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National Dorum of Educational Administration and Supervision Journal

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Historically, it has always been important for educators to meet the needs of their children. In practice however, children with special needs were often neglected in the educational processes of schools. With the advent of NCLB and high stakes testing, the pressure on schools to demonstrate improved student achievement for all students has accelerated. As these children have been increasingly included within the regular classroom, educators have been challenged to develop methods to effectively meet their needs.

This concurrent nested mixed method study explored the effect of interdisciplinary thematic instruction using constructivist principles on the motivation and performance of included 5th-grade elementary students with special needs. The study found that that experimental group students who received interdisciplinary thematic instruction as an intervention in math classes demonstrated higher motivation levels and academic performance than participants receiving traditional instruction. These results pose significant implications for schools attempting to meet the needs of included special needs children.