Developing a job related social skills curriculum for the adult retarded

The purpose of this project was to develop a curriculum for teaching social/personal skills necessary for work placement and adjustment to a group of adult working retarded. Twelve adult retarded, participating in a Comprehensive Employment Training Act (CETA) program at the Golden Oak Adult School, Newhall, Ca., attended classes for 6 weeks, 6 hours a week, in which the sole emphasis was on the reinforcement and strengthening of skills necessary for successful work adjustment. The curriculum emphasized concrete and abstract concepts incorporated into learning situations based on realistic, individually related work experiences. Evaluation of the effectiveness of the learning experience was to be accomplished by comparing the results of a pre and posttest and by subjective evaluation at the end of the 6 week course and at the end of a six month successful placement in a work situation. The results of the pre and post tests and the subjective evaluation at the end of the course showed that at least one third of the group needed no further training in the skills, but did need some continued reinforcement in this area. Another third greatly improved in benefit from additional social/personal skills but most likely would further training. The lowest third needed time and training in this area before they would retain the skills at an acceptable level for successful work adjustment. It was concluded that the curriculum could be improved by heavier emphasis on use of multi-media materials. The project suggested that because of the complexity of the needs of the students and the many variables beyond a teacher's control, it is extremely difficult to design a fully adequate curriculum for the adult working retarded.