Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Special Education

First Committee Member

John Filler

Number of Pages



The first purpose of this study was to determine whether instruction to teachers resulted in differences in their performance. The second purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of two social skill training methods, a proactive approach and a reactive approach, on increasing the "positive initiations" and/or "positive responses" of preschool children toward their peers during small group art activities. The proactive approach consisted of the teacher providing children with 5 minutes of instruction in specific social skills prior to the art activities, while the reactive approach consisted of the teacher providing verbal praise for "positive initiations" and "positive responses" during art activities. Three teachers who taught at an inclusive university preschool program and twenty-four children between the ages of 4 years-old and 5 years-old participated in the study. The teachers and children were randomly assigned to one of three groups: reactive, proactive, or compariSon Each group of children included 8 children: 4 boys (1 with a disability) and 4 girls (1 with a disability); Results indicated that teachers differed in their use of proactive and reactive strategies. The teacher trained in reactive strategies continued to use the strategies during a Follow-up Phase. The teacher trained in the proactive strategies used one of the four proactive strategies during the Intervention Phase, but her behavior during the Follow-up Phase returned to the level found during Pre-intervention. Teachers in each experimental group exhibited significant differences in behavior when compared with the performance of the teacher in the comparison group; Results of analyses of child behaviors indicated that the performance of each group on "positive responses" increased throughout the study. The reactive and comparison groups also showed increases in "positive initiations;" however, the increases noted in the reactive group were significantly higher than those of the comparison group. For children with disabilities, the results indicated that the children in the reactive group exhibited more "positive initiations" than did children in the comparison group.


Approaches; Behaviors; Child; Comparison; Disabilities; Preschool; Preschool Children; Preschool Teacher; Skills; Social; Social Skills Training; Teachers; Training

Controlled Subject

Special education; Teachers--Training of; Early childhood education

File Format


File Size

3993.6 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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