Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
This study involved the inclusion of special needs students in the general education classroom as required by law. The problem centered on general educators' perceptions of their abilities to meet the education needs of included students and their lack of training in special education issues. Research questions studied perceptions general educators had regarding inclusion and whether professional development addressed those concerns, and improved their perception of inclusion. The Concerns Based Adoption Model (CBAM) was the conceptual framework utilized throughout the sequential mixed-methods case study. Quantitative data of teachers' concerns were determined using the Survey of Concerns Questionnaire from the CBAM and the Teachers' Sense of Efficacy Scale; interviews were used to provide clarifying qualitative data. Using mean percentile scores, independent t tests and paired samples t tests, quantitative data showed no statistically significant change in teachers' perceptions of inclusion, yet the qualitative data from interviews showed changes in participants' thought processes about inclusion. Data show a need for further research focusing on the effect of more training over a longer period of time. The study has social change implications in that it shows how the right training for general educators in special needs issues can help move those teachers past resistance of inclusion to acceptance of it, although the change may require multiple training sessions over an extended period of time. As general educators take responsibility for the success of special needs students in their classrooms, they can better assist those students to increase their potential for productivity within society.