Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Special Education and Rehabilitation


Karl R. White


Mastery of basic concepts is an academic building block for preschool children in early education programs. Research shows that understanding basic concepts (e.g. top, under, fast, now, all, behind, full and short) is important for academic success and higher order thinking. Experts in the field of concept acquisition agree on six strategies for teaching basic concepts. These strategies include: using positive examples and negative examples, highlighting critical features of concepts through continuous conversion, isolating the concept, the order in which the examples are presented, and teaching generalization. This study investigated the extent to which nine preschool teachers of children with hearing loss used four of the six strategies (using examples, non examples, continuous conversion, and isolating the concept) during a 20-minute lesson in which a new basic concept was taught. Results indicated that teachers do well with using examples to teach basic concepts, but they lack sufficient use of the other three strategies for teaching basic concepts.


This work made publicly available electronically on May 11, 2011.