Maladaptive Cognitive Schema

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Maladaptive Cognitive Schema is learning (noun) that organizes our knowledge, assumptions, and mental processing habits, in ways that misorient, misdirect, misinform, or otherwise undermine or disable learning (verb).

1. Marked by faulty or inadequate adaptation.
2. Not assisting or promoting adaptation.
Cognitive Schema
Structures that organize our knowledge and assumptions about something and are used for interpreting and processing information. (wiki)

One common example of maladaptive cognitive schema is the ‘guessing games’ poor readers get stuck in. Rather than working the code they jump to guessing what the word is from its context, whole word appearance, or an accompanying picture. This learned, unconsciously automatic, processing schema is misorienting and maladapting their learning to the learning challenge at hand. In other words, what they’ve learned in the past is working against their learning in the present.

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