Cognitive—Behavioral Approaches in Reading and Written Language: Developing Self-Regulated Learners

  • Karen R. Harris
  • Steve Graham
  • Michael Pressley
Part of the Disorders of Human Learning, Behavior, and Communication book series (HUMAN LEARNING)


The movement toward cognitive—behavioral educational interventions for children with significant academic problems has been the result of multiple forces. Although space precludes a thorough history, it is appropriate to acknowledge major impetuses here (see Harris, 1982, Mahoney, 1977, and Meyers, Cohen, & Schleser, 1989 for more detailed histories). Dissatisfaction with traditional behavioral interventions and their underlying assumptions became evident across many fields in the 1960s, including that of learning disabilities. While many important behavioral interventions were identified for special needs children, dissatisfaction arose in part from the limited scope and effectiveness of behavioral interventions that focused on discrete procedures used to change restricted behaviors, and in part from frequent failure to obtain durable and generalizable results (Harris, 1982). From the radical behavioral viewpoint, cognitions had no place in the science of behavior, and the underlying assumption was “the best way to change thoughts and feelings is to change behavior directly; changes in thoughts and feelings will then follow” (Ledwidge, 1978, p. 371). Most cognitivists in turn focused on cognition as the focal point for change and rejected behavioral learning principles in the 1960s.


Reading Comprehension Strategy Instruction Poor Reader Learn Disability American Educational Research Association 
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© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karen R. Harris
  • Steve Graham
  • Michael Pressley

There are no affiliations available

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