Date Approved

4-23-2007

Embargo Period

3-28-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in Learning Disabilities

Department

Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Urban, Stanley

Subject(s)

Inclusive education--New Jersey; Reading readiness

Disciplines

Disability and Equity in Education

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine if inclusion of special education students impacted the rate of progress made within the kindergarten classroom. The Dynamic Indicators of Basic Literacy Skills (DIBELS) was used to measure progress. DIBELS is a set of standardized, individually administered measures of early literacy development that can identify children at risk for reading difficulties and monitor the effectiveness of remediation programs.

Kindergarten students from Harrison Township Elementary School were the participants of this study. The progress made by 22 students within a morning noninclusive class was compared to the progress made by 18 students within an afternoon inclusion class. Four students in the PM hold a special education classification.

Both kindergarten classes were administered two sub-tests from DIBELS in September and January. Letter Naming Fluency (LNF) measures a child's ability to name randomly presented upper and lower case letters in one minute. Initial Sound Fluency (ISF) measures a child's ability to produce the initial sound in an orally presented word.

A comparison of the achievement on the DIBELS between the two groups was conducted. The mean score of the AM group and the PM group was compared using an independent samples t test to determine if significant differences existed. The results of the study showed that there was no significant difference between the two groups on the variables examined as measured by DIBELS. The research findings led to the conclusion that the inclusion of special education students did not have a negative impact on the rate of progress made within the kindergarten classroom.

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