Date of Conferral

1-1-2008

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Nathan Long

Abstract

The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) requires that students with disabilities (SWD) be educated in the least restrictive environment, while the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) requires that these students meet minimum criteria on statewide testing by 2014. This sequential explanatory mixed methods action research study, situated in Bandura's self-efficacy and Atkinson's drive theories, examined the effects of teacher training and subsequent implementation of strategies on the intrinsic motivation of SWD. Intrinsic motivation was measured using the Children's Academic Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (CAIMI) before and after the training. A repeated measures t-test analyzed the mean difference in the students' responses to determine whether teacher training and subsequent implementation of motivational strategies had a significant effect on the intrinsic motivation of SWD in the general education classroom. Mean scores on the pre and post administrations of the CAIMI were not statistically different, t(13) = 1.426, p = .177. A focus group interview with the students' teachers provided data, which helped ascertain how teachers perceived the relationship between teacher training in motivational intervention strategies and teacher practice and levels of intrinsic motivation for SWD in inclusive classrooms. Typological analysis revealed teachers perceived a relationship between the training, their practice, and intrinsic motivation of SWD. Finally, qualitative responses were compared to responses on individual CAIMI items to explain inconsistencies between expected outcomes, actual results, and theory. Implications for positive social change are evidenced by the data that demonstrate a better understanding of motivation for SWD for educators and administrators seeking ways to merge requirements for NCLB with IDEA.