Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Special Education


Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education


College of Education

First Advisor

Kuder, S. Jay


Children with perceptual disabilities--Education; Language experience approach in education; Reading (Elementary)


Special Education and Teaching


This study was designed to investigate the reading achievement of two groups of special education students classified as perceptually impaired. The two groups of children were provided with two different types of reading instruction in two different settings. One group received whole language reading instruction in the regular classroom as mainstreamed students. The other group received direct reading instruction in a self contained classroom.

At the conclusion of the study, it was found that both groups of students made some progress. All students improved their scores of reading achievement as measured by the CAT V inventory test. Pre-test results showed that students taught reading through a whole language approach scored better overall on the test given in September. The post-test given in April showed that the scores of students taught using direct instruction approaches were higher than those of the other group.

Many previous studies show that direct instruction has proven to be effective with environmentally and educationally "at risk" students while whole language instructional approaches may be better suited to those students who are functioning at their age and grade appropriate reading levels. However, very few programs have shown effectiveness in increasing reading achievement with all students in all educational situations.