Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Special Education


Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education


College of Education


Xin, Joy


Grade repetition; Teachers--Attitudes


Special Education and Teaching


Grade retention has been a problem since the mid-19th century when the concept of individual grades replaced the one room schoolhouse. Extensive research was reported on grade retention, its effect, and impact on the referral of students with learning disabilities, parent and teacher perspectives. The research findings on retention are inconclusive and questionable. The purposes of this study are (a) to evaluate the teacher attitudes towards grade retention, and (b) to compare the differences of teacher attitudes at elementary, middle and high school levels. A survey was developed and approximately 150 were distributed to teachers. Of these 150, 120 were returned and analyzed. In all 66% of teachers (N=73) agreed that grade retention is a necessary educational practice, and 55% of teachers (N=64) agreed that they have or would recommend retention to the principal or to parents. Significant differences were found among the elementary, middle and high school teachers on their responses to 6 questions/statements. Overall, teachers in this survey support retention and believed that it should be implemented in the early grades. The teachers suggest that the decision to retain should not be affected by student physical status, or standardized test scores; instead it should be influenced by the student's ability to complete assignments. Overall, the teachers do not feel that grade retention harms a student's self-concept; instead it may help aid in student maturity.