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Numerical and spatial cognition of students with physical disabilities and mild intellectual disabilities

Anja Vidmar (2017) Numerical and spatial cognition of students with physical disabilities and mild intellectual disabilities. MSc thesis.

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    Abstract

    Mathematics has an important effect on an individual's successfulness and satisfaction in the field of education and life. Numerical and spatial cognition are of crucial importance to successfully master mathematics. If this kind of cognition is poorly developed, it represents one of the most important obstacles to achieving success in the field of mathematics. Students with mild intellectual disabilities are in a worse position already at the starting point of the educational process, as they acquire school knowledge more slowly. Therefore, their development of numerical and spatial cognition can be decelerated and they need a lot more time to acquire this kind of cognition. Co-occurrence of physical disabilities can represent an additional obstacle to the development of the above-mentioned cognition because the cognitive and motor development of an individual happen in parallel and have a codependent relationship. Impaired motor development can thus affect different cognitive fields, also the field of numerical and spatial cognition. Namely, students with physical disabilities have significantly less experience in the field of mathematics, and beside the physical disabilities, there can occur various deficits in the field of sensory processing, orientation, spatial perception, attention, memory, etc. The researches that study the effect of physical disabilities on the development of numerical and spatial cognition in students with mild intellectual disabilities are especially insufficient. In the master's thesis that includes a sample of 44 students in 2nd and 3rd grade of adapted education program with lower education standard (the first sample consists of 22 students with physical disabilities and the second sample includes 22 students without physical disabilities), there are presented the differences regarding the development of numerical and spatial cognition between students with physical disabilities and mild intellectual disabilities, and students without physical disabilities with mild intellectual disabilities. There is also presented the effect of different factors (level of physical disabilities, gender, grade, presence of other disabilities, participation in therapies) on the development of numerical and spatial cognition. Also the differences in the use of strategies for counting and calculation between both samples were observed. The development of numerical and spatial cognition was measured with a knowledge test. For the processing of the results, the following statistical methods were used (descriptive statistics, t-test for testing statistically significant differences between two independent samples, Mann-Whitney U Test and Kruskal-Wallis test). The results have shown that physical disabilities statistically significantly affect the development of numerical and spatial cognition because the results of the students with physical disabilities in the test that examines the development of numerical and spatial cognition were essentially lower than those of the students without physical disabilities. Neither the level of physical disability nor gender have not turned out to be statistically significant factors for the development of numerical and spatial cognition. The inclusion in the classroom and the occurrence of other disabilities have proved to be statistically significant factors only within the sample of the students without physical disabilities. It has also turned out that the students who do not participate in therapies achieve statistically significantly better results in the test that examines the development of numerical and spatial cognition. Besides, differences in the use of strategies for counting and calculation between both samples have been proved, and some statistically significant differences exist in the use of strategies for counting objects and in the use of strategies for addition, being in favour of students without physical disabilities. According to the results, recommendations and general and specific strategies are collected in the master’s thesis in order to help professional workers with the development of numerical and spatial cognition in students with physical disabilities and mild intellectual disabilities.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: numerical and spatial cognition, physical disabilities, mild intellectual disabilities
    Number of Pages: 154
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    izr. prof. dr. Janez JermanMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=11639369)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 4555
    Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2017 13:40
    Last Modified: 14 Jul 2017 13:59
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/4555

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