Minilab of special education research on learning disabilities

  • Carmen David, PhD.
  • Cristina Bălaş-Baconschi, PhD.
The Special Education field is an appropriate one for researchin such a topic, as  it is situated at the crossroads between Educational Sciences and Psychology. Knowledge of Educational Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Speech, Cognitive Stimulation Therapies etc., as well as pedagogy and special education will be employed. So, the team will adhere to the following mission, set through the objectives and proposed activities:
  • providing models to facilitate the diagnosis of learning disabilities/difficulties and determining the eligibility for support programs such as Inclusion
  • studying the learning difficulties that are secondary to sensory impairment (collaboration with special schools for students with sensory impairments)
  • testing the efficiency of the intervention methods designed to consider  the major impact of cultural and linguistic factors on the developmental mechanisms of learning disabilities, namely the response to intervention
  • to inform using the research as starting point,  in order to regulate the field of learning disabilities (in our country) on special education interventions and adequate school support programs
  • developing  relatively new research topics in which to involve graduate students of the Special Education Department
  • transfer information and practices to community
General description of the laboratory
Name: Minilab of special education research on learning disabilities
Acronym: D.I.S.C.E.R.E.- Scientific aproach of learning difficulties with applications for remediation
  • Investigating atypical development mechanisms of mathematical skills through the new theories of developmental psychology, both isolated and in association with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder
  • Investigating atypical developmental mechanisms of mathematical skills in association with hearing impairments
  • Investigating atypical developmental mechanisms of mathematical skills in association with visual impairments
  • Investigating  atypical developmental mechanisms of reading and writing skills in the particular context of the Romanian language, which is a language with phonetic spelling
  • Analysis of the diagnosis and assessment practices for learning disabilities/ difficulties in Romania
  • Investigating the efficiency of special education intervention in learning disabilities/ difficulties, by correlating assessment and intervention
  • Investigating the role of executive functions in school learning and learning difficulties development
  • Research countervailing valences of access technologies  for primary learning disabilities or learning disabilities that are secondary to sensory impairments
Team members:
  • Lecturer Carmen David, PhD
  • Lecturer Cristina Bălaş-Baconschi, PhD
  • Anca Maier, PhD.
  • Research Assistant Marian Pădure, PhD
  • Fellow teachers and researchers, undergraduate students and graduate students interested in approaching the topic of learning disabilitie


Collaborators (past, present and future):
  • Psychological research institute of Louvain- la- Neuve
  • Resource teachers committees belogning to resource centers in Cluj- Napoca
Contact information:     
Publications on the topic (references selection of the published papers by members of the minilab):
  • David,C. (2012). Working memory deficits in Math learning difficulties: a meta-analysis. International Journal of Developmental Disabilities, 58 (1), 2012, Print ISSN: 2047-3869 Online ISSN: 2047-3877, DOI:
  • Bodea (David), C. (2011). Working memory abilities as predictors of mathematical performance in first grade. Studia Psychologia Paedagogia, 2.
  • Bodea (David), C. (2009) . Phonological and visual processing skills in children with intellectual disabilities and reading difficulties. Studia Psychologia Paedagogia, 1. 
  • David, C. (2011).  Psychological and educational assessment of specific learning disabilities in Mathematics. In Anca, M. (coord. ) , Evaluarea şi intervenţia psihopedagogică, Presa Universitară Clujeană: Cluj- Napoca.
  • Bodea, C. (2010). Current models in approaching specific learning disabilities in mathematics. In Preda, V. (coord.), Dinamica Educatei Speciale, Presa Universitară Clujeană: Cluj- Napoca. (2010).
  • Bodea (David), C. (2009). Specific deficits of working memory in children with math learning difficulties. In Sassu, R. (coord.) Modern Psychological Research. Current directions and perspectives. Current approaches in applied psychology. University Press: Sibiu
  • Maier, A. (2011). The Effects of Metacognitive Training on Math Performance: Individual versus Small Group, Studia Psychologia Paedagogia, 2 .
  • David, C., Maier, A. (2011). The Effects of Working Memory Traning vs. Metacognitive Training on Math Performance on Low Achieving Students, Studia Psychologia Paedagogia, 1  / 2011, pp. 89-100.
  • Maier, A. (2011). Programe educaţionale pentru elevii cu dificultăţi de învăţare în Anca M. (coordonator) Evaluarea şi intervenţia psihopedagogică – Perspective integrative, vol. 4, Presa Universitară Clujeană: Cluj-Napoca, pp.242-246.
  • Maier, A. (2011).  Aspecte ale metacogniţiei la elevii cu dificultăţi de învăţare la matematică în Herman I., Stan C., Floare I (coordonatori) Incursiune în Educaţia Contemporană, Ed. Tehno Media: Sibiu, pp. 393-401.
  • Maier, A. (2010). Parteneriatul profesor de sprijin – profesorul de la clasă în Preda V. (coord.) Dinamica Educaţiei Speciale, Presa Universitară Clujeana: Cluj-Napoca, pp.59-66
  • Maier, A. (2010) Modele de identificare, evaluare şi diagnostic a dificultăţilor de învăţare în Anca M. (coord.) Psihopedagogia specială între practică şi cercetare, vol. 3, Presa Universitară Clujeana: Cluj-Napoca, pp. 189-194.
  • Maier, A. (2009) Trainingul metacognitiv şi performanţele şcolare ale elevilor în Anca M.(coordonator, editor) Tendinţe psihopedagogice moderne în stimularea abilităţilor de comunicare, vol 1, Presa Universitară Clujeana: Cluj-Napoca, pp. 277-284.
  • Moga, A. (2008) Dificultăţile de învăţare, imaginea de sine şi sistemul metacognitiv în Bocos M., Albulescu I., Chis V., Stan C. (coordonatori),  Tradiţii, Valori şi Perspective în Ştiinţele Educaţiei, Ed. Casa Cărţii de Ştiinţă: Cluj-Napoca, pp. 232-235.

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