Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Special needs learners (SNL) under-perform on state benchmark measurements despite the efforts of general education teachers to implement inclusion effectively. Using Bandura's theory of self-efficacy as a framework, the purpose of this study was to explore perceptions toward factors for implementing successful inclusion in a high performing school. Research questions explored the perceptions regarding methodology used to implement inclusion, barriers or facilitators of the implementation process, and how inclusion affects the attitude and self-efficacy of general education teachers when teaching SNL. A qualitative case study design was applied within a purposeful sample of 5 general education teachers participating in a focus group, 1 administrator respondent for a semi structured interview, and a site improvement document analysis review. Inductively coded and themed data were compared and analyzed through HyperRESEARCH computer assisted qualitative data analysis software. Findings suggest teachers and administration perceive a lack of preparation for implementing inclusion and there is a need for improved collaboration. Data from the document analysis indicated a gap in plans for improvement specific to inclusive settings. Study results can be used to inform leadership regarding PD opportunities to support general education teachers and SNL. Based on findings, 3-day PD collaboration modules between general education and special education teachers were developed. With better collaboration and strategies for implementing inclusion, SNL can improve performance in high-stakes tests to prepare for transition beyond the public school setting.