Learning and Cognition in the Mentally Retarded

Learning and Cognition in the Mentally Retarded

Learning and Cognition in the Mentally Retarded

Learning and Cognition in the Mentally Retarded

Excerpt

Mental retardation is hardly a simple phenomenon. It shouldn't be surprising, therefore, to find that the scientific study of mental retardation has become about as diverse and complex as the phenomenon itself. In our attempt to understand the causes, characteristics, and consequences of retarded behavior, we have come to adopt theoretical perspectives and empirical approaches that are sometimes quite difficult to reconcile. The particular aspects of behavior we see as most critical to study, the theoretical frameworks we develop to guide our empirical efforts, the specific conceptual issues we see as most profitable to explore and the particular paradigms we use to explore these issues--all are marked by extreme diversity of approach. Even the definition of mental retardation has escaped consensus.

Despite all this diversity, the one thing students of mental retardation have always agreed upon is the importance of understanding learning and cognitive processes in the retarded. Regardless of perspective, the inescapable fact is that the generally nonadaptive behavior of mentally retarded individuals is largely and directly related to inefficiencies in learning and cognition. While many other important aspects of this multi-factored phenomenon certainly need to be pursued, our attempts to understand and effectively remediate mentally retarded behavior are clearly limited by what we know about the cognitive bases of retardation.

Consistent with this view, considerable study has been devoted over the past 20 years to issues of learning and thinking in the mentally retarded. But, as is the case in the general mental retardation literature, our efforts in this domain have been marked by a substantial diversity of approach--particularly with respect to our pre-theoretical notions about the cognitive nature of mental retardation and . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.