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Developing Thinking Skills

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Research exists to support these advantages. Oxford-based SAPERE, which conducted the Philosophy for Children™ programme in schools of Clackmannanshire, reported (Topping 2005) an average 6-point increase in cognitive abilities among all students. increased level of classroom participation. increased display of reasoning skills among students. an increase in communication skills. Two years after the programme, the students still showed signs of retaining the acquired cognitive abilities. Learning difficulties are one of the most common causes of special educational need (SEN) in children. Research into the origins of learning difficulties shows that these factors are hereditary, but the environment determines their effect. therefore, nature and nurture determine the overall developmental curve of a child (Goswami, 2008). In children with learning difficulties, their brains have lower efficiency for some learning processes and their thinking skills are not as efficient as in their peers. The later a learning difficulty is identified, the more adverse its effects are on the child emotionally as well as academic development. Supportive family environment and coordination between teachers and parents often help in identification of learning difficulties. These learning difficulties are classified based on SEN and remedial programmes are conducted. Among students with SENs, a thinking skills program should aim at enabling such children to take control of their learning in order to prepare them better for the world outside (Fisher 1992, cited in Head amp. ONeill 1999). In children with behavioral problems, which are common among those with learning difficulties, there is also a need to make them take responsibility for their own behavior (Ashman and Conway 1993, cited in Head amp. ONeill 1999). Overall, in children with SEN, there is a requirement for a programme that would moderate their SEN, make them independent