Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Dr. Gerald Begy


The purpose of this study was to distinguish the differences between special education and regular education students regarding their awareness of environmental changes in the classroom.

The subjects in this study were from a suburban school district in New York State. Of the sixteen students involved, eight were from a self-contained special education first grade class. The other eight students were randomly selected from a regular education first grade class.

Alterations were made to the classroom environment (twice a week for four weeks). The days of the week and the alterations were staggered to avoid alerting the students to the changes. On the days that changes were made, the students were asked if they had noticed anything different about the classroom. Their yes or no responses were charted. At the completion of the study, the students' responses were converted into percentages. The findings indicated that the regular education students outperformed the special education students. Based on the results, environmental awareness proved to be a distinguishing factor that differentiates special education students from regular education students.