This system makes it possible to assess abilities, attitudes and learning capacities of pre-school children when fulfilling different tasks. This project, which was developed by María Auxiliadora Robles Bello and directed by lecturer María Dolores Calero García, has put this methodology into practice for the first time with a group of children with Down’s syndrome in order to find out their skills and attitudes towards learning. Their aim was to establish separate special education services for children with Down’s syndrome and children with intellectual impairment due to unknown reasons.
The research, carried out at the UGR, included 127 children aged from 3 to 6 attending classes in different public schools in the province of Jaén (Andalusia). The researchers divided them into four groups. The first group comprised children with Down’s syndrome; the second, called “Mental Retardation”, comprised children who had been diagnosed with intellectual impairment by the Guidance Team at school; the third group, called “Pre-school”, comprised pre-school children considered to be “normal” by their teachers as they showed a typical development. Finally, the fourth group was called “Control” and was not in training.
This UGR study has validated an assessment technique known as ACFS or Application of Cognitive Functions Scale (Lidz and Jepsen, 1999). ACFS uses basic learning strategies and cognitive processes associated with typical early childhood learning activities (children from 3 to 5 years old). Therefore, the aim is to apply ACFS to Spanish pre-school children. María Auxiliadora Robles points out that the ACFS scale is an appropriate assessment technique for Spanish pre-school children with Down’s syndrome, as the authors promised regarding children with developmental delays in general. The success of this assessment technique lies in the fact that it can be properly used both with children who develop normally and with children with Down’s syndrome.
Up to now, many studies have shown that traditional tests are inappropriate for determining whether a child is eligible for special education services, since they are based on static parameters which make learning impossible during the assessment. The research carried out at UGR shows that Dynamic Assessment is a useful method for determining cognitive and learning characteristics of people with Down’s syndrome.
ACFS is theoretically based on Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) as well as on Feuerstein’s Mediated Learning Experience and Structural Cognitive Modifiability. As regards methodology, it follows the same steps, irrespective of its name, which consist of applying in parallel two methods of carrying out the same task or test. This is done at two different times during the assessment process: at the beginning (pre-test) and at the end (post-test). The most important part of the process is the training between the beginning and the end, which endeavours to produce a positive post-test result.
María Auxiliadora Robles Bello stresses that “it is necessary to be aware of the clear disadvantage people with Down’s syndrome suffer in everyday life, especially in the academic world. Therefore, there is no doubt that, in order to take responsibility of the needs of these people, it is essential to study and understand their possibilities and distinctive features. This is why we try to learn more about these people with the aim of creating possible assessment systems which will make it easier to determine how their particular learning processes work”. Robles Bello thinks that “we should break away from the idea that inequality among people is genetically determined. Hence, it is very important to demonstrate that people with Down’s syndrome have a learning capacity, which has come to light thanks to this assessment technique”.
Antonio Marín Ruiz | alfa
Decision-making research in children: Rules of thumb are learned with time
19.10.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
Young people discover the "Learning Center"
20.09.2016 | Research Center Pharmaceutical Engineering GmbH
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy