Child Psychology: Learning and Learning Disabilities
Learning and developmental disorders that result in under performance in school are a widespread problem. According to expert estimates, eight to ten percent of primary school children are affected by persistent learning difficulties that result in performance deficiencies at school. In many cases also the exceptionally gifted children fail to realize their full potential and are left behind in terms of scholastic achievement. In practice, state of the art research into causal factors and effective support and prevention measures are inadequately implemented. In light of the serious consequences of underperforming in school for future educational and professional opportunities and social participation for those affected and also because of the resulting social costs, there is a very great need for qualified specialists, who can contribute to bridging the gap between research and practice in the field of learning and developmental needs. Participants in this distance learning program acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to fill this need.
The program teaches practical management skills related to the diagnosis and intervention methods for learning and developmental disabilities in children and adolescents on the basis of comprehensive, science based knowledge of causes, risks, and protective factors on both individual and contextual levels. Graduates will have acquired the knowledge to independently design and implement conditions that benefit children and adolescents and promote learning and development. The course prepares students for careers in the following areas of activity: aacountable work in the fields of diagnostics and intervention, consultant services for institutions and affected people as well as management responsibilities and scientific research in the context of learning and development services. The course culminates in a "Master of Science" (M.Sc.) degree.
According to current guidelines, this program does not license you to bear the professional title “Psychologist”, or to start an advanced vocational training as “Psychological Psychotherapist”.
The main target group consists primarily of university graduates with a bachelor or higher degree) in psychology, educational science or related disciplines and at least one year relevant professional work experience in the field of educational assessment, diagnostics and intervention in children with learning and developmental disorders.
In exceptional cases, applicants may also be accepted who have relevant work experience but have not graduated for a university. They must have a completed vocational training with qualified results as an educator, a kindergarten teacher, an occupational therapist, a speech therapist or a related profession, followed by at least six years of work experience (four years of which need to be relevant), and the successful completion of an aptitude test.
The course is ideal for applicants with relevant work experience who are currently fulfilling family obligations and want to use this time for their own continuing education.
The course is divided into the basic modules, advanced modules as well as modules in the areas of practical application. The basic modules communicate contents, objectives and methods of psychological research and the relevant basic know-how in the areas of learning and development. The cognitive, emotional, and motivational determinants of learning and school performance are examined from the perspective of cognitive, developmental and educational psychology.
The subsequent advanced modules deal with comprehensive aspects of learning and developmental disorders, the foundations and methods of educational-psychological diagnostics as well as specific disorders (dyslexia dyscalculia, attention disorders) and giftedness. All advanced modules have the goal of communicating knowledge and skills in the area of evidence-based diagnostics and intervention.
Later the focus is on the practical application of the knowledge and skills acquired. The participants have to complete an internship in the area of learning and development disorders. Another emphasis is put on advanced methods of scientific work and empirical research. The final term is for the preparing and writing the master's thesis. Students are expected to participate in an online colloquium during this phase, at which time the students present their work in the form of presentations, videos, etc. and comment on the work of the other graduates.
This course is held entirely in German.