A term as concept is a class or category of objects with similar characteristics.
Words are symbols for concepts but they are not the concepts.
Concepts have a common meaning for example by a definition in a lexicon and also an individual meaning by personal experience and relations.
The conditions of conceptualization are formed by:
- The cultural context
- Hability of perception
- Individual characteristics
Concepts can be classified in hierarchies, for example: creature - animal - dog - dachshund. Concept hierarchies help us to lean and remember.
Specialities in conceptualization of blind and partially sighted persons
Blind children don't have:
- Eyecontact and visual communication/interaction between parents and children
- Concerted looking at an object(from the fourth month of life)
- Disadvantages in fine and broad motor skills and physical development(movements are mostly initiated by visual stimulations)
- Gaining experiences through touching and groping have to be strategically and focused developed( It takes much more time and engagement of parents is urgently needed because the blind toddler is often not able to reach and touch things and objects in his environmental surrounding
- Limited recognition of relations between different sensorial stimulations (lower access decreases Imagination and Evaluation of the environmental surrounding)
- Gaining of negative experiences can create reluctance towards exploring the surrounding by touching and groping
- Auditive perception is volatile
- Relation between sound and source is more difficult to recognize
- Less possibilities of self-organized learning with the support of films, books and observations.
- Vocabulary and semantic of blind and sighted children are nearly the same but blind children are using less generalized norms and more specific terms, fewer animal terms and more words of the household
Stimulation and support of conceptualization
- Encouragement of child’s curiosity and exploration
- Decreasing of inhibitions and anxieties
- Verbal support of children’s Environmental - and self-exploration
- Encouragement of dealing with daily activities
- Connections between explanations and actions
- Encouragement and engagement of automotive - and self motivated motions
- Support in gaining new and various experiences
- Acquiring of touching and feeling strategies
- Intensive verbal support in the children’s skill - and language learning process - examples of Actually learned terms should permanently be available and accessible
- Designing and execution of tasks which improving children’s ability of categorizing, description and titling of objects
- Use of boxes to assort and arrange items
- Combining of real objects and models
- Awareness raising for criteria characteristics of objects
- Encouragement of formation of categories and classification in different hierarchies