The EDULINK project "Education for the Children with Learning Disabilities: African-European Co-operation for Promoting Higher Education and Research" has published a book as a practical outcome of three years of systematic and successful collaboration between the project partners. The publication, which is considered as a “training standard” forms together with the Guidelines on Learning Disabilities and the Instructions for Local Authorities (published in the November 2011 newsletter: Learning and Learning Disabilities in Africa) an integral part of the partner institutions´ curricula on learning disabilities.
The aim of the EDULINK Project, lead by the University Network of Psychology in Finland (University of Turku) was to enhance the curricula of its African partner HEI´s in Kenya, Namibia and Zambia in the field of learning disabilities. As a result of the project, the partner HEI´s
- have improved the quality of teacher and psychologist education
- developed a training standard with supporting methods and facilities
- have more culturally sensitive understanding and practical skills needed in developing quality psychological services
- enhanced collaboration networks on three levels (local, regional and international)
The publication entitled "Assessment of Learning Disabilities: Cooperation between Teachers, Psychologists and Parents-African Edition 2011” offers easy to read information on assessing children’s learning disabilities. It discusses the complex relationship between academic skills and cognitive functions, and the development and significance of these skills and functions for learning.
First it describes what efficient learning requires of the school, class, family, and child. It also defines learning disability, exploring how learning disabilities differ from school difficulties caused by other factors. The Chapters 2-9 present a four-step model for learning disability assessment, which emphasizes cooperation between the teachers, psychologist, and the family. The Chapters also describes difficulties in academic skills (reading and spelling, mathematics) and cognitive functions (attention and executive functions, language functions, visual, visuo-spatial and visuo-constructive skills, motor skills, memory functions), as well as their assessment. The final Chapter discusses interpretation — often so difficult in assessment — and shows how conclusions can be made from the results and how support can be planned for the school, class, and home.
Writers of the book are experts of Learning Disabilities from higher education institutions from Finland, Kenya, Namibia and Zambia.
Department of Educational Psychology, Kenyatta University;
Department of Educational Psychology and Inclusive Education,University of Namibia;
Department of Psychology, University of Zambia;
Department of Educational Psychology,Sociology and Special Education, University of Zambia;
Zambia Institute of Special Education and University of Turku, Finland.
Associate Partners:Niilo Mäki Institute, Jyväskylä, Finland
Download the book here (pdf)
(Edited by Dr Tuija Aro and Prof Timo Ahonen, University of Jyväskylä, Finland )
Download the newsletter with the Guidelines on Learning Disabilities and the Instructions for Local Authorities here (pdf)
Article prepared by Pia Krimark