Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Barry Birnbaum


Accommodating students with disabilities in a general education class often requires instructional modification and extra student support. Research has shown that making required changes can evoke different responses from teachers and can influence their willingness to accommodate the needs of students with disabilities. However, research has not examined the relationships between middle school teachers' preparation for and experiences with inclusion instruction and their attitudes toward inclusion. The purpose of this correlational study was to explore possible relationships between middle school teachers' attitudes about including students with mild to moderate disabilities in the general education setting and the teachers' education level, length of time teaching, and role as general or special education teachers. Social learning theory informed the study. Teachers from 3 middle schools in a large, primarily suburban school district in the southern United States were identified and sent the link for an online survey that included both demographic questions and the Attitude Toward Teaching All Students validated research instrument (N = 220). Despite several efforts to acquire enough responses to determine statistical significance, the sample obtained (n = 55) was too small for those calculations. However, Spearman correlations calculated with the smaller sample acquired indicated possible relationships between variables and indicated conducting the study in another location with a larger sample would provide valuable insights into teachers' behaviors and beliefs. This study contributes to positive social change by demonstrating a need to examine teachers' background and experiences and their attitudes toward and, as a result, behaviors in inclusion settings.