Teacher interaction with learning-disabled children and average achievers

Bruce Dorval, James D. Mckinney, Lynne Feagans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The dialogues of regular classroom teachers with 12 learning-disabled (LD) students and 12 classmates were recorded, and initiations were coded into three categories: content of instruction, behavior management, and social overture. Teachers initiated conversation more frequently with LD students than comparison students. The majority (63%) of teacher initiations to LD students involved behavior management, and these were over five times more likely compared to those received by classmates. Further analysis showed that teacher initiations for behavior management were primarily in response to LD student inattentiveness and rule infraction. LD children did not differ from classmates in the overall frequency of initiations to teacher; however, the initiations of LD children were more often situationally inappropriate. Finally, teacher initiations to LD children pertaining to the monitoring of instruction, inattention, and rule infraction occurred more often in whole-class seatwork as opposed to small-group settings. Results were interpreted in light of other evidence linking the frequency of teacher-child interaction to poor achievement, as well as to teacher perceptions of LD students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-330
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of pediatric psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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