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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Strategy training and remedial techniques : information processing approach Sutherland, Patricia Margaret


Presently, a substantial number of children who are labelled "learning disabled", lack motivation and self-confidence as a result of school failure (Das, 1979). Frequently, the mass of methods, materials, and programs which are available to the educator, fail to fulfill the expectations of those involved. The central theme of the present study is that training in the area of cognitive strategies has the potential to overcome some of the problems these children have. Rather than focus on teaching skills or reviewing content, as has been done in the past, training cognitive strategies focuses on learning and learning how to process information. The purpose of the present study was to investigate strategy training and remedial techniques and academic performance within an information processing frameword for a group of learning disabled children. A simultaneous-successive theoretical paradigm based on the research finding of Jarman and his associates was chosen for the study. Research programs used can improve learning strategies (Krywaniuk, 1974). Subject's involved in the strategy training program were the 7 boys and 4 girls in a special class for learning disabled students located in a central B.C. school district elementary school. Students were randomly divided into two equal groups: one group received additional reading instruction, a second group participated in the remedial program, aimed at improving learning strategies. The subjects involved in the strategy training program performed a series of tasks for 20-30 minutes once a day on a daily basis for the 21 weeks of the study. The remaining students received additional reading instruction from the regular reading program for the same amount of time each day. The research design was a time-series design, made up of four phases. The first phase involved the collection of baseline data, during the second phase the treatment program was introduced, for the third phase the treatment program was withdrawn and during the final phase the treatment program was again reinstated. In this way the effects of the treatment program was compared twice to a no-treatment period. Data was collected once a week on each students word analysis skills during, the study. Data collected for each individual student was graphed for visual inspection and statistical analysis performed on the results. Apparent differences were found between the group which received the additional reading instruction and the group which received the treatment program. For the group receiving the treatment program there was a plateau between the treatment phases and a greater overall improvement in word analysis skills from the initial baseline phase to the final treatment phase. Results were discussed in terms of the following limitations and simultaneous-successive model of information processing. The results were subject to certain limitation in that there was no latitude for for selection of subjects. Some of the subjects did not represent true learning disabled children because their performance was influenced by other factors. Implications of these findings for future research in the area of reading disabilities were drawn.

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