Master's Theses


Advanced Education Programs

Degree Name

Education Specialist (Ed.S)


The formal teaching of social skills in schools has often been proposed due to their importance for academic and vocational success as well as for long-term mental health adjustment. Research has shown that the vast majority of handicapped students have social skills deficits. This paper describes the state of the art of social skills training research and contrasts this with the state of practice with mildly handicapped students. Program evaluation methodology, including teacher surveys and interviews and a review of students’ IEPs, provides a description of current practice in a small special education cooperative. Results were consistent with previous research indicating that teachers focus on academically-related social skills with minimal emphasis on interpersonal skills. Results also suggested that mainstreaming decisions were primarily based on academic in contrast to social performance standards. Survey results suggested a lack of resources to establish inservice training and a lack of commitment to improving social skills training practices. Suggestions were made for additional program evaluation studies which should focus on assessment of a narrower range of social skills involving interpersonal skills only. A program evaluation/development role is proposed for practitioners.


Robert Markley

Date of Award

Spring 1989

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1989 Bruce Stevens Pray


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