Date of Award


Degree Name

Educational Leadership


College of Education and Professional Development

Type of Degree


Document Type



The purpose of this study were to (1) investigate the attitude and acceptance behaviors of the regular-classroom teachers toward the present movement of educating handicapped students in the regular classroom, and (2) to investigate selected variables that may affect the attitude and acceptance behaviors, in order to have the findings of the study serve as one basis for future curriculum planning in teacher education programs as well as for in-service program development for local education systems.

The stated attitude data was collected from the responses of 187 regular-classroom teachers and student interns to the questionnaire, A Survey of Teachers’ Opinions Relative to Mainstreaming Special Needs Children (STORMS), which was developed by Dr. Barbara Larrivee and Dr, Linda Cook. The acceptance behavior data were collected from 40 regular-classroom teachers and student interns who were presently teaching handicapped students and who volunteered for the observation portion of this study. The Teacher Classroom Acceptance Behavior observation instrument designed by the author, was used to collect the observation data.

Correlations and analyses of variance were conducted. The results indicated significant relations between teachers’ stated attitude from the questionnaire and (1) the year the teachers were certified, (2) the teachers’ perceived degree of success teaching handicapped students, (3) the teachers’ perception of the availability of support service, and (4) the teachers’ perception of the level of administrative support. No significant relation was found between the teachers’ stated attitude and (1) the number of handicapped students the teachers had taught, (2) the type of school in which the teachers were teaching (i.e., half-day resource room, full-day resource room, special wing), (3) the number of semester hours of special education course work the teachers had completed, (4) the acceptance behaviors of the regular-classroom teachers as observed in the classroom, and (5) the grade level the teachers are presently teaching. The majority of the regular classroom teachers (54%) were rated by the questionnaire as having an “undecided” attitude toward mainstreaming, while 34 percent had a “positive” attitude and 12 percent had a “negative” attitude. The mean score on the attitude questionnaire was 3.15 on a scale of 1 to 5. The range of score was 1.23-4.43.

Support for establishing more positive attitudes toward mainstreaming via (1) success experiences with teaching handicapped students, (2) special education coursework and Inservice activities relevant to the regular classroom with specific objectives involving attitude change, and (3) activities stressing the importance of support services and administrative support, was forthcoming from this study.


The University of West Virginia College of Graduate Studies became the WV Graduate College in 1992 and was subsequently merged with Marshall University in 1997.


Mainstreaming in education.

Teachers – Attitudes.

Teacher-student relationships.