Date of Award

Summer 1995

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Morris Beers

Second Advisor

Linda Schloner

Third Advisor

Patricia E. Baker

Abstract

There is a movement in today’s public schools which calls for all students, including those students who have been identified by the Committee on Special Education as having learning disabilities and behavior disorders, to be included in regular education classrooms. This study looks at the perceptions which regular education and special education teachers have about integrated or blended classrooms. It considers what factors in a teacher’s experience, beliefs, and understanding of the program determines whether or not they may be willing to participate in an integrated setting. It also determines whether there is a statistically significant difference in the responses of the regular education and special education teaching groups. Seventy-two elementary school teachers of the Greece Central School District in Rochester, New York were anonymously surveyed by the author and the results were analyzed. The author found that both groups of teachers had some concerns about blended programs. A majority of teachers felt that students with mild disabilities would gain status and perform better academically if placed in a regular classroom environment. However, both groups also expressed concern for the achievement of the non-special education students involved. The study also found that general education teachers felt under-prepared for working with students with mild disabilities.

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