Special Education ETDs

Publication Date



Perception of behavioral characteristics of the ideal student by three groups of elementary school pupils and their teachers was examined. In May, 1973, 5 students from an engineered classroom, 5 special education referral students, and l0 regular classroom students completed a behavioral Q-sort of 25 classroom related behaviors, describing the ideal student. The sorting of each student was correlated with the sorting of his teacher concerning the ideal student using an adaptation of the Pearson product­moment correlation coefficient formula. The Mann-Whitney U Test was then applied to determine significant differences in student-teacher correlations among the three groups. Significant differences were observed between the engineered classroom group and the referral student group, and between the engineered classroom group and the regular class students. In both instances, the engineered class students correlated significantly higher with their teacher than did the other groups. No significant difference was observed between the referral students and the regular classroom students. The referral students deviated significantly from their teachers on the largest number of individual behaviors. The regular class students deviated significantly from their teachers slightly fewer times, and the engineered class students deviated from their teacher the least number of times. Teachers generally agreed on those characteristics which best described the ideal student. The ideal student was described as following directions, actively participating in learning, and working until the job was finished. Behaviors which teachers ranked as most unlike the ideal student were those which displayed aggression and were disruptive of the class. The expectations of teachers concerning classroom behavior were uniform to a large extent, and these expectations were perceived more accurately by students in an engineered classroom than by regular classroom students.

Document Type




Degree Name

Special Education

Level of Degree


Department Name

Special Education

First Committee Member (Chair)

Billy Leslie Watson

Second Committee Member

Roger Lee Kroth

Third Committee Member

Richard Lane McDowell