Socioemotional Coping and Cognitive Processes in Training Learning-Disabled Children

  • Marja Vauras
  • Erno Lehtinen
  • Riitta Kinnunen
  • Pekka Salonen
Part of the Disorders of Human Learning, Behavior, and Communication book series (HUMAN LEARNING)


Research in special education is characterized by the contradiction that although practical methods for remedial teaching have been developed, the deficit hypothesis based on a model of stable mental abilities is accepted at the same time. This dependency on a stable and etiological explanation of disabilities has focused remedial programs on peripheral aspects of learning and achievement. In many programs for students with special needs, attention has been directed to facilitating and simplifying the tasks and to “drilling” the desired behavior. Hence there exists no intention to change the fundamental learning and thinking processes and the quality of knowledge acquisition (cf. Swanson, 1984). Research in the field of cognitive psychology has offered an alternative: a learning-disabled student has been viewed as possessing poor, inadequately constructed strategies and self-regulative modes of thinking for approaching the complex demands of academic tasks (see Baker & Brown, 1984; Wong, 1985, for critical reviews). According to this view, learning-disabled (LD) children have not constructed adequate task-specific and general strategic skills during their earlier learning experiences (Wong, 1985), or they fail to use their (potential) skills efficiently or spontaneously in actual academic situations (Aebli & Ruthemann, 1987). This constructivist view implies that, in principle, the learning and thinking of LD children can, despite apparent passivity, be described by the same dynamic concepts as the intellectual activity of normal or high-achieving students. Although we have accepted the constructivist concept, the empirical evidence shows persistent difficulty in attaining permanent and transferable progress in LD children’s trained strategic skills (see Paris & Oka, 1989; Wong, 1986, for reviews).


Coping Strategy Strategy Group Social Compliance Task Orientation Metacognitive Skill 
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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marja Vauras
  • Erno Lehtinen
  • Riitta Kinnunen
  • Pekka Salonen

There are no affiliations available

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