ERIC Number: ED331260
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Aug-12
Contemporary Forces and Factors Affecting Students with Mild Mental Retardation.
Davis, William E.
This paper provides a discussion and analysis of: (1) selected forces, factors, and conditions which have contributed to the reported decrease in the number and percentage of students classified as mildly mentally retarded for purposes of special eligibility and programming; (2) changes in the characteristics of the "new population" of mildly retarded students; and (3) emerging trends which have the potential for impacting this population of students. It is concluded that there are a variety of plausible explanations for the decrease in the mildly mentally retarded population, that students presently identified as mildly mentally retarded are substantially different in characteristics and programming needs than students formerly classified as educable mentally retarded (overrepresentation of males and ethnic/minority groups are prime characteristics of the new population); and that there are large numbers of needy students in the slow learner range who need but do not qualify for any special education services. Specific trends identified include changes in the special education population; the impact of recent school reform movements, especially the Regular Education Initiative; and a generalized public backlash toward special education. Four recommendations address the issues of classification, placement, personnel preparation, and the status of "mild mental retardation." Includes 50 references. (DB)
Descriptors: Classification, Educational Change, Educational Diagnosis, Educational Needs, Elementary Secondary Education, Eligibility, Incidence, Labeling (of Persons), Mild Mental Retardation, Minority Groups, Regular and Special Education Relationship, Sex Differences, Student Characteristics, Trend Analysis
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (98th, Boston, MA, August 12, 1990).