Problem solving by students with intellectual disability

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Problem solving is a component of observable student engagement behaviours. It has been found that novice problem solvers, and those with an intellectual disability (ID), often encounter difficulties when attempting to solve problems and in transferring skills or strategies to novel settings. This chapter will examine the types of strategies students with ID draw on when presented with simple, routine problems when analysed using the Student Engagement Checklist (SEC). A conceptual approach to understanding problem solving was undertaken using the IDEAL problem-solving model (Bransford and Stein, 1993) and the COATSRUAM framework (Lawson, 2008), guiding the planning and teaching across 20 reading lessons. The SEC was used to rate student behaviour during reading lessons in a single subject, alternating treatment design. The results indicate that the students with ID who participated in this study have a range of problem-solving strategies from which to draw; however, they are often surface-level strategies that are ineffective.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProblem Solving for Teaching and Learning
Subtitle of host publicationA Festschrift for Emeritus Professor Mike Lawson
EditorsHelen Askell-Williams, Janice Orrell
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780429400902
ISBN (Print)9780367001834
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


  • intellectual disability
  • problem solving
  • Disability
  • reading


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