Date of Award

7-1-1995

Degree Type

Thesis

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Education

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Trevor Turner

Abstract

This study investigated the peer acceptance of the mentally handicapped child mainstreamed in the regular classroom. In search of a solution to the problem, two concerns were addressed: 1. Is the mainstreamed mentally handicapped student accepted by his peers in the regular classroom? 2. Is the mainstreamed handicapped student ever chosen for leadership in the regular classroom by his peers? The problem was stated as a null hypothesis: There was no statistically significant difference in the relationship of the mentally handicapped and the “normal” child when placed in the regular classroom when rated by peers. The general purpose of this study was to determine the peer relationship of the mainstreamed mentally handicapped child in the regular classroom. This study employed the analytical method of research. A sociometric questionnaire was chosen as the data gathering instrument. The data was collected and analyzed statistically using the Chi Square Test. The resulting data was charted and interpreted and the appropriate conclusion was drawn. All of the mentally handicapped were children except one (1) were accepted for all three of the questions. Therefore the null hypothesis was not rejected. The major finding of this study involving the mainstreamed disabled child and the normal child in the regular class predicted a positive score for placing the two (2) (mentally handicapped and the normal child) groups together in the regular classroom. The following recommendations were made based on the results of this study: 1. More mentally handicapped children should be placed in the regular classroom where data can be collected to determine which group shows the greatest degree of progress when placed in the regular class setting. 2. Sensitivity classes to enhance the communication between all educators. 3. Inservice training for the non-special education teacher and other personnel to assist with the sensitivity of the learners, their peers and the ease of the transition in the regular setting. 4. Ways of adjusting the curriculum for maximum learning in the regular setting. 5. Dismissal of labels to eliminate the stigma of being different. 6. Ways of discipling (behavior modification techniques) for all students but emphasizing discipline for the mainstreamed learner.

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