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April 19, 2013

Learning disabilities affect up to 10 per cent of children

Up to 10 per cent of the population are affected by specific learning disabilities (SLDs), such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and autism, translating to 2 or 3 pupils in every classroom according to a new study.

The study – by academics at UCL and Goldsmiths - also indicates that children are frequently affected by more than one learning disability.

The research, published today in Science, helps to clarify the underlying causes of learning disabilities and the best way to tailor individual teaching and learning for affected individuals and education professionals.

Kirtland Peterson

April 18, 2013

Child's Counting Comprehension May Depend On Objects Counted

Concrete objects — such as toys, tiles and blocks — that students can touch and move around, called manipulatives, have been used to teach basic math skills since the 1980s.

Use of manipulatives is based on the long-held belief that young children’s thinking is strictly concrete in nature, so concrete objects are assumed to help them learn math concepts.

However, new research from the University of Notre Dame suggests that not all manipulatives are equal.

The types of manipulatives may make a difference in how effectively a child learns basic counting and other basic math concepts.

Kirtland Peterson

April 15, 2013

Teachers' Assessments Not Always Conducive to Fair Education

Teachers’ assessments of pupils’ literacy can vary significantly, even for pupils with similar test scores.

This may interfere with children’s right to fair and gender-equal education, according to a new doctoral thesis from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Assessment of students’ knowledge and skills is one of the most important tasks of the school system. However, some factors may affect the validity of the teachers’ assessments.

Teachers who had had the same pupils for more than one year showed a higher correspondence between their assessments and the pupils’ test results.

The same was true for teachers with higher levels of formal competence, meaning more education and experience.

Kirtland Peterson