• The effectiveness of a multisensory writing program in improving cursive writing ability in children with sensorimotor difficulties

      Lockhart, Julia.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 1991-07-09)
      It is estimated that five to ten percent of children experience sensory motor difficulties that result in various learnlng disabilitiies , among them. inabllity to output Information on paper in the appropriate manner (Ayres ,1985). The relationship between sensorimotorabillty and handwriting is well documented in the literature (Freeman,1917; Townsend , 1951; Nlkola-Ll sa, 1987). While much of the literature is inconclusive, there are findings to suggest that muitisensory handwriting programmes are an effective approach to improvlng writing abIlity in these chlldren. For a number of years, Occupational Therapists have been involved in the remediation of handwriting utllizing , amongst other approaches . multisensory programmes. While subjective assessments of effectiveness have been extremerly positive. scientIfic evaluation has been minimal . If further intervention in this area is to occur, it Is essential that the profession be able to justify the existence of such programmes . The purpose of this study was to examine what effects a multlsensory writing prog~am would have on the curslve writing ability of chlldren with sensorimotor dlfficulties. A single case with multiple baselines across be havlours design was used , with the behavlours being cursive writing abilIty of fIve distInct letter groups. The fIve groups were taught in random order, one group every two weeks , In a one-hour session. Repeated measurements of writing speed and qualIty for each letter group were made. This design was repeated over three other cases . Results of the study yielded statistical signifi cance in trend changes In specIfic letter groups for all of the chlldren following interventlon. One child achieved statistical significance In the overall change In quality , while none of the children achieved overall statistical significance In speed score changes . Teacher reports and an assessment of written language prior to and following the program suggest that Intervention may have had a positive effect on self-confidence in written output, and on the maturlty of written expression in some of the cases . Further research in this field is needed to validate the continual use of multisensory writing programmes by Occupational Theraplsts worklng with this specific population and to provide some directlon with regards to the Integration of multlsensory writing programmes within the regular academic remedial programme .
    • The use of explicit algorithms and episodic context to teach subtraction to students with learning problems in mathematics /

      Ailles, Douglas S.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 1992-05-21)
      This research attempted to address the question of the role of explicit algorithms and episodic contexts in the acquisition of computational procedures for regrouping in subtraction. Three groups of students having difficulty learning to subtract with regrouping were taught procedures for doing so through either an explicit algorithm, an episodic content or an examples approach. It was hypothesized that the use of an explicit algorithm represented in a flow chart format would facilitate the acquisition and retention of specific procedural steps relative to the other two conditions. On the other hand, the use of paragraph stories to create episodic content was expected to facilitate the retrieval of algorithms, particularly in a mixed presentation format. The subjects were tested on similar, near, and far transfer questions over a four-day period. Near and far transfer algorithms were also introduced on Day Two. The results suggested that both explicit and episodic context facilitate performance on questions requiring subtraction with regrouping. However, the differential effects of these two approaches on near and far transfer questions were not as easy to identify. Explicit algorithms may facilitate the acquisition of specific procedural steps while at the same time inhibiting the application of such steps to transfer questions. Similarly, the value of episodic context in cuing the retrieval of an algorithm may be limited by the ability of a subject to identify and classify a new question as an exemplar of a particular episodically deflned problem type or category. The implications of these findings in relation to the procedures employed in the teaching of Mathematics to students with learning problems are discussed in detail.