Master's Theses

Department

Advanced Education Programs

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Abstract

Abundant theoretical and empirical literature documents how teachers' expectations influence student performance. Labels and self-fulfilling prophecies often have a dramatic influence on academic achievement and self-esteem. This study tests this thesis by measuring the attitudes of teachers toward special education students, and determines whether those attitudes influence their assessment of student achievement on a writing task. Forty-nine teachers from one rural school district in southwest Kansas participated in this study. Subjects were all given an attitude survey and asked to assess a writing-sample by use of criteria established in the Diagnostic Achievement Battery (DAB-2), subtest 10, "Writing Composition." Although all teachers assessed the same writing-sample, half were given instruct ions that indicated a special education student wrote the writing-sample, while the other half indicated that a regular education student wrote the sample. Subjects in this study varied in their attitudes toward special education students and their assessment of the writing-sample. However, there was no statistically significant relationship between attitudes and assessment of a writing-sample. The findings of this study suggest that self-fulfilling prophecies and the processes of labeling may be more complex than the literature suggests.

Advisor

Art Hoernicke

Date of Award

Spring 2002

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access

Rights

© 2002 Michele E. Waskul

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