Ed.D. Dissertations

Date of Award

Spring 4-11-2019

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

College

College of Education

Department

Education

Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.

Faculty Chair

Edward Kim, Ph.D.

Content Specialist

Aaron Deris, Ph.D.

Content Reader

Thomas Cavanaugh, Ph.D.

Keywords

Inclusion, inclusive education, special education, Universal Design for Learning, instructional differentiation

Abstract

This purpose of this case study was to explore the potential reasons why secondary teachers are resistant to working in inclusive programs, as well as to discover barriers to inclusion so that those obstacles can be addressed and rectified by those who make meaningful, relevant, and holistic educational changes, leading to improved classroom experiences for all parties within inclusive settings. The pre-research prediction that barriers to inclusion revolve around instructional differentiation, increased responsibilities, and additional work load were correct as they relate to the teacher identified obstacles of lack of support and lack of training, with most participants agreeing that lack of resources, instructional support, financial assistance, administrative guidance, and staffing were the greatest obstacles to teacher willingness to work in inclusive classrooms. Thorough and on-going training in instructional design that supports a cognitively diverse student population, such as the Universal Design for Learning model, was identified as an empathetic and ethical manner to support teachers tasked with the responsibility of collaboratively educating all students. The most interesting revelations of this study were that all the teachers interviewed for this study found inclusion valuable for both non-typical and typical students and all twelve teachers were willing to work in an inclusive classroom with the appropriate supports. The results from this study reveals that teachers find value in inclusive education but need to feel that they are valued by the entity that charges them with the task to educate all students inclusively before they can adequately embrace their role in the implementation process.

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