Educational Research and Reviews

  • Abbreviation: Educ. Res. Rev.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1990-3839
  • DOI: 10.5897/ERR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 1964


Teaching students with intellectual disabilities: Constructivism or behaviorism?

Faris Algahtani
  • Faris Algahtani
  • Department of Special Education, Faculty of Education, University of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 03 September 2017
  •  Accepted: 16 October 2017
  •  Published: 10 November 2017


Many teaching strategies have been postulated over the past years by various scholars in an effort to enhance the education system among students with intellectual disabilities. There is much debate on the application of constructivist and behaviorist perspectives for teaching students with intellectual disabilities as addressed in this paper. Many scholars have advocated for exclusivity with regards to the use of the two approaches. However, this work recommends a combination of principles from the two approaches to best structure instructions and teaching. This paper includes a brief explanation of intellectual disabilities, a summative brief of major constructivist and behaviorist perspectives, and their implication in students with intellectual disabilities. Finally, the paper offers summary of the approaches and provides a number of recommendations for teaching intellectually challenged children in a school setting.


Key words: Constructivist, behaviorist, students, intellectual disabilities, teaching strategies.