Children with slow learning

Children with slow learning


  • 1 Needs of children with slow learning
  • 2 General learning problems
  • 3 Characteristics of children with slow learning
  • 4 Main features of these students in the classroom
  • 5 Work model for cognitive processes in learning
  • 6 The importance of teacher work with these children
  • 7 Special educational needs
  • 8 Some tips

Needs of children with slow learning

The children with learning difficulties they don't need only an adult who understands a word or tries to explain a term.

Also require active and efficient actions, in a framework impregnated with commitment by all people involved in the lives of children. All of us at some point in our development have presented difficulties in learning.

However the question is when? This situation is classified in a range more or less according to what is expected in relation to the development and demands of the environment at a given age. To clarify this aspect we will define and characterize this group of boys or girls.

Learning Difficulties They are classified into General Learning Problems and Specific Learning Disorders. In this case we will focus on:

General learning problems

A general delay of the whole learning process is manifested, observing slowness, disinterest, attention deficiency and concentration, affecting the overall performance.

These characteristics occur in children with normal development and immaturity in the cognitive or verbal area, which would cause a slow learning.

It is also possible to see these manifestations in children with cognitive deficit, severe hearing difficulties and impaired psychomotor skills.

Characteristics of children with slow learning

Slow Learning Students are students who they have difficulties to follow a normal learning rhythm, because they present problems at the memory level, along with a reduced capacity for attention to verbal stimuli and expression, and difficulties to evoke and retrieve the information learned.

These students would not be in the category of cognitive deficit, nor would they present an ASD, nor alterations in their sensory or affective development. This group is made up of children with a slower development and with a chronic learning pace lower than the rest of his classmates, Bravo 1994.

Educational characterization of children of Slow Learning. (Bravo, 1994)

  1. Slow to process information school and to keep up with the rest of his classmates.
  2. Inadequacy between the level of development of their cognitive structures and the degree of complexity of school content.
  3. Low motivation to learn, accompanied by low self-esteem.
  4. Inadequacy between your skills Psycholinguistics and the language used by the teacher.

Slow learning children in school have a very low academic performance. Many times they repeat courses, as they do not achieve the expected results, since the low academic performance is maintained and the student's situation is complicated, with a growing disconnection with his group of reference peers, which puts at risk social adaptation and maturation in aspects of life related to coexistence, Personal image and socialization. In these children social skills are generally poorly developed, existing many times behavioral problems and adaptation to the demands of the school, interpersonal problems, anxiety, depression, among other.

In this regard, it is important to emphasize that a child who does not experience success in his or her learning defines himself as a person who is not able to learn, which directly affects your self-esteem and ability to achieve, leading him to live situations of repeated frustrations, thus limiting his life project.

Main features of these students in the classroom

Following Bravo (94) and Morales (97), these students are understood to be those who, without presenting cognitive disability or significant alterations in their sensory and affective development, they present difficulties in following the normal learning rhythm, in memorizing and in evoking the information once learned.

The following are the main characteristic features of these students:

  • Slow to process information.
  • Inadequacy between their cognitive structures and the degree of complexity of the contents.
  • Low motivation to learn.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Inadequacy between his psycholinguistic abilities and the language used by the teacher.
  • Inability to organize and structure the task by itself.
  • Poor attention.
  • Low level of perseverance

The approach of Artuto and Guzmán helps to understand what it is, establishing that slow learning students have general learning problems, highlighting two key aspects:

  • General deficit of the entire learning process, observing slowness, disinterest, attention deficiency and concentration, affecting the overall performance.
  • They are children with a normal development but with immaturity in the cognitive or verbal area (which is reflected in a CI of 70 to 85-90), which would cause this slowness to learn.

Work model for cognitive processes in learning

These authors establish as elements of the cognitive process: Planning, Attention, Simultaneous processing and Successive processing, giving rise to the P.A.S.S. From here the following functional systems of what they call cognitive "apparatus" are determined:

  1. Planning System, being responsible for setting goals, selecting or developing strategies and controlling the performance.
  2. Attention System; responsible for the activation and stimulation, maintenance of the appropriate degree of "alert" to carry out the activity. Here you can distinguish between selective and sustained attention
  3. Processing System (or coding), which is responsible for the reception, interpretation, transformation and storage of information, in short, the direct processing of information, and may be of two types:
  • Simultaneous processing: which treats the units holistically.
  • Successive or sequential processing: which connects the processing units serially or linearly, analytically, establishing temporary links between them.

Some characteristics of children with slow learning can be:

  • Need to repeat things many times so that they "stay."
  • His way of reasoning is simple, he prefers practical and concrete
  • Its performance is greater in short tasks, and in theoretical exercises.

The importance of teacher work with these children

The child with slow learning can work in almost all types of schools, as long as the personnel who instruct him have the sensitivity to work respecting his rhythm and offering him the necessary attention. If given the opportunity, the child will undoubtedly be able to learn and improve, until almost equalizing with his peers, but more slowly.

The teacher's performance before this type of student will be directly responsible for the positive or negative impact on the recreational activities and everything related to their school life. The teacher must provide the child with goals that are at his level and development, (which he can overcome), reinforce any progress in learning at least, strengthen your interest in studies and never compare it with another student, in any case, just with yourself. The grades should rate his effort and progress, because he needs more time than his peers, his grades will reinforce them, instead the bad grades will make them abandon their studies.

The demands, the pressures, the impatience, produce in him emotional tensions that hinder his learning even more. Therefore it is convenient that they be avoided.

When to these children they are not given the attention they need, a serious maladjustment appears, which makes teaching and school useless.

Special educational needs

In relation to the special educational needs of these children, it is possible to appreciate a thought development that requires the mediation of more concrete elements, existing difficulties to consolidate a more abstract, globalizing and divergent thinking. Similarly, memory difficulties are frequent both in the short and long term. This is how what they learn today they have forgotten tomorrow. Often teachers warn that children do not master the basic vocabulary of the topics under study; It is also difficult for them to categorize the information or transfer it to other situations. Similarly, these students they can use long periods of study in their homes, however their grades are always low. One of the reasons for these difficulties is very often associated with the lack of verbal instruments to communicate their knowledge and the tendency to textual and memorial learning.

Yánez and Palacio (1999) believe that, without a doubt, children with slow learning are a great challenge for education. These children should be educated in the common school, benefiting from a life as normal as possible. The school must grant them the possibility to educate themselves, promoting the use of flexible programs that value their potentials and strengths, help them discover their vocations, and support and stimulate them in the work of the learning areas that present them with the greatest challenges.

Defining a child with "slow learning" is subject more than anything to the criteria of teachers, because it is a term widely used in the academic area. The causes are not even investigated, but these are children whose whole life is dragging materials. They seem to lack motivation or ability; in general they present problems in all the subjects of the school and they need an education that focuses more on them so that they can move forward with their partners.

Some advices

  • Use simple methods. Use simple teaching techniques. The repetition is good. "Old" teaching methods work best for these cases. Teachers for slow-learning children use the old review cards.
  • Few Distractions. Use pages of books and other work that do not have images that can distract the child's attention. Unnecessary images and color can be a distraction that can cause frustration. Make sure the room is free of unnecessary noise and objects.
  • Constant Teaching. Work with the child one by one. He needs him there with him all the time. You are unable to focus on a task and finish it without you being there to help and motivate it. Be prepared to spend time with the child.
  • Basic Skills. Focus on the basics of reading and mathematics. You can read the child history to do a scientific experiment with him, but make sure he is progressing in basic reading and math skills. These will be the skills that will be indispensable to you as an adult.
  • Positively reinforce your efforts by strengthening your interest in schooling. Focus on positively reinforcing each of your achievements and never attack it personally. The pressures and humiliations that accompany despair when doing homework ONLY WILL MAKE THE CHILD BACK IN HIS LEARNING. Don't judge it, love it, respect it, understand it and if necessary, seek help because most of these children are insecure and have low self-esteem.

Study techniques to help learn and remember: The power of images