Vol. 13 nº 1 - Jan/Feb/Mar de 2019
Original Article Páginas: 104 a 110

Retrieval practice as a learning strategy for individuals with Down syndrome: a preliminary study

Authors Daniela Siqueira Veloso Starling1; Bruna Fernanda Tolentino Moreira2; Antônio Jaeger3


keywords: Down syndrome, retrieval-practice, testing-effect, learning.

Remembering recently studied materials (i.e., retrieval practice) is more beneficial for learning than restudying these materials.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether retrieval practice benefits learning for individuals with Down syndrome.
METHODS: Eighteen individuals with Down syndrome (mean age=21.61 years, SD=5.93) performed a task entailing a first read of an encyclopedic text covering a series of target words. After reading the text twice, participants recalled half of the target words (retrieval practice), and reread the other half (restudy). After 48 hours, participants answered a multiple-choice test including all target words. Subsequently, WASI's Vocabulary and Matrix reasoning subtests were administered to estimate intelligence.
RESULTS: The benefit of retrieval practice for learning was numerically greater than the benefit of restudy, although this advantage did not reach statistical significance. Inspection of individual data suggested that the benefit of retrieval practice was greater than the benefit of restudy for the majority of the participants, independently of the participants' vocabulary or reasoning abilities.
CONCLUSION: Although more research is needed before retrieval practice can be recommended as a learning strategy for individuals with Down syndrome, the data suggest that retrieval practice can be a useful teaching tool for at least part of this population.


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