ERIC Number: ED408767
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997
The Educational Meaning of Mental Retardation: Toward a More Helpful Construct. Mental Retardation and the Neglected Construct of Motivation.
Switzky, Harvey N.
This paper examines the role of motivation in the way mental retardation is defined and treated. It reviews evidence that mental retardation involves a motivational self-system and a self-regulatory influence which, interacting with cognitive and metacognitive factors, result in inefficient learning. It suggests that individuals with mental retardation are characterized by task extrinsic rather than task intrinsic motivation. Such task extrinsic factors might include external rewards, safety, avoidance of stressful or anxious situations, security, and avoidance of failure experiences. Closely related is research showing that people with mental retardation have deficient effectance motivation or mastery motivation. The educational problem is seen to center on optimizing outcome performances by increasing students' intrinsic motivation and the interaction of motivational processes with cognitive processes. Teachers are urged to consider the implications of the theory of motivational orientation for classroom practice. Contains 24 references. (DB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the Council for Exception Children (75th, Salt Lake City, UT, April 9-13, 1997).