Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Mainstreaming in education; Special education teachers -- Attitudes; Teachers -- Attitudes;


This study was designed to identify certain teacher attitudes toward mainstreaming. Data were collected and analyzed to investigate the differences between regular education and special education teachers who were enrolled .. in graduate level classes at the University of Northern Iowa for summer semester. The subjects were asked to complete a 16 item questionnaire which was divided into three sections. The subjects for this study were 187 graduate students who were secondary and elementary teachers; 91 were special education teachers and 96 were regular education teachers. There was a large variation in total years of teaching experience ranging from less than 1 year to 30 years. There were 102 secondary teachers and 85 elementary teachers and 153 females and 34 males. There were 149 participants who held a bachelors degree and 36 had a masters degree. A Chi Square analysis was used to assess differences between answers of regular and special educators. Results revealed that there were no • significant differences between regular and special education teachers toward educational placements of handicapped children. The questions addressing teachers' attitudes toward integration; and teachers' knowledge of their special education respopsibilities indicated several discrepancies. Both regular and special educators were in agreement with educational placements of exceptional handicapped children. Both regular and special education teachers were in agreement with the fact that special students would take part in extracurricular activities, The concept of integration was the area in which there was the most disagreement between regular and special education. There seems to be a lack of communication between these two groups. The special education teachers felt as if the regular teachers would feel imposed upon to help special students much more than did the regular teachers. Likewise, the special education teacher felt as if the regular teacher would not accept the special student if special classes were phased out. Neither would they accept the special educator coming into the classroom instead of taking the student out of the room for extra help. Most regular teachers felt as if the mildly handicapped students were getting appropriate academic services from the special education classes, and most special educators felt that these students were not getting appropriate academic services. Special educators were much more aware of their responsibilities and of the State and Federal laws governing special education than were regular educators. One item on which every regular teacher answered yes was: If time were available, regular classroom teachers would work and consult with special education teachers about special students. It would appear as if all regular classroom teachers who completed this questionnaire would like to be able to help the student who is in need of special attention, but they need more time and more help when teaching special students.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Specialist in Education


Department of Educational Psychology and Foundations

First Advisor

Barry J. Wilson

Second Advisor

Susan C. Etscheidt

Third Advisor

Marvin Heller


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