Relationships between Percentage of Learning Disabled Children in a Regular Education Classroom and the Effects on Achievement of and Acceptance by Their Non-Learning Disabled Classmates
Date of Award
Dissertation - Restricted
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
The purpose of this study was to determine by grade level, if there was a relationship between the percentage of learning disabled students in a regular education classroom and the reading achievement scores of that classroom, the mathematics achievement scores of that classroom, and if learning disabled students were accepted as friends by their non-learning disabled classmates. The independent variables used in the investigation were the percent of learning disabled children in a classroom, the size of the class, the years of teaching experience of the classroom teacher, and the socioeconomic status of the school. The population sample was comprised of 223 classrooms, grades one through five, in nine public elementary schools from one Illinois school district. In reading achievement scores, the first variable to enter the multiple regression equation, at all five grade levels, was percent of learning disabled students in a classroom. The second, at all grade levels, was class size. Both variables carried negative Beta weights. In grades four and five, socioeconomic status was the third significant variable and it carried a positive Beta weight. Percent of learning disabled students in a classroom entered the equation at all grade levels when investigating the mathematics achievement scores. Class size was significant only at grades one and five. Both carried negative Beta weights. In predicting the percent of learning disabled students accepted as friends by their non-learning disabled classmates, the only variable making a significant contribution, and only in grade one, was years of teaching experience. It carried a negative Beta weight. It can be inferred that the smaller the percent of learning disabled students in a classroom, the higher the predicted achievement scores for that classroom. If combined with class size, the predicted achievement scores will be higher. In grades four and five, the higher the socioeconomic status, the higher the predicted reading achievement scores. First grade teachers with fewer years of teaching experience, had higher percentages of learning disabled students accepted as friends by their non-learning disabled classmates. No other variables made significant contribution. The level of significance was .05.