Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Slow learning children; Learning disabilities; Problem children--Education; Slow learning children;


This study examined some of the behavioral and academic characteristics of students who were placed in transition rooms, program philosophies and goals, behavioral and academic benefits of the transition experience, and parental reactions to the programs.

Subjects were 43 white middle-class students who were enrolled in two transition rooms in a midwestern school district during two consecutive school years. Fall and spring data from teacher ratings on the Myklebust Pupil Rating Scale (PRS) were obtained and used as indices of behavioral characteristics and progress. Spring kindergarten and transition scores on the Clymer-Barrett Prereading Battery (C-B) were collected and utilized as measures of academic characteristics and progress. In addition, fall and spring classroom behavioral observations were made on four individual students, and teacher interviews were conducted to determine program philosophies and goals. Questionnaires were sent to the parents of all students in the spring of both school years to obtain their responses concerning the transition programs.

Data were analyzed to determine characteristics and progress, both of transition students as a group and of four individually selected students. Results indicated that both behavioral and academic characteristics are contributing factors in the high-risk status of transition students. When students entered the transition programs, the total group means on verbal, nonverbal, and total PRS ratings were approximately one standard deviation below the standardization means on the PRS. According to C-B norms, the students displayed average prereading skills.

Philosophies and goals differed to some degree for the two schools, with one school placing more emphasis on affective factors and the other stressing academic factors. As a group, students at both schools made significant (p<.001) academic gains on the C-B, whereas, students from the school which stressed affective factors received higher PRS ratings at the end of the year than students from the school which stressed academics. Questionnaire responses indicated that most parents had favorable reactions to the transition programs. Case study data indicated that these four students were referred for differing types and degrees of both behavioral and academic deficits and, while all made academic progress during the year, that behavioral changes were more individualized.

Findings indicated that transition students displayed a wide range of behavioral and academic characteristics, suggesting that both areas should be considered in the identification and referral process. Differing philosophies and goals of the two transition programs may have had an influence on the type of progress made by students in the different classes. Teacher attitudes and parental support toward the program can also be factors influencing the success of the transition experience.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Specialist in Education


Department of Educational Psychology, Foundations, and Leadership Studies


Department of Educational Psychology and Foundations

First Advisor

Barry J. Wilson


If you are the rightful copyright holder of this thesis and wish to have it removed from the Open Access Collection, please submit a request to scholarworks@uni.edu and include clear identification of the work, preferably with URL.

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (99 pages)



File Format