Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
Dr. William E. Walker
T.D. Cutsforth once stated that "no single mental activity of the congenitally blind child is not distorted by the absence of sight." Blindness permeates the intellectual functioning of language, thought, comprehension and conceptualization. Ultimately, the child lacking vision will both understand and respond to the world in a manner unlike that of a sighted child. This incongruous interaction breeds frustration since the blind are a minority in a world which concentrates on the characteristics, needs, behaviors, and accomplishments of sighted individuals. Lacking the visual modality, the blind rely on the information about the objective world which they receive from people who see. Considering the incomplete picture resulting from second-hand knowledge, it hardly is possible to expect a steady cognitive process of the blind, undistorted by the material brought to bear on them from a sighted environment.
To investigate concept formation and development in blind children, various components of cognitive functioning will be discussed, primarily from a Piagetian perspective. Beginning with an overview of the visual for concept development, the potential handicaps for the blind infant will be outline. Progressing from an elaboration of the characteristics and various types of concepts, special attention will be given to a comparison of sighted and blind individuals in the following areas: language, conceptualization of the self and the environment, concrete vs. abstract thinking, and most extensively, Piagetian tenants and stage theory.
Franco, Kimberly J., "Concept formation and development in the congenitally blind child" (1982). Honors Theses. 485.