Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Abraham S. Fischler College of Education

Advisor

Kimberly Durham

Committee Member

Judy Shoemaker

Committee Member

Kathleen McLaughlin

Abstract

This sequential mixed methods study was designed to compare the perceptions, attitudes, and self-efficacy of elementary and middle school general and special education teachers and administrators regarding inclusion. The study identified specific areas of needed support and training to improve these factors. The study took place at a kindergarten through 8 research site in the southeastern portion of the United States. The problem addressed was that school administrators are uncertain about the perceptions of general and special education teachers’ self-efficacy regarding effective instructional inclusion of students with special needs in the general education classroom.

Using quantitative survey inquiry and qualitative interview protocols, the study examined the perceptions of general, special education teachers, and administrators to compare responses to the research questions. Research questions inquired into the perceptions of inclusion effectiveness and what training could be provided to assist with the challenges of inclusion within the general classroom.

The results of the study revealed that special education teachers scored slightly higher than general education teachers in self-efficacy within inclusive settings. Teachers with preservice or graduate training for inclusion also scored higher for self-efficacy. Administrators scored the self-efficacy practices of teachers higher than teacher perceptions of their abilities. All groups believed that teaching inclusion within the general education classroom can be improved through ongoing professional development training.

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