PSYC 3800 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: Lip Reading, Spasticity, Assistive Technology

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Chapter 4
Learner Differences and Learning Needs
Language and labelling
- Exceptional students
oStudents who have unusually high abilities in particular areas or disabilities that impact
learning and may require special education or other services
- Labelling students is a controversial issue
oCons
A label does not tell a teacher which methods to use with individual students
Many different teaching strategies and materials are appropriate
Labels can become self-fulfilling prophecies
Everyone may see a label as a stigma that cannot be changed
Labels are mistaken for explanations
o Pros
Some educators argue that applying a label protects the child
Allows other students to be more willing and understanding about
accepting some behaviours
Labels still provide access to some special programs, useful information, special
technology and equipment, or financial assistance
- Disabilities and handicaps
oDisability
The inability to do something specific, such as walk or hear
oHandicap
A disadvantage in a particular situation, sometimes caused by a disability
Some argue the term should be dropped because of its negative source
Cap-in-hand used to describe people with disabilities who were once
forced to beg to survive
oIt is important to avoid language of pity
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Ex. confined to, suffering with, victims of
oUse people-first language
- People-first language
oDescribing a complex person with one or two words implies that the condition labelled
is the most important aspect of the person
oTo focus exclusively on the disability is to misrepresent the individual
oAn alternative is to use people-first language
Refer to “students with disabilities”
Emphasis on the student first
- Possible biases in the application of labels
oSome racial and ethnic minority students are overrepresented in the disability category
and underrepresented in gifted programs
May be due to systematic biases in teachers’ attitudes, curriculum, instruction,
and the referral process itself, and teachers’ lack of preparation for working
effectively with ethnic minority students
oTo deal with the referral problem educators recommend gathering more information on
the student before a formal referral is made
Intelligence
- What does intelligence mean?
oIntelligence
Ability or abilities to acquire and use knowledge for solving problems and
adapting to the world
Most early theories involve one of the 3 themes on intelligence
The capacity to learn
The total knowledge a person has acquired
The ability to adapt successfully to new situations and to the
environment in general
A recent definition captures these elements and stresses higher-order thinking
The ability to reason deductively or inductively, think abstractly, use
analogies, synthesize information, and apply it to new domains
oIntelligence: One ability or many?
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There are a moderate to high correlations among scores on all mental tests
This leads some psychologists to believe intelligence is a basic ability
that affects performance on all cognitively oriented tasks
Spearman suggested that mental energy, which he called g or general
intelligence, is used to perform any mental test
General intelligence (g)
oA general factor in cognitive ability that is related in varying
degrees to performance on all mental tests
Cattell and Horn proposed a theory of fluid and crystalized intelligence that is
more helpful in providing explanations of human abilities
Fluid intelligence
oMental efficiency that is culture-free and nonverbal and is
grounded in brain development
oIs grounded in brain development
May be related to changes in brain volume,
myelinisation, density of dopamine receptors, or
processing abilities in the prefrontal lobe (selective
attention and working memory)
Increases until late adolescence and then declines with
age
Is sensitive to injuries and disease
Crystallized intelligence
oAbility to apply culturally approved problem-solving methods
oIncludes learned skills and knowledge
Can increase throughout the lifespan
oBy investing fluid intelligence in solving problems, we develop
our crystallized intelligence
Many tasks draw on both
The most widely accepted view today is that intelligence has many facets and is
a hierarchy of abilities
General ability positioned at the top and more specific abilities
appearing at lower levels of the hierarchy
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