Slow learners are individuals with below average cognitive abilities. In general they are more immature and show problems in areas such as concentration, short-term and long-term memory, metacognition, motivation, social integration, executive functions and some others. One of the problematic areas is also organization. Well-developed organizational skills are very important because they affect many aspects of our lives. They enable us to cope with everyday tasks, as well as more complex tasks such as project work and achieving life goals. Organizational skills also affect the arrangement of notes, time planning and learning, which have a direct impact on achieving success and good learning outcomes. Due to their specific needs slow learners have difficulties with learning and also with mastering and using different learning skills. Due to the slower pace of work and thinking they can assimilate basic learning skills, but in slower way and not as profoundly as their peers.
In my thesis I wanted to find and formulate various strategies with which we can develop learning and organizational skills that can be used when working with slow learners or other students who need help with these two specific areas. In my study I included a slow learner who attends 8th grade of primary school. The aim of the empirical part was to prepare and carry out training which would improve her organizational and learning skills, and I also wanted to see the impact of training on her academic self-concept. An academic self-concept questionnaire (Burden, 1999), learning styles questionnaire (Mavrin et al., 2012), Organizational skills test (Organization Skills Test, 2016) and a checklists of the slow learners functioning at home and at school (completed by her mother and the teachers of mathematics, Slovenian language and German language) were used before training to obtain an initial assessment of the pupil’s functioning. Based on this assessment and considering the learning content in the subjects of mathematics, Slovenian language and German language, the goals of training were set, and on the base of those training was devoloped. Training was implemented as a part of the pupil’s individualized help from a special education teacher and lasted five hours per week for 8 consecutive weeks. In mathematics, training included organizing a notebook and worksheets with the help of a template, organizing and bringing school supplies to school and making, complementing and using a mathematical dictionary. In Slovenian language, training included a step by-step planning of an oral presentation, making a learning plan and improving reading comprehensions with the help of a scheme. In German language, training included making word brochures and evaluating the pupil’s learning with the help of a card. At the end of training I used the academic self-concept questionnaire (Burden, 1999), Organizational skills test (Organization Skills Test, 2016) and the checklists of the slow learners functioning at home and at school, and compared the results of the initial and final testings.
The pupil has made progress in all areas of organizational skills, improved its academic self- concept, and also assimilated some cognitive and one metacognitive learning strategy.