Personalised teaching and support

Scientific Committee: Daniela Lucangeli
Periodicity: october, february

Vol. 15, n. 1, 2018

Table of Contents

Dyscalculia, dyslexia, and specific language impairment (SLI) are relatively specific developmental learning disabilities in math, reading, and oral language, respectively, that occur in the context of average intellectual capacity and adequate environmental opportunities. Past research has been dominated by studies focused on single impairments despite the widespread recognition that overlapping and comorbid deficits are common. The present study took an epidemiological approach to study the learning profiles of a large school age sample in language, reading, and math. Both general learning profiles reflecting good or poor performance across measures and specific learning profiles involving either weak language, weak reading, weak math, or weak math and reading were observed. These latter four profiles characterized 70% of children with some evidence of a learning disability. Low scores in phonological short-term memory characterized clusters with a language-based weakness whereas low or variable phonological awareness was associated with the reading (but not language-based) weaknesses. The low math only group did not show these phonological deficits. These findings may suggest different etiologies for language-based deficits in language, reading, and math, reading-related impairments in reading and math, and isolated math disabilities.

Esperienze di ricerca in ambito educativo

«Mathematics? No problem». Using BIN 4-6 tests in the first year of primary school

DOI: 10.14605/DIM1511803

Over the last few years the BIN 4-6 (Molin, Poli and Lucangeli, 2007) tests have been frequently used in order to examine the development of calculation ability precursors in children at the start of primary school with the aim of preventing calculation difficulties in a moment which is still favourable (only if after the assessment targeted activities are then set). Due to the fact that their standardisation only concerns nursery schools and envisages criteria for age ranges expressed in months, new normative criteria have emerged regarding in a selective way the start of the first year of primary school. These new criteria are functional to and meet the aims the tests were set up to achieve and specifically the kind of teaching envisaged in primary school.

The purpose of the article is to show that from the earliest age (0-3 years), children are able to enact, if stimulated, certain innate mathematical abilities, especially problem solving. Mathematics is thought of as something related to reality and not just as abstract activity is the only way to knowledge. Particular attention will be paid to the influence of the environment; an environment conceived and designed to increase opportunities for play associated with numbers so that mathematical language becomes part of the daily lives of children. Playing also implies the dynamics of error: through playing you can make mistakes and the mistake, if experienced from early childhood, can take on a positive functional connotation of learning, as it spurs the child to improve and learn something new. The main goal set for this programme was: to help children develop critical thinking, starting from everyday life and experience and encouraging the development of the most appropriate learning and strategies thorough play, the use of material found in the child’s environment and practical activities.

At the beginning of the 2014/2015 school year I therefore administered the AC-MT 11-14 (Cornoldi and Cazzola, 2004) test to year 1 pupils of the lower secondary school «Giacomo Sichirollo» in Rovigo, in order to assess their level of mathematical learning in various cognitive areas. After analysing the results of the test I identified a particular case that demanded immediate intervention in the cognitive areas related to comprehension and number production skills, and arithmetical reasoning. During the school year I worked with this pupil both individually and in class, applying strategies focused on the skills to be developed. At the end of the school year the AC-MT 11-14 test was re-administered to the whole class and from data analysis we can observe that the pupil who took part in the development project showed improvement in and consolidation of these mathematical skills.

Esperienze di ricerca in ambito educativo

Marta Todeschini, Lucia Micheletto, Silvia Benavides-Varela

Understanding shapes. A programme of development in visuo-spatial abilities for learning geometry in nursery school-aged children

Recent studies have demonstrated that children are born with the predisposition to be able to recognise geometrical shapes. This potential gradually turns into the competences needed for learning Euclidean geometry through exposure to objects, development of visuo-spatial abilities and language acquisition. The child’s environment plays a key role in this process. This article relates an experience conducted in the provinces of Padua and Rovigo as part of the «Attivamente» project, financed for schools by the CARIPARO foundation, which in the 2016/17 academic year saw the participation of 16 nursery schools. The project, which received positive teacher feedback, had children aged 4, 5 and/or 6 years engaged in workshop programmes. The test and retest assessment format enables us to affirm that children’s performance in naming, classifying and rebuilding geometrical shapes improved significantly.

Approfondimenti in psicologia e didattica della matematica

Inclusive didactics in mathematics in science faculties: Pipe dream or reality? Reflections of a university lecturer

DOI: 10.14605/DIM1511806

L’articolo approfondisce la tematica dell’insegnamento della matematica a livello universitario, nelle facoltà scientifiche. L’autore ha un punto di vista privilegiato, avendo insegnato Analisi Matematica nel biennio di Ingegneria e lavorando ora nel campo dei Bisogni Educativi Speciali. Prendendo spunto dai tre principi dell’apprendimento come enunciati in Donovan e Bransford (2005), vengono quindi proposte delle pratiche didattiche di facile applicazione che implicano però un radicale cambiamento di prospettiva: l’apprendimento degli studenti, con le pratiche inclusive che lo facilitano, deve necessariamente entrare a fare parte del bagaglio didattico dei docenti. Quindi: didattica seminariale, anticipatori, metacognizione. E anche empatia. L’ultima parte, dedicata più agli addetti ai lavori, fornisce alcuni spunti di didattica inclusiva.