Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Mainstreaming in education -- United States;


The purpose of this study was to examine the perception of special education adolescent students toward mainstreamed, regular education classrooms and to determine if their perception differs from that of their non-handicapped peers. Students in grades 6 through 8, located in an urban, midwestern middle school, participated in the study. Of the 202 students consenting to participate, 37 were special education students and 165 were non-special education students. The eight participating classes were team taught by the special education teachers and regular education teachers (RSDS model) in content area subjects. Participating special education adolescents were classified as non-categorically disabled; it was estimated that 80% would be considered learning disabled, 10% behavioral disorder, and 10% mentally deficient according to state's criteria and guidelines. The student samples were diverse in gender and socioeconomic status. Students were surveyed by means of the Classroom Environment Scale (CES), the Real Form, which measures students' perception of the social environment of their classroom along the following dimensions and subscales: (a) Relationship dimensions with subscales Involvement, Affiliation, and Teacher Support; (b) Personal Growth/Goal Orientation dimensions with subscales Task Orientation and Competition; and (c) System Maintenance and Change dimensions with subscales Order and organization, Rule Clarity, Teacher Control, and Innovation (Moos & Trickett, 1987). Students' responses were kept confidential with student identification not recorded to augment confidentiality. Means and standard deviations were computed for each of the nine subscales with respect to the CES's three dimensions. Statistical analysis using independent t tests indicated that there were no significant observable differences between the two groups on any of the nine subscales. This study concluded that within the limits of what the CES instrument is designed to measure, special education adolescent students' perception and their non-special education peers' perception are not different in respect to mainstreaming experiences. Implied is that the mainstreaming experiences are similar between the special education and non-special education students; therefore, educators and parents alike should gain a greater degree of confidence in respect to effects of the mainstreaming experience for special education children.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Specialist in Education


Department of Educational Psychology and Foundations

First Advisor

Ralph Scott

Second Advisor

Charles V. L. Dedrick

Third Advisor

Bruce Rogers


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