Document Type


Date of Degree Completion

Summer 1971

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)



Committee Chair

Hyrum S. Henderson

Second Committee Member

Robert L Myers

Third Committee Member

Darwin J. Goodey


For many years a difference of opinion has existed regarding the classroom placement of "emotionally disturbed" children into special classes. The majority of public school districts offer two placements into their special classes: heterogenous or homogeneous grouping. Homogeneous grouping of these children seems to cause a "boomeranging" effect on reinforcement of their disruptive behavior. We have not always found our answer for helping emotionally disturbed children through heterogeneous grouping. Since emotionally disturbed children usually have the ability or an above average ability to learn, a heterogeneous grouping may not be academically stimulating. Their classroom peers (children that are retarded, slow learners, etc.) may be easily sought to reinforce their disruptive behavior. In either placement we often rely only on the ability of the teacher to control behavior. Why only rely on one person within that classroom? Why not employ the child's peer group? It would seem logical that the child's own peer group would have more influence on his behavior than that of the teacher-child relationship.