Psychobiology of learning disorders (2012/2013)

Course code
4S02387
Credits
9
Coordinator
Valentina Moro
Teaching is organised as follows:
Unit Credits Academic sector Period Academic staff
PSICOBIOLOGIA E NEUROPSICOLOGIA 5 M-PSI/02-PSYCHOBIOLOGY AND PHYSIOLOGICAL PSYCHOLOGY Sem. 1A Valentina Moro
PSICOLOGIA DELLE DISABILITÀ E DIFFICOLTÀ DELL'APPRENDIMENTO 4 M-PSI/04-DEVELOPMENTAL AND EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY Sem. 1B Marinella Majorano

Learning outcomes

Module: PSICOBIOLOGIA E NEUROPSICOLOGIA
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The aim of the course is to provide basic knowledge about the biological networks underlying development of human behaviour, learning processes and educational activities. Furthermore, the most important areas of the modern neuropsychological research will be discussed.




Testi per l’esame.

- Berardi N., Pizzorusso T. Psicobiologia dello sviluppo , Laterza ed.,2006
- Moro V, Rodolfi C, "Tornare a scuola dopo grave cerebrolesione", SEID, 2012.


Module: PSICOLOGIA DELLE DISABILITÀ E DIFFICOLTÀ DELL'APPRENDIMENTO
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The first part of the course focuses on basic themes regarding different educational learning problems, examining specific learning disabilities. In particular, a preliminary analysis of fundamental theories about children’s learning acquisition and development is conducted with attention to pre-scholastic prerequisites. In the second part of the course the principal diagnostic models are considered, focusing on the distinction between difficulties and disabilities and the characteristics of clinical profiles. In addition, the educational and applicative problems are considered, analysing the role of individual, familiar, scholastic and cultural aspects, and examining motivational and socio-emotional components.
Specifically, the expected learning outcomes are as follows:
1) knowledge and understanding of the development of the learning processes of reading, writing and mathematics during school age, with reference to the main theoretical models and understanding of the role of memory and attention in learning development; knowledge and understanding of the principle classifications and characteristics of learning difficulties and disabilities;
2) the ability to critically take into account the relationship between the characteristics of the child (individual factors, skills, how he/she learns), characteristics of the school environment (education, teaching methods, the class group and the wider school setting) and other contexts in order to determine the outcomes of learning disabilities and difficulties;
3) the ability to apply the knowledge acquired in the process of observation and educational programming in various educational contexts, particularly for learning difficulties;
4) the ability to clearly communicate in an effective way about knowledge and acquisition;
5) the ability to develop a critical understanding of the topics and to use bibliographical sources with autonomy.

Syllabus

Module: PSICOBIOLOGIA E NEUROPSICOLOGIA
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a) Introduction to Psychobiology
b) The biological basis of behaviour: from neurons to neuronal networks
c) The biological basis of perception
d) Cerebral plasticity
e) Biological correlates and development of memory, attention, language and face recognition
f) The frontal lobes


Module: PSICOLOGIA DELLE DISABILITÀ E DIFFICOLTÀ DELL'APPRENDIMENTO
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- Principal theories on children’s learning development
- Linguistic, cognitive, socio-emotional and motivational aspects of children’s learning development
- Principal diagnostic categories of learning difficulties and disabilities
- Prerequisites and early indicators of learning disabilities: the problem of a screening procedure
- Recent norms in diagnosis and educational programmes
- Specific linguistic impariment and dyslexia
- School and specific learning disabilities
- Supporting programme for family and teachers.

Exam texts:

Stella, G. (2000). Lo sviluppo cognitivo. Milano: Bruno Mondadori.
Cornoldi, C. (1999). Le difficoltà di apprendimento a scuola. Bologna: Il Mulino.
Vicari, S., Caselli, M.C. (2010). Neuropsicologia dello sviluppo. Bologna: Il mUlino. (cap 5)

Assessment methods and criteria

Module: PSICOBIOLOGIA E NEUROPSICOLOGIA
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written exam


Module: PSICOLOGIA DELLE DISABILITÀ E DIFFICOLTÀ DELL'APPRENDIMENTO
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Written exam with five open questions