Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Special Education

First Committee Member

Susan Miller

Number of Pages



The purposes of this study were: (a) to compare general and special education preservice teachers' attitudes regarding educational placements for students with disabilities, (b) to determine whether these attitudes are disability specific and, (c) to determine whether change in knowledge has an effect on attitude toward placement over the course of a semester while enrolled in introductory classes about students with disabilities. Two groups of respondents comprised of general education and special education preservice teachers participated in this study. A pretest and posttest format was used to gather information. Specifically, data were collected using the Preservice Teacher Service Delivery Survey that measured opinions about appropriate placement choices for students with disabilities, and the degree of confidence related to these choices. Data collection also included pretest and posttest administration of the Knowledge Test that included content related to law, individual education planning, placement, and service delivery; There was no statistically significant difference between special and general education preservice teachers' placement choices on the pretest. There was a statistically significant difference on the posttest between special and general preservice education teachers regarding placement choice for students with emotional disturbance. The preservice general education teachers' placement choice for students with emotional disturbance was less restrictive than the preservice special education teachers' placement choice for the same group of students. There were no differences between the special and general education preservice teachers on the Knowledge Test. There was a statistically significant correlation between overall test knowledge and placement choices. Knowledge obtained during an introductory special education course did have an impact on placement choices for students with other health impairments and students with developmental delay. After completing a semester long introductory special education course, both special and general education preservice teachers selected less restrictive placements with increased levels of confidence about these choices.


Attitudes; Comparing; Disabilities; Education; Knowledge; Placement; Preservice; Preservice Teachers; Special; Special Education; Students; Teachers

Controlled Subject

Special education; Teachers--Training of

File Format


File Size

3000.32 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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