-3409953606800Name : MOKOA L.M
Student number: 57479151
Module : HBEDABH
Assignment : 01
Unique number: 747691
Due date: 04 May 2018
00Name : MOKOA L.M
Student number: 57479151
Module : HBEDABH
Assignment : 01
Unique number: 747691
Due date: 04 May 2018
Table Of Content
Learning impairment vs learning disability 2
Risk factors contributing to learning impairment 3
Characteristics by which learners with learning impairment identified 6
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder 8
General support for learners with impairment 10
Learning is what the school of life is all about. We learn everyday about different things and without learning; we can be defined as non-existent. Learning is not about “I teach and you learn” but is complex. There are different ways of learning and also many factors that contribute or influence our learning. It is important for all teachers to know the different ways that learners learn which will inform teachers how to differentiate their teaching strategy to meet all learners’ needs including those learners who experiences barriers to learning.
Learning impairment verses learning disability
Learning impairment is a general term which refers to a heterogeneous group of neurological disorders in the basic psychological processes of the brain and which manifest in difficulties with language (speaking, reading, and writing) and or mathematical calculations. Disorders include conditions such as perceptual problems, dyslexia, ADD/ADHD, dyscalculia, developmental aphasia and slight brain injury.
According to Landsberg, E. 2005 learners are experiencing difficulties at school. Some learners are severe than others and teachers are indefinite aware of the fact that these learners should be able to do better. Although they reach the outcomes set for a learning area, their achievement is not according to their potential. Other learners experience difficulties in only some learning areas or some aspects of the learning areas. The work of a number of these learners improves when teachers give more qualitative attention to the learners and to their work. The causes of their learning problems are mostly extrinsic in nature. They experience learning difficulties only, while the other group who needs extra intensive support and encouragement are learners with learning impairment. These learners experience difficulties in spite of the good teaching and positive attitude of their teachers, as well as stable home circumstances and a stimulating environment. Their problems are of an intrinsic nature and the impairment cannot be alleviated. There is, however, a group of learners whose difficulties are of such a nature that it is almost impossible to determine whether they experience learning difficulties or learning impairment.
South Africa’s broader scope of learning impairment
Risk factors underlying impairments are: environmental, cultural and economic disadvantages
The occurrence of learning impairment and associated learning difficulties is higher in disadvantaged communities
Intrinsic and extrinsic risk factors may be intertwined
Poor nutrition and poverty may cause learning impairment
Incidence of learning impairment caused by risk factors such as disadvantaged environmental and home circumstances is quite high
Learning impairment is primarily due to a dysfunction in the central nervous system.
Risk factors contributing to learning impairment
Learners encounter difficulties in the process of learning. They reveal an important educational difference between their learning potential and actual educational achievement. Learning impairments are obvious in the acquisition and use of language, i.e., listening, speaking, reading, writing; and reasoning or mathematical ability. Perceptual and cognitive deficits like reversal and poor discrimination of letters, failure to group and categorize similar items and poor problem solving skills are common. There are verbal thought disruption such as failure to grasp concrete and abstract words, failure to recognise the connection between successive words in sentences and sentences in paragraphs. Non verbal thought disruption may be seen such as a reluctance or failure to complete work, a tendency to be easily distracted by others and confusions in directions, left-right orientation and spatial order. Attention deficits such as failure to stay on tasks to completion are seen in these children. They may exhibit symptoms of impulsivity, hyperactivity and inattentiveness. Memory deficits especially in short-term memory can be found in many children. They may show social immaturity and deficits in other social skills. These children have a history of repeated failures, low self-concept and problems with peer relationships. Many of them show emotional problems such as mood disturbances, anxiety and depression. The factors contributing to the learning impairment are discussed as follows:
This happens most in a difficult way to understand but yet most important.
Learning disabilities are genetically determined with genetic traits manifesting themselves in the neuroanatomy and neurophysiology of the child. These structural-physiological characteristics are manifested as learning disabilities. Support for genetic theory is found in studies that show that learning disabilities run in families. The concordance rate is higher for identical than fraternal twins for reading disorder. Some findings suggest that genes on genetic material 15 or 6 may cause reading disorder for a minority of individuals (Pennington, 1991). Critics of familial research note that high rates of learning disabilities within families could reflect family environment as much as genetics
Teratogenics – Foetal alcohol syndrome and lead poisoning
Medical factors – Premature birth and Anoxia during birth
Deterioration and damage of central nervous system
Organic and ecological factors
Imbalance of neurotransmitters may cause attention deficits and learning impairments
Inability to metabolise certain nutrients such as proteins and vitamins may cause hypo-,or hyper activity
Excessive discharge of hormones
Environmental factors can directly play a role in causing learning disabilities. Research shows that factors such as malnutrition, prematurity, poor prenatal and post natal health care, stress, poor parenting and teaching can have a negative impact on learning by creating conditions in which brain dysfunction is more likely. Substance abuse such as alcohol and other drugs, defective learning models, emotional disturbances, social and cultural deprivation can contribute to learning disabilities. Summarizing the findings of several research studies, Silver and Hagin (2002) concluded that the preponderance of evidence points to the determining influence of poverty and inappropriate and or inadequate stimulation on the development of learning disorders in children.
Neurological theories state that learning disabilities is a reflection of structural damage or improper development of the nervous system. Such problems could occur during prenatal or postnatal period, as the nervous system is developing. Alternatively, head injury, lack of oxygen, exposure to toxins, seizures and nutritional deficiencies may contribute to central nervous system damage. Empirical support for neurological hypothesis comes from studies indicating EEG abnormalities in some children with learning disability. Various neuropsychological deficits are associated with learning disabilities, such as in partial vision perception, auditory perception, semantic memory and phonemic discrimination. Children with reading disorders have left-hemisphere deficits and autonomic disorders such as eczema, allergies. Children with mathematical disorders have deficits in neuropsychological functions indicative of right hemisphere damage (Rao, 2003).
Characteristics of learners with learning impairments maybe identified.
The general characteristics of learners with impairments are differentiated and learners can be identified under each of the following:
These learners experience difficulties when using mental strategies when learning takes place and also during active learning. They are unable to solve problems
They are easily confused and are unable to pay attention and concentrate for as long as their peers do
Their memory is very poor mainly when they have to remember more than one instruction
They have a tendency of jumbling their method of learning mainly when they have to complete an instruction in a detailed order
Learners who have difficulties in learning have difficulties in visual perceptions as they make mistakes as they are writing or reading the work given to them. They tend to make errors in letters, numbers and words e.g. making an (d) a (b) and also it is hard for them to make relations such identifying matching components in words such as day and may. These learners are those ones who avoid an activity that needs attention and are too long to for visual and hearing.
Learners with language impairments are learners that have communication disorder, learners that stuttering, language pronunciation and have voice impairment that variously disturbs learner’s education. This may be identified by seeing the following in class:
The learners may find it difficult to remember new words Find it difficult to remember new words,
Difference between their actual use of spoken language and their performance in their written work,
It is difficult for them to pronounce words and say the correct sound of the words.
Written language (reading, spelling and writing)
In this case the learners are having a very difficult way in dealing with the language structure in the classrooms as they use the structure of learning in every period. This involves the physical art of writing or the mental activity of comprehending and synthesising information. The following characteristics may be identified:
A learner may have a problem with neatness and consistency of writing
Learning difficulties in mathematics vary greatly depending on the child’s other strengths and weaknesses. A child disability to do mathematics is affected differently by a language difficulty or visual impairment or a difficulty with sequencing, memory or organisation. A child with a mathematic disorder may struggle with memorisation and organisation of number facts for example 3+3 = 6 or 4×4=16. This may also have difficulties in principles of counting in 4’s or telling time.
Social and emotional characteristics
Learner or children with social and emotional mostly experience a constant struggle and failure. They develop a negative self-esteem even if supported is given to them and it interfere in their learning and academic success. This can also lead learners to be shy, withdraw and easily be destructed and use poor communication with others which cause them to be little involved in team tasks.
When learning takes place learners with disability tend to rush in finishing up their work of which they do not understand the what is needed in the task or do not understand the question as they result into very poor results. They work in a slow pace and it is hard for them to complete the work given to them and have a habit showing hyperactivity and impulsive behaviour.
Attention- Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
A school is a very complex place for a learner with the mentioned difficulties. These difficulties are a clear sign of a learner who either has ADHD. However with continuous support the learner will gain much needed confidence and grow in the classroom. Getting awareness of the problem: The classroom environment can be a challenging place for a child with ADHD. The very tasks these learners find the most difficult sitting still, listening quietly, and concentrating are the ones they are required to do all day long. Perhaps most frustrating of all is that most these children want to be able to learn and behave like their unaffected peers. Neurological deficits, not unwillingness, keep learners with attention deficit disorder from learning in traditional ways (Segal, J ; Smith, M; 2012).
Parents also are essential to the uninterrupted and continuous development of the learner between home and school, without which, the education process would be retarded (De Jong, 2000:15). Mainstream educators lack the expertise in handling and coping with ADHD learners. Some educators attempt to research the problem and assist such learners whilst some educators wait for support and assistance from other educators, professionals, psychologists, etc (Hariparsad, S; 2010). Educators currently seem to experience a disturbing level of uncertainty and awareness (Ainscow, 2000; 24) regarding how to deal with ADHD. Therefore having the educators meet regularly to talk about how best they could get the learner to respond of complete their work so that they exchange ideas of how fun it could be to teach the learners with ADHD it could be. Having the educators understand that the learner is no different from any other learner they only have to realise that every learner comes with their own uniqueness.
Learners with ADHD often show the following characteristics:
A learner make careless mistakes in schoolwork or other activities.
A learner do not seem to listen when spoken to directly.
A learner do not follow through on instructions and fail to finish schoolwork or chores.
Have difficulty organising tasks and activities.
Evade, dislike or are hesitant to do tasks.
Lose things that are necessary for tasks and activities.
Are easily distracted by external stimuli.
Are forgetful in daily activities.
Twist their hands or their seats.
Leave their seats in the classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected.
Run about or climb excessively in situations in which it is inappropriate.
Have difficulty participating quietly in leisure activities.
Are often on the go.
Have difficulty awaiting their turn.
Blurt out answers before questions have been completed.
Interrupt on others.
The consequences of challenging behaviour caused by ADHD
Learners who are inattentive often lose their and others’ belongings. During sport they might miss scoring opportunities because they were not paying attention. Learners who are hyperactive are seen as purposefully disobeying and disrupting social settings, often resulting in the whole class being punished. They require much more supervision than other classmates. Learners who are impulsive often interrupt conversations and do not wait on their turn. They often lack consequential thought and therefore pose big safety challenges to their teachers, as they will e.g. climb trees, high walls etc. They might be seen as unattractive social partners at school and be ignored by their pears due to their behaviours.
General support for learners experiencing learning impairment/ difficulties
Through the understanding of curriculum, it is not only about what is taught in the classroom. It also includes the learning environment, which is the kind of atmosphere that is mostly preferred when learning takes place, thus, it will only concentrate on the learning environment, which is the classroom climate, and classroom management, which is a means by which effectiveness of teaching and learning is increased. Before the teacher can start teaching learners, the learning environment and classroom management should be considered, as they are general in all subjects. In other words, the learning environment needs to be encouraging for effective teaching and learning
Accommodate learners through an asset-based approach.
Strengths are aspects within the learners (E.g. intellectual abilities, cognitive and metacognitive skills, basic underlying skills, physical condition, motivation, interests, emotional stability, social skills)
Assets refer to their home circumstances (E.g. encouragement of the parents, economical situation, resources, influences)
Teachers’ knowledge, flexibility, creativity, motivation and interest are also important for successful learning
School’s resources and facilities also bring learners in contact with a wider variety of knowledge and opportunities
The teacher must not assume that they have already acquired the skills and pre-knowledge but give explanations when teaching new concepts should be specific, purposeful, direct and clear. The teacher must have a teacher learner relationship as to create a dialogue with them that allows them to have time to think before answering any question, in that way a teacher get time to repeat instructions that are given to the leaners. When teaching and learning takes place most of the time a teacher must use different teaching strategies as to be able to accommodate all learners using different strategies i.e. always handing out notes to the learners who have impairments to help them understand what we have been taught in class. Give learners extra time to finish their work and tasks must be divided into small portions which learners understand so that they can be able to assess the work on an on-going basis.
It is important or necessary for the teachers to know what is involved in the process of learning in order to reach all learners in a diverse classroom. Successful teaching necessitates knowledge of the different learning theories and taking the best of each to inform their teaching practices. In addition a teacher needs to know how learners learn, and includes learning styles and multiple of understanding to motivate optimal learning. Being able to recognize the difference between learning disabilities and learning problems gives the teacher an appropriate route to follow regarding support for these two groups.
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Debman, A. 2005. Learning Impairment In Landsberg, E., Kruger, D., & Nel, N. (eds), Addressing Barriers to Learning: South African Perspective. Pretoria: Van Schaik Publishers.
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Gander, M. & Strothman, S.W. 2005. Teaching writing to leaners with learning disabilities. U.S: Landmark College.
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