The efficacy of special class placement for the educable mentally retarded as indicated by measures of academic achievement and social adjustment

Burden, Melvin (1971) The efficacy of special class placement for the educable mentally retarded as indicated by measures of academic achievement and social adjustment. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the present effectiveness of special class placement for the educable mentally retarded children in Urban Newfoundland as indicated by measures of academic achievement and social adjustment. -- The study was carried out among educable mentally retarded children attending ten different schools under the jurisdiction of the Avalon Consolidated School Board, St. John's. Twenty-four children between the ages of eleven and thirteen who had attended special classes for at least a period of two years were selected for the study. Twenty-two children from the regular classes were selected with the same chronological age and the same WISC IQ range as the sample from special classes. The arithmetic and reading subtests of the Wide Range Achievement Test and the Vineland Social Maturity Scale were administered to all students in the total group. -- Although the mean score on each achievement subtest was higher for the regular class group, no significant statistical difference was found between the mean arithmetic and reading scores of both groups when a t-test for independent samples was applied at the .05 level of significance. -- No significance difference was found to exist between the two groups with respect to the mean social quotient scores of the Vineland Social Maturity Scale at the .05 level of significance. -- A significant positive correlation was found to exist between performance IQ and full scale IQ and performance IQ and social maturity for the educable mentally retarded in special classes. A significant negative correlation was found between performance IQ and reading for the same group. -- In the regular class group a significant positive correlation was found between verbal IQ and all other variables in the study except performance IQ, namely: full scale IQ, social maturity, arithmetic and reading. Other significant positive correlations were found between performance IQ and full scale IQ, full scale IQ and arithmetic, social maturity and arithmetic, and arithmetic and reading. A significant negative correlation was found between performance IQ and social maturity. -- Although there exists a possibility that selection factors in placing the children in special education classes might have had some influence; the main implication of the findings of the study indicates that special classes, as presently constituted, do not seem to be producing any positive gains for the educable mentally retarded in academic achievement or social adjustment. Indeed, on the basis of the data collected one might wonder if special classes are having an adverse effect. It seems possible at present that appropriate goals are not identified for the educable mentally retarded and a lack of appropriate structuring and programing may exist within the special education program. -- The investigator suggests, on the basis of the data presented, that special class placement may not be the best or most complete answer but that some integrative scheme with the "normal" children would perhaps produce better academic and social results.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7279
Item ID: 7279
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 84-88.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1971
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Children with mental disabilities--Education

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