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Research Article | Open Access
Volume 5 2013 | None
Assimilative Practice and Developmental Intervention
Gerald Mahoney
Pages: 45-65
It is proposed that developmental learning is integrally tied to children engaging in massive practiceof their existing skills and concepts. This is based upon observations that: childrens spontaneousplay is characterized by their producing behaviors typical for their developmental age; childrenrepeat these behaviors thousands of times before transitioning to higher developmental levels; andchildrens rate of practicing behaviors associated with their current functioning is correlated withtheir development. Massive practice corresponds to the concept of assimilation which Piagetidentified as one of the two processes involved in developmental learning. Results from interventionresearch studies that accelerated childrens development by increasing their rate of practice arepresented. Although the concept of assimilative practice is overlooked as an essential learningactivity in early intervention, the difficulties of promoting maintenance and generalization which areoften encountered in early intervention may be addressed by integrating a focus on assimilation intocontemporary practice.
Young Children with Disabilities, Developmental Learning; Early Intervention