Special Education ETDs

Publication Date



The purpose of this study was to determine whether the performance level of three trainable handicapped children would be significantly different when tested by their own classroom teacher and a research teacher from outside the classroom. The specific hypothesis was that the children would perform significantly better when tested by their own classroom teacher.

Three children, all functioning at the trainable mentally handicapped level, were selected from a self-contained elementary school classroom. The subjects were taught basic sign language each week by the classroom teacher using Peabody picture cards containing five nouns and five verbs. At the end of each week, the research teacher and the classroom teacher would test the subjects. The correct response picture was presented to the subject with two incorrect pictures. The examiner performed the sign, and the subject was asked to point to the corresponding picture. Both teachers used identical placement and order for all trials given each week.

The results of this study indicate that a significant difference at (P .05) did not exist between the subjects’ performance when tested by their classroom teacher and the research teacher. Thus the specific hypothesis must be rejected. The scores were ranked using the Friedman Two-Way Analysis Test. The variable scores were ranked using the Mann-Whitney U test to show comparative differences. The study suggests further research is needed regarding transfer learning. The results could be attributed to the subjects’ high level of performance and the limited number of trials given.

Document Type




Degree Name

Special Education

Department Name

Special Education

First Committee Member (Chair)

Glenn Dean Van Etten

Second Committee Member

Roger Lee Kroth

Third Committee Member

Carlene Van Etten