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Carmen Rasmussen

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over the five years Carmen has spent at the University of Alberta, she has been a part of more than ten research projects, ranging from studies on mathematical cognition in young children, to memory deficits in children with Nonverbal Learning Disability. Carmen has also conducted a variety of research projects with Aboriginal children. “I am particularly interested in cognitive development and health factors in aboriginal children, she says, “Aboriginal individuals in Canada face many challenges including lower income, poor education attainment, and higher rates of suicide than non-aboriginals. Of particular interest to me is educational achievement. There are studies and statistics which show that aboriginal children display difficulties in school, but there has been little research addressing why these children are having such difficulties in school and whether there may be health-related conditions [such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum disorder (FASD)] or learning differences that may affect their performance in school. Addressing the question of why these children are having difficulty in school is really the first step towards improving the academic efficacy and life-long outcomes of aboriginal children.”

The language and culture of my heritage is passed on to me orally. it's a different way off learning than how I am taught at school. How do I keep my traditional culture alive while learning to read and being immersed in the majority culture?

Reading is the core of learning and staying in school . improving reading skills with young Aboriginal children can open up the doors to future prospects.

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