteristics of persons with visual impairment.


These characteristics depend on the extent of visual efficiency of an individual learner. Learners with visual impairment demonstrate the following characteristics; intellectual abilities are similar to those of sighted peers, they are unable to use sight to assist them in the development of concepts, the development of their concepts depends on their tactile experience, they are unable to use visual imagery, they may display repetitive stereotyped movement


For example, rocking or rubbing of eyes, they are withdrawn, dependent and are unable to use non-verbal cues, they have difficulty using special information and visual imagery and imagery problems with functional-implications, among others. 

This study would be based on learners/students with profound visual impairment, the teaching methods use in teaching, and how these teaching methods influence their academic performance.


Contextual background

According to Tambo, teaching methods are important components for the curriculum for they determine how effective the objectives would be attained. The teaching methods are chosen based on the objectives to be attained. Learning outcomes according to Tambo (2003) are of many types. 

There are many higher order learning outcomes and lower order learning outcomes.  While lower order learning outcomes only helps an individual to remember information, higher learning order outcomes helps an individual to solve problems which is the goal of education. Some characteristics of teaching methods include; drill, dramatization, lecture, demonstration, illustration, discussion, and collaboration among others. 


Teachers are seen as vehicles through which learning and performance are expected to be reflected by students of all categories without living out those with visual impairment. A number of variables may prevent this from happening. These include teacher’s qualification, training of teachers, adapting of the syllabus, didactic materials, sighted attitude, and administrative amongst other variables.


This framework portrays that teaching students with visual impairment brings about challenges especially on the part of the teachers (Mutunga, 2019). A great number of books, articles, as well as laws have been put in place to foster and enhance the educational process of the disabled.


The education of students with special educational needs has been a concern to the international community since the 1994 United Nations Salamanca statement and framework for action on special needs education (UNESCO, 1994). World nation committed to providing access for students with special needs to be educated with their peers.


Cameroon Law No.83/13, Article 3, of July 1983, provided for the needs and protection of individuals with disabilities with three major provisions: integration of children in ordinary schools, admission in special classes, and admission into specialized institutions (protection of disabled persons, 2003). School performance is an issue that deeply concerns students, parents, teachers and authorities not only in our country, but also in many other countries and continents of the world. 

Several authors agree that academic performance is the result of learning, prompt by the teaching activity of the teacher and produced by the students.  From a humanistic approach, Martinez in (2007) states that academic performance is "the product given by the students and it is usually expressed in school grades".


Poor academic performance of learners with visual impairment in particular has been documented by many researchers. This is also collaborated by high failure in public examinations in the country such as G.C.E (General Certificate of Education). This has been attributed to the fact that strategies used in our classrooms and the different methods are not very effective.


Theoretical Background

Two theories will be used to inform the objectives of the study, these theories include; the theory of social constructivist by Vygotsky (1928) and the theory of classical conditioning by Ivan Pavlov.

Constructivist theory: constructivism is a view that emphasizes the active role of students in building understanding and making sense of the information. The constructivist teaching is learners-centered where students are actively involved in knowledge construction rather than mere passive learners.


Constructivists’ view can be organized in two forms: psychological and social. In psychological constructivists’ view such as Piaget, students construct knowledge by transforming, organizing, reorganizing previous knowledge. Whereas, social constructivists’ view such as Vygotsky, opportunities are provided to students to learn through social interaction in the construction of knowledge and understanding.


Pavlov Classical conditioning theory: this is learning from a behaviorist viewpoint. According to this viewpoint learning is ‘formation of conditioned reflexes’ or “acquisition of involuntary anticipatory adjustment” or “a habit formation”, so that behavior may become automatic.


By “anticipatory adjustment” he means “organic behavior” which is “not complete” but “with a gap in the whole equilibrium pattern”. For example, hunger function of the stomach etc., are the organic behavior with a gap and so incomplete.


It becomes complete when the object of hunger is obtained. Importance of anticipatory adjustment is very great because, firstly, it is the foundation for all voluntary behavior. Secondly, it is the active desires that sets the goal and make the organism strive. Thirdly, it determines “the mindset” or “organic pattern of readiness”.


Statement of the Problem

The purpose for teaching generally is to bring desirable change and good outcome from the learners. Teachers on their part are those to make this come true with the way they present the subject matter to the students.


This research study titled “the influence of teaching methods on the academic performance of students with visual impairment within inclusive schools in the Buea municipality, south west region of Cameroon” is problematic as the reverse seem to be the case for learners with visual impairment.


This category of learners face difficulties using their sights properly as such, certain teaching techniques or methods employed by regular teachers in inclusive schools in Buea are not favorable for them to fully participation hence affecting their performance academically.


Poor academic performance resulting from teaching methods employed has consequences on the learners, the school, family and the society.

  • To the learners, poor academic performance gives low self-esteem and lust of self-confidence. Students are usually inspired when they perform well in class exercises or exams and are motivated inwardly to learn. However, when they are not doing well, they turn to lust confidence in themselves and become low esteemed.
  • On the part of the school, poor academic performance would cause a fall in school enrolment. Every parent wants the best for their child(ren) as such, they will only enroll their children in schools with good academic records thus, narrowing enrollment into schools with poor academic records.
  • To the family, poor school performance causes stress to the parents. Stress in that for an average family they would have to work hard in other to raise income for fees and other school necessities.
  • Poor academic performance on the part of the society or world at large leads to an increase in the number of school drop outs as well as increasing the illiteracy rate of a society. Also, it can result to the implementation of laws and policies for improve educational outcome for all learners including those with disabilities.

Objectives of the Study

Objective of the study is structured into main objective and specific objectives.


Main Objective

  • This research seeks mainly to investigate the influence of teaching methods on the academic achievement of learners with visual impairment within inclusive schools in the Buea municipality, south west region of Cameroon.


Specific Objectives

Specifically, this research seeks to;

  1. Investigate the influence of illustration teaching on the academic performance of students with visual impairment within inclusive schools in the Buea municipality, southwest region of Cameroon.
  2. Investigate the influence of demonstration on the academic performance of students with visual impairment within inclusive schools in the Buea municipality, southwest region of Cameroon.
  3. Investigate the influence of interaction (collaboration) teaching on the academic performance of students with visual impairment within inclusive schools in the Buea municipality.

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