Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




The purpose of this study was to compare three groups of students: (1) those who were served in a transitional first grade program by a teacher having an interactionist philosophy, (2) those who were previously retained in grade, and (3) a random sample of regularly promoted students. This study used the philosophical orientation of the teacher as the indicator for the type of transitional program (independent variable). The age of the student (birthdate) was also used as an independent variable. The dependent variables used to make these comparisons were ability scores, achievement scores, self-esteem scores, and attendance.;Findings indicate that no significant difference occurred between students formerly served in a transitional program and students who had been retained for any of the dependent variables measured. Regularly promoted students had significantly higher achievement scores and ability scores normed by age than the other two groups. Grade level comparisons revealed no significant difference for measures of ability. There was no birthdate effect present on achievement test scores for the students in this study. There was no interaction present between the group and the student's birthdate. There were no significant differences found among the three groups on self-concept and motivation scores, nor did the students in these three groups differ on the number of days absent from school. Several conclusions were drawn. First, there was no evidence found from this study to indicate that being served in a transitional program was any more beneficial than being retained. Second, successful transitional programs found in the literature had the characteristics of interactionism. From this study, a teacher with an interactionist philosophy, in and of itself, was not enough to produce achievement results for students in a transitional program comparable to those of regularly promoted students. Third, it is recommended that the student's ability be a primary consideration for placement into a transitional program. (Abstract shortened with permission of author.).



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