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Learning problems and impairments: research and practice


NB Language of instruction is English

Admission requirements



This course provides an interdisciplinary view plus unique balance between theory, diagnosis and teaching strategies, including case studies.

Students study recent research published in main journals (e.g., Journal of Educational Psychology, Reading Research Quarterly, Developmental Psychology, Journal of Learning Disabilities).

Students are required to attend all classroom and / or online sessions and to participate. The selection of research papers includes traditional themes related to learning problems (dyslexia, dyscalculia) but adds coverage on at risk preschool children, language delayed children, teacher as collaborative consultant, meaning based approaches to reading, attention deficit disorders, using computers to enhance learning, social interaction and learning, and other high-interest current topics in the field.

Students are expected to reflect critically on scientific literature and on their own scientific behavior, to determine one’s position based on transparent scientific reasoning.

NB This course is also open for Research Master students as an elective. For research master students the course will contain an extra assignment. Students need to contact the instructor after the first class to discuss the content of the extra assignment.

Course objectives

  • State of the art

  • Development of scientific reasoning

  • Understanding the importance to study what works for whom because one size does not fit all in education and child development.Presenting a small scale study using a variety of multimedia techniques


For the timetable of this course please refer to MyTimetable

Mode of instruction

Studying key research articles/chapters in preparation of (online) meetings during which we interactively discuss the literature. Students give a presentation about the literature. Students translate scientific knowledge into practice by making a knowledge clip aimed at parents and professionals in the field of Education and Child Development

Assessment method

  • Written exam with open and MC-questions (80%)

  • Written reviews (should be satisfactory)

  • Presentations should be satisfactory

  • Knowledge clip should be satisfactory (20%)

  • Research Master students will get an extra assignment (to be agreed with the coordinator)

Note. Partial results are only valid in 2021-2022

Research Masterstudents write all exams and reviews in English.

Small changes are possible, see Brightspace!


  • Registration for this course via usis automatically leads to enrollment into the Brightspace environment of this course.

  • A detailed course description will be uploaded on Brightspace.

  • All course announcements will be placed on Brightspace.

  • Students hand in their reviews and a knowledge clip on Brightspace.

Reading list

  • Hulme, C. & Snowling, M. J. (2009). Developmental Disorders of Language Learning and Cognition. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.

  • Scientific papers (to be announced, see course description on Brightspace).

Small changes are possible (also in the reading list), see Brightspace!


It is mandatory to register for each course via uSis. This applies to both the lectures and the working groups, even if they take place online. Without a valid registration in uSis you will not be able to participate in the course and you will not have access to the Brightspace module of the course.

In addition, it is also mandatory to register separately in uSis for each exam (i.e. both the first exam opportunity and, if necessary, the resit) in uSis. This also applies to partial examinations in a course. This is possible up to 10 calendar days prior to the exam. You cannot take the exam without a valid registration in uSis.

NB If the exam concerns a paper or a practical assignment, you do not need to register in uSis.

Carefully read all information about the procedures and deadlines for registering for courses and exams.

Contact information

Co-ordinator of this course is dr. T. M. Sikkema-de Jong. She will hold (online) office hours (the hour following the lecture) and will be available by e-mail or by appointment.