PARENTAL PERCEPTIONS AND KNOWLEDGE OF SPECIAL EDUCATION PLACEMENT
COX, BARBARA BOLL
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The major thrust of this study was to determine whether empirical support was present for a research hypothesis that a relationship would exist between System 4 and parents' knowledge of special education placements. The study of 196 parents of children classified as learning disabled, mentally retarded, or emotionally disturbed assessed the parents' perception of the school environment and parents' knowledge of the appropriate placement for children classified as mildly, moderately or severely handicapped, and learning disabled, mentally retarded, or emotionally disturbed.;No significant relationships in the expected direction were found utilizing the Spearman's Correlation statistic between the parental perception of the school environment and the parents' knowledge of appropriate special education placements. Through the utilization of the Kruskal-Wallis statistic and the Median statistic, significant differences were found between the median scores on the POS for parental perception of the school environment between the parents of learning disabled and mentally retarded children as compared to parents of emotionally disturbed children. In addition, the parents of emotionally disturbed children were significantly more knowledgeable about the appropriate placement for emotionally disturbed children than either of the other two groups of parents for their respective like handicapped group.;The analysis of the RGEPS indicated that significant differences existed between the parents' knowledge of appropriate placements and the placement decisions of the experts on all knowledge scales. Significant differences were also noted between the parents' placement decisions and educators in general on all knowledge subscales except for severely handicapped children.;The results of this study clearly indicate that the parents who participated in this study place children in a more restrictive environment than the experts or educators in general. This study also indicates that even though the parents of emotionally disturbed children are more knowledgeable about appropriate placements for emotionally disturbed children than either of the other two groups are for their children, no particular preference is indicated for any group as participants in the decision making process of the Committee on the Handicapped.