Self-invented addition strategies by children with mental retardation

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Children with mental retardation often seem incapable of self-initiated learning. A training experiment was designed to determine whether such children could spontaneously invent more efficient addition strategies for calculating simple sums; apply these strategies to larger, unpracticed combinations; and retain these strategies after 5 months. An experimental group and a control group were shown a basic concrete counting procedure. Over 6 months, the experimental group was given regular opportunities to practice computing sums. Many of them invented calculational short cuts. On immediate and delayed posttests, they used significantly more sophisticated strategies than did control participants. Results suggest that children with mental retardation can invent, transfer, and retain strategies for learning tasks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-89
Number of pages18
JournalAmerican Journal on Mental Retardation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Rehabilitation
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Health Professions(all)


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