Graduate Program

Educational Administration

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Education Specialist (EdS)

First Advisor

David E. Bartz


During the summer of 1980, this writer became a member of the faculty of Centennial Laboratory School, 1500 East Condit, Decatur, Illinois. The transfer to Centennial occurred in order to take part in the establishment of an Ungraded Primary Department within that school. This paper examines the rationale, planning, and production of such a department as an integral part of the total educational program of Centennial during the first semester of its existence.

The Ungraded Primary Department is a valuable educational experience for five, six, and seven year old children. It provides flexibility of grouping according to individual needs, a system of continuous progress and evaluation of children's needs, reduces the problems associated with acceleration and retention, and provides each child with experiences which provide success, self-esteem, and well-rounded growth in all areas.

The paper is divided into four main sections. The first section of the paper serves as the introduction, explaining the purpose of the field experience, giving pertinent background information, and reviewing briefly some of the literature consulted in establishing the department.

Section II consists of a Log of Activities carried out as a part of the field experience. Both as an observer of the department and a participant in its development, this writer was involved in numerous activities. This log is a weekly record of the activities unique to the establishment and development of the Ungraded Primary Department.

Section III is an analyses of the four major activities conducted as a part of the field study. The activities reported include Student Placement, Instructional Program, Communications, and Mainstreaming Students.

The Student Placement section outlines both the Initial Placement plan, which includes screening, interviewing, and reviewing past performance, and the Adjustive Placement plan which corrects errors made in initial placement.

The Instructional Program section details both the content of the curriculum and the methods used to enhance learning. The curriculum is a balance between teaching and learning experiences.

For purposes of this paper Communication activities are reported in two sections---those activities of communication between staff members and communication activities between school and home.

Children are mainstreamed into the Ungraded Primary Department from two different sources and for two very different reasons. They come from the Early Childhood (Special Education) Department for exposure to the normal classroom and from the Refugee Classroom to learn English.

The summary, Section IV of the paper, contains conclusions and recommendations for the future.

The nine appendices to the paper contain forms, communication and evaluation devices, and other information which has been part of the development of the Ungraded Primary Department.


Dept. of School Service Personnel

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.