LEARNING DISABLED AND EMOTIONALLY DISTURBED STUDENTS MAINSTREAMED INTO REGULAR CLASSES: WHAT ARE THE UNDERLYING FACTORS?

RUSSELL DOUGLAS FALLER, Fordham University

Abstract

Responding to the vagueness of the mainstreaming mandate within PL 94-142, the literature has identified many criteria by which to determine handicapped students' readiness for mainstreaming. However, there is no clarity on how these criteria relate, in a fundamental structure, to mainstreaming-readiness judgments of Child Study Team (CST) members. This study sought a factor structure for these criteria in the mainstreaming of Emotionally Disturbed (ED) and Learning Disabled (LD) elementary students from self-contained classes to regular classes for 50 percent of the school day. Each diagnostic label was expected to produce a different factor structure.^ Subjects and Procedure. Three hundred ninety-four educators, representing a range of CST roles, rated criteria as to their importance in recommending that an ED or LD self-contained student be mainstreamed for 50 percent of the school day. Statistical analyses consisted of 42 rotated factor solutions completed in a logical sequence, first, to search for factor patterns that remain relatively stable across different factoring methods and rotations and, then, to confirm these patterns by forcing the data into various alternative configurations which might also reasonably describe the data.^ Findings. Factor solutions pertinent to the ED student consistently produced only one major factor. This factor is a social and emotional behaviors factor. Factor solutions pertinent to the LD student also consistently produced only one major factor. This factor is composed of criteria quite similar to the factor for ED students and was also identified as a social and emotional behaviors factor.^ Discussion. This study found, contrary to expectation, ED and LD students judged by essentially the same mainstreaming-readiness criteria, regardless of diagnostic label. Consequently, rather similar factor patterns emerged. Factor patterns emerging for the ED and LD student are simple and consist of only one factor with limited dimensions. Apparently, CST members did not recognize the importance of the student's academic potential or the readiness of the mainstream to accomodate the student. With the predominance of a social and emotional behaviors factor, it seems that a mainstreaming opportunity will be offered if the student can be expected to behave appropriately. Mainstreaming appears to be viewed, then, as a social experience, rather than an academic experience. ^

Subject Area

Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

FALLER, RUSSELL DOUGLAS, "LEARNING DISABLED AND EMOTIONALLY DISTURBED STUDENTS MAINSTREAMED INTO REGULAR CLASSES: WHAT ARE THE UNDERLYING FACTORS?" (1985). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8508114.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8508114

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