versión On-line ISSN 1668-7027
GHIGLIONE, María E.; ARAN FILIPPETTI, Vanessa; MANUCCI, Vanesa y APAZ, Andrea. Intervention program to strengthen cognitive and linguistic functions adapted to the school curricula in children at risk by poverty. Interdisciplinaria [online]. 2011, vol.28, n.1, pp. 17-36. ISSN 1668-7027.
In recent past years, studies on poverty and its impact upon cognitive and emotional development have increased notoriously. A number of works have shown how living in poverty leads to deficits in children's cognitive and socio-emotional development and to a lower performance in cognitive tests. The aim of this work is to present the design of intervention strategies and their implementation integrated to the school curriculum, in order to strengthen cognitive and linguistic resources in children at risk due to extreme poverty. Based on these considerations, we present an intervention programme which aims at favouring emotional and cognitive development by means of adaptation of strategies to school curriculum, so that the latter may adjust itself to the needs of infant population in conditions of social vulnerability. Among other things, it is necessary to emphasize on the development of phonological conscience, ascribable to the scanty experiences related to language these children undergo, and on the development of basic cognitive functions needed for school learning to be positively achieved. A sample of 98 six-year-old children from Entre Ríos (República Argentina) has been analyzed: experimental group (n = 55) and a control group without risk (n = 43). The following instruments were administered within school environment: Brief Intelligence Test (KBIT - Kaufman, A.S., & Kaufman, N.L., 2000), Phonological Conscience Test (Borzone & Diuk, 2001), Matching Familiar Figures Test 20 (MFFT20 -Cairns & Cammock, 1978), Stroop Type Task: Sun - Moon (Archibald & Kerns, 1999). The intervention was carried out involving two axes. One of them, a direct intervention with the children inside the classroom, implemented by team members (interventionists), and the other, consisting in training teachers to be able to device classroom activities, taking into account the different strategies put forward by the programme named Without Affection there is neither Learning nor Growth, modelled on the booklets designed for the intervention. To describe neurocognitive profiles according to risk by poverty, Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) and Univariate Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) were employed. Besides, MANOVA and ANOVA the repeated measures were used to get to know the pre- and post-intervention changes in the group at risk. Results indicate significant differences before intervention and according to degree of social risk. Children in a vulnerable social situation scored lower at performances regarding verbal ability and general intelligence, selective attention capacity, and displayed greater cognitive precipitation, lower development of phonological conscience and cognitive style reflexivity - impulsiveness (R - I) depending on social risk. Results concerning the effects of intervention upon cognitive resources show the effectiveness of adaptation of strategies to the curriculum. After intervention, it became evident that children made fewer mistakes and used a greater latency time, both being indicators of a lesser cognitive precipitation. Besides, data following this intervention shows highly significant progress regarding the aforementioned processes, which allows us to infer that the implemented strategies are appropriate to work with children at risk by poverty and are pertinent to the educational task, due to the easy adequacy of these strategies to school curriculum. We think that the programme, inasmuch as it proposes an intervention that takes into account a double mode (direct and indirect), allows children to receive a systematic and controlled stimulus, and offers the teacher the possibility to apply the internalized strategies to every planning, without the need for a permanent face-to-face training. This allows for transfer, generalization and continuity in time of the designed intervention, which will guarantee all children, independently of their social origin, a similar point of arrival. Likewise, knowledge of the cognitive profile allows for guidance of teachers in the design of their curriculum planning, directing and focusing the strategies for a timely development of the teaching-learning process.
Palabras clave : Intervention; Cognitive resources; Phonological awareness; Poverty.