Little stories and big pictures: quality education addresses social and economic inequality for the visually impaired locally and globally

Patterson, John and Loomis, Colleen and Brigden, Brigden and Patterson, Patterson (2018) Little stories and big pictures: quality education addresses social and economic inequality for the visually impaired locally and globally. Research in Action, 4. pp. 73-79. ISSN 2515 9364

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Abstract

The role of teacher education has a long history of supporting some, if not all, of the 17 global goals set forth by the United Nations for 2030. Although particular populations are not named in the SDGS, attending to disability groups is requisite in a just world. People who are visually impaired (VI) are ‘one of the greatest untapped labor resources’ (Lynch, 2013, p. 408) and some schools may (albeit unintentionally) miss opportunities to impact local communities, change business practices and societal norms that exclude those who are visually impaired. Unemployment across VI communities and barriers to socialising activities leading to isolation are found in statistics across the developed world (Lynch, 2013; Vision Australia, 2007), and are significantly worse in the poorest and developing countries. It is against this backdrop St. Vincent’s School established the ‘village‘ concept where individual pupils could develop their own ‘flight paths’ by connecting formal National Curriculum lessons with an enriched curriculum attached to their interests and aspirations. In this paper, we reflect on the critical role of building-in the engagement of community with education and the sharing of best practices with new generations of educators. St. Vincent’s School created an ‘education and enterprise’ village that draws learning communities together with a common goal: to widen employment and friendship opportunities with VI pupils. It is this quality education (SDG 4) we seek to share with VI (and other disability) communities to reduce unemployment and access to education inequalities (SDG 10) and thus achieve SDG 8 decent work and economic growth for and from such (connected) learning communities.

Item Type: Article
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Education > Teacher Education
Depositing User: Philippa Williams
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2019 12:29
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2019 00:15
URI: http://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/2816

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