Teaching mechanics to students with learning disabilities: A case study in Greece

  • Ferentinou A
  • Papalexopoulos P
  • Vavougios D
  • 2

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Abstract

Anastasia Ferentinou, Panagiotis F. Papalexopoulos, Dionisios Vavougios University of Thessaly, Greece Email: milts@sch.gr, papalex@uth.gr, dvavou@uth.gr Abstract Mechanics is a basic part of Physics and the main subject of the relevant course in the second grade of Greek high school. The educational implications of the studies in the fi eld of teaching mechanics refer to the instruction of essential concepts such as force, pressure and energy. However there are few research studies of teaching mechanics to students with learning disabilities especially in Greece. In this paper we present a case study of teaching mechanics to students with learning disabilities in the second grade of a general Greek high school. The purpose of this study is to examine the implementation and the effi cacy of teaching mechanics to students with learning disabilities of the second grade of a Greek high school by using the conceptual mapping. An experimental teaching procedure took place in a physics resource room for students with learning disabilities of the second grade of a general high school by using the conceptual mapping during a sequence of successive instructions for the concept of energy. A control teaching procedure without the use of conceptual maps was realized in the same resource room during the instructions for the concept pressure in order to compare the two teaching procedures. In both phases, experimental and control teaching procedure, tests were administered before and after each instruction so as to investigate the prior to the instruction knowledge and the learning outcomes after it. The questions of the student with learning disabilities during the instructions were recorded and analysed in order to defi ne his interest in mechanics by using conceptual mapping. The analysis of the collected data yielded several results. The use of conceptual mapping improved the student’s performance on achievement tests and contributed to the accomplishment of the teaching objectives. However the use of the maps was not successful in stimulating the student’s interest for the concept of energy. We also discuss the implications of our fi ndings to teaching practices and future research in the fi eld of teaching physics to students with learning disabilities.

Author-supplied keywords

  • conceptual maps
  • interest
  • learning disabilities
  • performance
  • teaching
  • teaching mechanics
  • teaching objectives

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Authors

  • Anastasia Ferentinou

  • Panagiotis F Papalexopoulos

  • Dionisios Vavougios

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