ERIC Number: ED042319
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1970-Jun
Reference Count: 0
An Investigation of Factors Influencing Learning in the Mentally Retarded, and Their Use in the Design of Instructional Materials. Interim Report.
Seitz, Sue; Merryman, Sandra
Using 48 educable mentally handicapped students (ages 12-18) as subjects, a study investigated the effect of prompted and trial-and-error procedures on the learning of a paired-associate task, when items (concrete nouns of less than six letters) in one list were drawn from the same categories (animals, food) and in a second list, from different categories. Results showed that prompting caused superior performance in the first situation, demonstrating that guided learning mitigates the interference caused by associating categories rather than stimulus response items. Other variables examined included interspersed non-reinforced test trials in the trial-and-error situation, and the order of presentation of the two lists. Related to the design of instructional materials, results suggest that, in the preparation of programed workbooks or similar items for the mantally handicapped, prompting would be an effective means of introducing new concepts for association with already familiar items. (KW)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC. Bureau of Research.
Authoring Institution: Austin State School, TX.; Texas Research Inst., Houston.