Authors: Patricia Carson, Reesa Sorin..
Article: Clay’s the Thing: Clay Work for Mastering Spelling.
Publication: The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Educational Studies Volume 12, Issue 3 2018 | DOI: 10.18848/2327-011X/CGP/v12i03/15-29
A number of students experience difficulty with the spelling, retention, and recognition of basic spelling words. These students, who are often Dyslexic and/or Three Dimensional Visual Thinkers (3DVT), are usually taught spelling through mainstream pedagogic practices such as phonics and rote learning; practices which are generally unsuccessful with this group. Symbol Mastery is a process where students work with clay to create visual interpretations of a word’s meaning and then they connect it to the word’s spelling and pronunciation, resulting in a multisensory approach to learning to spell. Davis developed Symbol Mastery based on his belief that creativity is an important component of learning.
This study aimed to trial Symbol Mastery in order to add to the body of evidence of its impact on Dyslexic students’ spelling abilities. The research was framed as a qualitative case study, with its participants being four Dyslexic students who had completed an individualized program and eight one-on-one tutorial sessions. Data was gathered from pre- and post-program interviews with students and parents, researcher observations, and artifact collection. Along with this, pre- and post-tutorial spelling tests were administered. The results showed that through engaging with the word visually and creatively, spelling was retained and student participants were more engaged in the learning process.