Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

An assessment system demonstrates the learning capacity and cognitive abilities of children with Down’s syndrome

20.02.2008
Researchers from the Department of Personality, Assessment and Psychological Treatmentat the University of Granada have adapted a set of assessment criteria created by lecturers from the USA to the Spanish language.

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.

Inappropriate tests

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
Further information:
http://prensa.ugr.es/prensa/research/verNota/prensa.php?nota=505

More articles from Science Education:

nachricht Cebit 2018: Saarbrücken Start-up combines Tinkering and Programming for Elementary School Kids
05.06.2018 | Universität des Saarlandes

nachricht The classroom of tomorrow – DFKI and TUK open lab for new digital teaching and learning methods
03.05.2018 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

All articles from Science Education >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Subaru Telescope helps pinpoint origin of ultra-high energy neutrino

16.07.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Barium ruthenate: A high-yield, easy-to-handle perovskite catalyst for the oxidation of sulfides

16.07.2018 | Life Sciences

New research calculates capacity of North American forests to sequester carbon

16.07.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>