Cognition and Learning in Diverse Settings: Volume 18


Table of contents

(14 chapters)

The purpose of the present chapter was to synthesize the research that directly compares children with and without reading disabilities on measures of working memory (WM). Working memory has considered at key element children success on reading performance and, therefore, the published literature was assessed. Twenty-eight (28) studies were included in the synthesis, which involved 207 effect sizes. The overall mean effect size estimate in favor of children without reading disabilities (RD) was –0.89 (SE=0.08). Effect sizes were submitted to a hierarchical linear modeling. Results indicated that children with RD were distinctively disadvantaged compared with average readers when memory manipulations required a transformation of information. Age, IQ, reading level, and domain specificity (verbal vs. visual/spatial measures) were not significant predictors of effect size estimates. The findings indicated that domain general WM differences persisted across age, and these differences operated independent of effect size differences in reading and IQ.

In the literature there is limited research on the interaction of language and arithmetic performance of deaf students, although previous studies have demonstrated that many of these students are delayed in both their language acquisition and arithmetic performance. The focus of the first part of this work is a brief review of the literature on acquisition of learning abilities in prelingually deaf children with hearing aids and cochlear implants. Children who experience severe to profound deafness early in their life have a better prognosis for normal literacy development than ever before. In fact, the restoration of the auditory threshold allows children to achieve language and learning abilities like normally hearing children. In the second part we describe our initial experiences in the field. We discuss some preliminary results of an investigation of the longitudinal development of cognitive abilities related to numerical cognition in hearing-impaired children who have had a hearing aid or a cochlear implant at a young age. Specifically, we analyse the development of numerical abilities related to verbal abilities (such as those implied in counting tasks), reading and writing numbers, and analogical numerical abilities (such as those based on quantity recognition as in number comparison and number seriation).

Several criteria were used for this study to determine the relevance of the literature for the purpose of the review. First, all articles were required to be published in peer-reviewed journals. Next, all articles were required to be primary sources. Reviews of the literature found throughout the search procedures were used as supporting information, as well as the basis for this review. Only quantitative studies were included in this review; opinion papers and qualitative studies were not incorporated into the results. The participants in each study had to be identified as having a learning disability. Studies that included regular education students as a control or comparative group were included as long as the treatment group included students with learning disabilities. The students with learning disabilities were required to possess verbal deficits. Those studies that examined students with non-verbal learning disabilities were excluded from this review. All studies were required to be in English and conducted in the United States.

The purpose of this chapter is to describe a study that identified the school variables that seem to have the greatest impact on placement of students in high incidence special education programs (i.e., special programs for students with emotional and/or behavioral disorders, specific learning disabilities, and educable mental handicaps). School records of 42 students who were identified when they were in primary school as at risk for learning, emotional, and behavioral disorders were examined retrospectively over three grades (i.e., grades 3 and 4, grades 5 and 6, and grades 7 and 8). Of these, 21 students had been placed in high incidence special education programs, and 21 had not been placed. Low achievement and academic performance and a high number of negative comments by their teachers were the two most salient variables associated with placement. Implications for prevention/intervention efforts and effective service delivery options are discussed.

The purpose of this investigation was to compare outcomes associated with peer tutoring vs. teacher-directed instruction for secondary level students with mild disabilities in inclusive chemistry classes. Thirty-nine students of whom 10 were classified with disabilities participated in a 9-week chemistry unit, under either experimental or traditional instruction conditions. The same co-teachers, including one chemistry and one special education teacher during the regularly assigned chemistry classes, taught both classes. The students in the experimental condition participated in classwide peer tutoring of important content required on statewide high stakes testing. Mnemonic and other verbal cues were included to facilitate verbal recall, and peer questioning provided for comprehension and elaboration of the concepts. Post-tests revealed that students in the tutoring condition outperformed students in the traditional condition, and that the gains of the students with learning disabilities descriptively exceeded those of the typically-achieving students. Students without learning disabilities outperformed students with learning disabilities, and students scored higher on factual items than on comprehension items. Implications for instruction and future research are discussed.

In this chapter I address: (a) current perspectives on the teacher–student relationship; (b) assessment issues; and (c) the implications of early student-teacher relationships for school adjustment. While substantial progress has been made on the conceptualization and measurement of the teacher–child relationship construct, it is important to empirically establish the multidimensionality of the construct across the school years. Research that examines the perspectives of both teachers and children is also critically needed in light of growing evidence that the teacher–child relationship is crucial in the early school years. The evidence on the role of the teacher–student relationship on school adjustment indicates that low relational negativity seems to particularly benefit children who present with troubling behaviors early in school. However, the nature of the association between early school adjustment and the teacher–child relationship is far from conclusive. Attention to constructs that represent warmth, closeness, caring, and nurturance is needed for research to explore what aspects of these constructs might serve as buffers against adversity.

School inclusion of students with disabilities in ordinary classes is a multidimensional phenomena that may be evaluated with respect to different dimensions: social acceptance, social interactions, and supports toward the student with disabilities, teachers’ and parents’ attitudes toward inclusion, and students’ mental representations of the peer with disabilities. The purpose of the present review is to present several methods for evaluating school inclusion: sociometric techniques, systematic observation, questionnaires, and student drawings. Additionally, an integrated use of these methods is presented to plan interventions to facilitate school integration.

This qualitative research study focused upon collaboration between regular and special education teachers in middle school inclusive social studies classrooms. Data sources included interviews, observations and a review of Individualized Education Plans (IEPs). Two pairs of regular and special education teachers (high and low collaborators) were selected from three schools in different counties. Major findings included a description of the ways teachers formed and maintained their relationships, the role of administrators, and obstacles that needed to be overcome. Lack of time was identified as the greatest obstacle. IEPs were not found to be useful. Teacher use of accommodations and strategies tended to be global, rather than individualized. Perceptions of role were examined by teacher type.

Italian epidemiological data reveal a large discrepancy between the incidence of learning disabilities in mathematics and simple difficulties in mathematics. The incidence of dyscalculia (specific learning disability in mathematics) is about 2%, whereas the incidence of students with difficulties in arithmetic is surprisingly greater, estimated by teachers to be about five students out of 25 (that is, 20%). This unexpectedly high number of students with difficulties invites serious consideration of its cause and remedy. In this chapter, we try to answer to these questions in the light of two educational studies aimed at improving calculation abilities and the outcome of an intervention with three single cases with dyscalculia using the model and the materials of an innovative arithmetical curriculum. The results suggest that for most children, their arithmetic difficulties are simple consequences of their math instruction, which may be remediated by integrating traditional math curricula with information derived from the research on the cognitive arithmetical architecture and its development. There are also implications that even the arithmetical difficulties of dyscalculic children may be improved with special training focused on their specific impairments revealed after a detailed assessment.

This chapter reports on the results from several extended qualitative investigations of co-teaching in science and social studies content area classes, on both elementary and secondary levels. In these investigations, co-teaching partners were studied and interviewed over several years, with the view of uncovering attitudes and procedures closely associated with successful collaborative partnerships. In some cases, these investigations took place in the context of implementation of research-based instructional strategies. Analysis of data from these investigations revealed that there was considerable variability in the way co-teaching practices were implemented, the attitudes toward co-teaching expressed by teachers, and the success of the co-teaching partnerships. It was thought that several variables, including content expertise, concerns for high-stakes testing, and the personal compatibility of co-teachers played an important role in the success of the co-teaching relationship.

The purpose of this paper is to report about the presence of misconceptions in the historical thinking of fifth-grade children with learning disabilities (LD) and their normally achieving (NA) peers. We also sought to determine the effects of implementing an integrated instructional unit about 19th century U.S. Westward Expansion on children's historical misconceptions. This unit was taught over an eight-week period by a special education teacher (subsequently referred to as Ms. M) who had approximately two years of prior professional teaching experience. In addition to quantitative information about changes in children's content knowledge, we report interview data about children's understanding of historical content and historical reasoning. Furthermore, we captured on videotape approximately 12h of classroom instruction. Ms. M and the first author of this paper independently reviewed and then discussed these videotapes for the purpose of assessing the effects of her teaching practices on the development of children's historical understanding. The implications of our findings are discussed.

Publication date
Book series
Advances in Learning and Behavioral Disabilities
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
Book series ISSN