Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching & Learning


This study used qualitative research methods to determine what happened when special educators and regular educators came together in the process of integrating three multihandicapped students into a kindergarten or a first grade classroom. Of particular interest were the actions, interactions, and perceptions of the people involved.

The writer spent two months at the field site which was located in an elementary school in a rural agricultural region in the Great Plains. Although observations were made of the children and the educational personnel, only the educational personnel and the parents were interviewed.

In this study: (1) Regular educators and special educators helped each other learn from their respective fields. (2) Disagreements emerged among the educational personnel regarding best educational practice for the multihandicapped children. (3) As this school district entered the end of its trial period in the change process, the writer felt that the next step must be the resolution of differences between the traditional educational practices that existed within the school before integration began and the innovative educational practices that were brought to the school during the 1990-91 school year.