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Geometry skills training for children with developmental coordination disorder

Marjeta Trček (2016) Geometry skills training for children with developmental coordination disorder. MSc thesis.

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    Successful participation in constructional and computational activities at geometry class requires good visual-motor coordination skills, fine motor sills, visual-spatial ability and orientation, visual-spatial memory, verbal skills, procedural learning skills and mastering mathematical sequences, as well as meta-cognitive skills, which control the processes of solving geometry problems. Students with developmental coordination disorder have shortcomings in all of the abovementioned areas, which significantly limits their ability to learn and participate in geometry class. Various studies (Cheng et al., 2011; Ling Golding, Jongmans, Hunt and Ellis, 2010) have shown that shortcomings connected to the developmental coordination disorder make it more difficult for students to successfully carry out everyday activities as well as to progress in other subject areas, such as arithmetic, technology, science, physics, etc. These students therefore require specific training of skills relevant to the subject of geometry, which would also enable them to transfer knowledge of learned strategies to other subjects as well as everyday life situations. The purpose of this Master’s thesis was to design a specific type of training that would enable students to develop their geometry skills, as well as provide them with support in following the subject matter taught at school geometry class. Training was conducted by including a sixth grade student from the regular primary school programme. The initial assessment of the student’s functioning had revealed shortcomings similar to those of the developmental coordination disorder, which were then confirmed by the results of the questionnaires filled out by for parents and teachers of mathematics. The student was selected out of a group of nine other students from the 2nd and 3rd triennial, identified as being at risk of developmental coordination disorder by their homeroom teachers, mathematics teachers and school counsellors. The student was included in this training on the basis of achieving the lowest results obtained in the initial process of identifying and evaluating specific needs related to the subject of geometry. In order to determine the efficiency of the prepared geometry skills training, the student was re-evaluated after the end of the ten week training period. Results of the analysis show an improvement in the student’s skills relevant to the subject of geometry, and thus an increase in the effectiveness of the student with developmental coordination disorder in solving geometry constructional and written activities. Significant progress has also been shown in the area of visual memory, metacognitive strategies of regulating the process of solving geometry problems and in the area of possessing visual-spatial ability. Slightly less progress has been detected in the area of visual-motor coordination and fine motor skills. For a successful correction of shortcomings in visual-motor coordination skills and fine motor skills, a longer period and a more specific type of training would be required, designed exclusively for the development of the aforementioned skills, and carried out at the very beginning of the process of acquiring literacy skills. The student involved in the training showed significant levels of progress, particularly in the use of strategies that will enable him to gain control and management of his own learning process, and will structure the processes of tackling written geometry exercises. Structured and continuous training of geometry skills can improve the functioning of students with developmental coordination disorder in the subject of geometry in both group and individual learning situations. Research results highlight the importance of preliminary or at least simultaneous activities for enhancing geometry skills when presenting specific learning units of this subject, especially when the latter are related to the area of students’ shortcomings connected to the developmental coordination disorder.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: developmental coordination disorder, geometry, geometry skills training, continuum of help
    Number of Pages: 121
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    izr. prof. dr. Marija KavklerMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=11363145)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 4236
    Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2016 10:46
    Last Modified: 01 Dec 2016 10:46
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/4236

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