ERIC Number: ED304814
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Student and Instructional Outcomes under Varying Student-Teacher Ratios in Special Education. Research Report No. 12. Instructional Alternatives Project.
Thurlow, Martha L.; And Others
The study examined the impact of varying student-teacher ratios on task completion and success, student instructional time, and quality of instruction in special education classes for mildly handicapped students. Subjects were 139 mainstreamed elementary students (grades 1-6), most of whom were categorically labeled as learning disabled (n=114). Students were observed during their special education time, within student-teacher ratios that varied from less than 1:1 (one student with two teachers) to over 15:1. Using grouped ratios represented by 1:1, 3:1, 6:1, 9:1, and 12:1, students' academic engaged time, task completion, and task success, as well as the qualitative nature of their instruction were compared. Targeted student behaviors were recorded by trained observers using rating scales and observational instruments. Data from structured interviews with students and teachers were also used. Significant differences were found in measures of both the quantitative and qualitative aspects of instruction, with nearly all favoring the lower student-teacher ratios. Lack of observed differences in task completion and task success rates (which were very high for all students in all student-teacher ratio groupings) was attributed to task content during special education instructional time. (Author/JW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Minnesota Univ., Minneapolis.