Il Programma di Arricchimento Pre-Strumentale e lo sviluppo del Concetto di Forma
Building on the principles of the pedagogy of mediation, the Pre-Instrumental Enrichment Program (PAPS) by Leoni and Pavan is a recently established approach specifically aimed at early cognitive intervention. It is designed to be applicable to pre-school children with intellectual disabilities and learning disorders.
The approach proposes a structured and gradual intervention aimed at promoting the formation of several Basic Concepts, which play an important role in perceptual organization. The article outlines the intervention for the development of the concept of Shape, which presents a series of activities of increasing complexity and abstraction. Initially, children are involved in sensorymotor activities, in which the mediated learning experience of the perceptual properties of the basic attributes of planar shapes establishes the first geometrical mental representations. Subsequently, pre-operatory activities are proposed, guiding children through a gradual process of abstraction of the perceptual characteristics necessary to identify some basic planar geometric shapes. These figures will then be used to lead, through a further process of generalization, to the development of the superordinate concept of Shape.
In addition to enabling the early development of geometric thinking, the proposed activities provide children with intellectual disabilities with a series of learning experiences and opportunities for the mediation of pro-attentive cognitive strategies.
The aim of the paper is to show how work in the geometric domain, often neglected in intellectual disability, offers children, if properly supported, the opportunity to access gradually more abstract conceptual and procedural skills, and repositions the issue of equal access to learning opportunities at the center of the school debate.