In this study, non-participant observations of visually disabled adult students in extra mural arts education are analysed through Walter Doyle's theory of ambiguity and risk in classroom tasks. This study finds these students attempted to avoid activity, or re-negotiate lecturers' expectations, when their performance became especially threatening to their self-esteem. Additionally, it was found that lecturers were often reluctant to push their students as soon as they realised this risk to them. These results appear to show a phenomenon similar to learned helplessness
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