A STUDY OF PRESCHOOL EDUCATOR ATTITUDES TOWARD MAINSTREAMING HANDICAPPED CHILDREN (PENNSYLVANIA)

RICHARD DAVID PRICE, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

The practice of integrating handicapped and non-handicapped children in educational settings has received a great deal of attention over the past two decades. This method of educating handicapped children is commonly referred to as mainstreaming. The purpose of this study was to investigate the attitudes of preschool educators toward mainstreaming handicapped children in Pennsylvania. Specifically the study examined the relationship of twenty-four independent variables with the dependent variable, attitudes toward mainstreaming. Some of the more important variables included enrollment of handicapped children, type of certification, age, completion of special education courses and experience teaching handicapped children. Data were also collected regarding potential incentives for encouraging the practice of preschool mainstreaming. Up until this time, research regarding the attitudes of preschool educators toward mainstreaming has been sparse or non-extant. The methodology used for this study was that of a survey questionnaire which combined the Attitudes Toward Mainstreaming Scale developed by Berryman and Neal with a background data questionnaire. The geographic area surveyed covered selected counties from southern Pennsylvania including urban, suburban and rural areas. A multiple regression analysis was used to analyze most of the data. A measure of difference was also employed to determine the effect of three selected institutional variables. The study reviewed the history of mainstreaming, the present status of preschool education in Pennsylvania and relevant research in the areas of preschool mainstreaming and attitudes toward mainstreaming. Two significant results were: (1) There is a negative correlation between favorable attitudes toward mainstreaming among preschool educators and certification as specialists and (2) Those educators working in preschool programs which enroll handicapped children have more favorable attitudes toward mainstreaming. The results of the survey indicated that most of the variables investigated had no significant relationship with the dependent variable. The study also revealed that most respondents preferred financial incentives, provision of special services and relevant training as likely inducements to foster preschool mainstreaming.

Subject Area

School administration

Recommended Citation

PRICE, RICHARD DAVID, "A STUDY OF PRESCHOOL EDUCATOR ATTITUDES TOWARD MAINSTREAMING HANDICAPPED CHILDREN (PENNSYLVANIA)" (1985). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI8611021.
https://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI8611021

Share

COinS