Title

An Attitudinal Study of Professional Educators Toward the Integration of Students With Severe Handicaps

Date of Award

1990

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education

First Advisor

James A. Siders

Advisor Department

Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education

Abstract

This study was designed to analyze the relationship between the criterion variable of attitudes and the predictor variables of contact with students with severe disabilities, current environmental arrangements, educational position, total years of educational experience, and majority area of experience of professional educators in the State of Mississippi. The research examined the attitudes of 633 regular education teachers, special education teachers, principals, central office staff, and other certified personnel. The Severely Handicapped Integration Attitude Survey (SHIAS) was utilized in this sample to elicit information regarding the attitudes of professional educators toward the integration of students with severe handicaps into various regular school environments. The discriminant function procedure of multiple linear regression was utilized to test all hypotheses in this study. A significant relationship was found between the composite group of predictor variables and attitudes of professional educators involved in this study. The predictor variables of educational position, total years of educational experience, and majority area of educational experience were found to independently discriminate between positive and negative attitudes. The predictor variables of contact with students with severe disabilities and current environmental arrangements were not reported to independently discriminate between positive and negative attitudes. Major findings and recommendations were discussed in this study.