The practices of education, such as separate and resource placements, pull-out services, scripted intervention programmes, an emphasis on diagnoses, and behaviorist discipline practices, are not conducive to the goals of inclusive education. This study demonstrates how one instructional coach worked to disrupt traditional special education practices and guide special educators towards the use of more effective research-based instructional strategies and collaborative practices to promote inclusion. Using Robert Stake’s intrinsic case study methodology, we explored the perceived roles of coaching and modelling to promote inclusion through the lens of one coach who modelled methods for the special education teachers in multiple general education classrooms. The following themes emerged from the multiphase analysis of data collected throughout the coaching project: coaching as flexible facilitation, coaching as recognition of existing good practice, coaching pedagogical decision-making, coaching instructional reflectivity, and coaching collaborative partnerships. Coaching and modelling for special educators are recommended for promoting inclusive education as they embrace the complexity of changing classroom practice and can enhance collaborative instructional practice.


inclusion, coaching, modelling, case study

Author Bio(s)

Dr. Danielle Lane is an Assistant Professor of Special Education at Western Oregon University. Her research focuses on global understandings of disabilities in various cultural contexts. Specifically, she is interested in centralizing the importance of inclusive practices in educational provisions that are provided to students with disabilities. Danielle teaches courses in special education at the graduate level. She recently published in the International Journal of Inclusive Education, the British Journal of Special Education, and the British Journal of Learning Disabilities. Please direct correspondence to laned@mail.wou.edu.

Sarah Semon is the Technical Assistance Coordinator at Vanderbilt University. In addition to extensive experience as a teacher educator and researcher, Dr. Semon has over 15 years of experience collaborating with states and districts to provide professional development to improve special education outcomes. She recently presented at the 2022 National Council for Exceptional Children Conference and CEC’s Teacher Education Division Conference. Please direct correspondence to consultsemon@gmail.com.

Dr. Nicholas Catania is an Assistant Professor and Program Manager of Elementary Education at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota. His research focuses on teacher preparation for social justice as well as equitable policies and practices for the inclusion, advancement, and dignity of marginalized populations including LGBTQ+ children and families. He has over 15 years of teaching experience in K-12 and higher education settings and works with teacher candidates and in-service teachers coaching them to improve their teaching practices in the clinical space. His research has been presented at multiple national and international conferences; most notably American Educational Research Association (AERA), Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), and National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME). He has also served in leadership roles for the AERA Queer Sig and National Association for Professional Development Schools (NAPDS) Conference Planning Committee. Please direct correspondence to CataniN@scf.edu.

Khalid Abu-Alghayth, Ph.D., is an assistant professor and the Department Head of Special Education at King Khalid University. Dr. Khalid’s research interests include inclusive education, assistive technology, and sexual behaviors of adolescents with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He recently contributed to books in the Emerald Series: International Perspectives on Inclusive Education – Instructional Collaboration in International Inclusive Education Contexts; and Assistive Technology to Support Inclusive Education. Currently, Khalid works with groups of national and international researchers on several projects funded by King Khalid University. Please direct correspondence to kabualghayth@kku.edu.sa.


The authors extend their appreciation to the Deanship of Scientific Research at King Khalid University, through the Group Research Project, under grant number (RGP.1/290/42).

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