Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Andrew R. Brulle


Since legislation has been enacted to insure the educational rights of handicapped students in the least restrictive environment, teachers and administrators are concerned with the placement of the students with learning disabilities in the regular classrooms.

Secondary teachers who do not have a background in special education find it difficult to accept students with learning disabilities into their regular classrooms. Many of these teachers feel they will have to spend a disproportionate amount of time with this particular type of student, thus taking much needed time away from students who are not handicapped. The purpose of this study was to determine empirically whether regular classroom teachers spent a disproportionate amount of time with students who have learning disabilities.

The setting for this study was Charleston High School, Charleston, Illinois. Charleston High School is a four year public secondary school located in an east central Illinois rural farming community.

The subjects for this study were 36 regular classroom teachers who had the students with learning disabilities in their classes. Teachers in 13 departments were observed.

Data was collected by 15 students enrolled in Special Education courses at Eastern Illinois University. Observers recorded behaviors through the use of momentary time sampling procedures. A total of 377 hours of observation occurred over an eight-week period yielding 96,664 recorded data entries.

It was found that teachers spent 1.4% of the time (42.5 seconds) assisting students with learning disabilities and 2.4% of the time (72.7 seconds) assisting students without learning disabilities in one class period. When this difference was compared throught the use of a Z test, the results were not significant at the .0694 level.