Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Special Education and Literacy Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Sarah E. Summy

Second Advisor

Dr. George J. Haus

Third Advisor

Dr. Katharine E. Cummings


This investigation explored whether keyword mnemonic strategies were effective for high school aged students labeled emotional or behavioral disordered(E/BD) in recalling the definitions of scientific vocabulary terms. Ten students labeled E/BD from a suburban public high school in a Midwestern state participated in this investigation. A demographic description of the subjects indicated the following information: (a) all students' ethnicities were Caucasian, (b) sixty percent of the subjects were male, (c) the average subject's age was 17 years 1 month, and (d) all students were in the tenth through twelfth grades.

In a multiple baseline across subjects design using a single probe technique, the investigator evaluated the students through written assessments covering scientific vocabulary terms based upon the district's curriculum. The investigator plotted and then visually analyzed the data collected from the written assessments on a line graph. The analysis of the data's characteristics indicated keyword mnemonic strategies were effective for these students in recallingthe terms' meanings. The following characteristics of the graphed data existed. Differences between the data points' means for the baseline and mnemonic intervention phases for all of the subjects existed. Differences between the baselines' ending value and the mnemonic intervention phases' beginning valuefor all subjects resulted. Trends in performance during the mnemonic intervention condition were present. Finally, no data overlapped in contiguous phases forall subjects.

This investigation's results support the findings of previous mnemonic research and extend these positive findings to high school students labeled EBD. In addition, this investigation has implications for educational practice. Educators should teach the meanings of unfamiliar vocabulary utilizing the keyword mnemonic strategy to high school students labeled EBD. If educators implement this strategy, then these students can successfully recall the meanings of unfamiliar vocabulary and thus have better educational outcomes.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access